Feb 5, 2020 - Health

The booming demand for nurse practitioners

A nurse practitioner doing a heath checkup in Denver, Colo. Photo: RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The demand for nurse practitioners has exploded recently.

By the numbers: The number of nurse practitioners more than doubled from 2010 to 2017, far outpacing the number of new doctors or registered nurses, according to a study published this week in Health Affairs.

  • Less than 1% of NPs are unemployed, the study found, and most of them have seen steady wage growth.

Why it matters: These changes are a reflection of broader shifts within the health care system — most notably, the shift from inpatient to outpatient care.

  • RNs are now typically leaving inpatient hospital settings earlier in their careers to get the advanced training to become and NP and move to an outpatient setting, the study says. Although the authors don't expect that to lead to "deep and prolonged" RN shortages, it's still a strain on the inpatient workforce.

What's next: Nurse practitioners are providing a lot more care — the number of Medicare beneficiaries billed by a nurse practitioner has doubled. And that trend will continue.

Go deeper: Health care has been adding jobs for over 5 years

Go deeper

Black Americans' competing crises

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

For many black Americans, this moment feels like a crisis within a crisis within a crisis.

The big picture: It's not just George Floyd's killing by police. Or the deaths of EMT Breonna Taylor and jogger Ahmaud Arbery. Or the demeaning of birdwatcher Christian Cooper and journalist Omar Jimenez. Or the coronavirus pandemic's disproportionate harm to African Americans. It's that it's all happening at once.

Amnesty International: U.S. police must end militarized response to protests

Washington State Police use tear gas to disperse a crowd in Seattle during a demonstration protesting the death of George Floyd. Photo: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images

Amnesty International issued a statement on Sunday morning calling for an end to militarized policing in several U.S. cities and the use of "excessive force" against demonstrators protesting police brutality.

Why it matters: The human rights group said police across the country were "failing their obligations under international law to respect and facilitate the right to peaceful protest, exacerbating a tense situation and endangering the lives of protesters."

2 hours ago - Health

Coronavirus looms over George Floyd protests across the country

Protestors rally in Minneapolis. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Health experts fear that massive protests against police brutality in major cities around the United States could result in new coronavirus outbreaks due to the close proximity of demonstrators, AP reports.

Why it matters: The U.S. has already recorded more confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths than any other country in the world. A potential surge in cases stemming from the protests would come as many states are weeks into their phased reopening plans.