Pros and Cons of Being an FNP in a Rural Community

Choosing to work in healthcare is a smart career choice. The demand for these services continues to grow as the population ages. Plus, the work can be extremely fulfilling!

Nurse practitioners in particular are becoming a bigger part of the healthcare field, filling in care gaps and helping to improve preventative care. As a nurse practitioner, you can offer a lot of versatility to group practices, hospitals, or communities as an independent practitioner (depending on your state’s laws).

Once you’ve become a family nurse practitioner, you have to consider your options. Would it be better to get a job in an urban environment, where you’ll be one of many NPs working to keep the community healthy? Or would you thrive in a rural community, providing local care to a smaller population?

Here are some of the pros and cons of choosing to work as an FNP in a rural community.

The Demand for Healthcare Providers is Strong in Rural Areas

Many rural communities do not have good local healthcare options. This means that residents have to travel long distances to get the care they need. Ultimately, the lack of local services can lead to poorer health outcomes since people are likely to put off getting the care they need or do not have the resources to travel for their care. When community health services become available, everyone benefits.

It can be hard to attract qualified healthcare providers to rural communities. Why? Because most people prefer to live closer to urban centers and all the amenities they offer. This means that there are more opportunities and demand in rural areas, despite the smaller population numbers.

NPs Have More Autonomy and Scope of Practice

As long as you’re practicing in a state that allows FNPs to have lots of autonomy, you’ll be able to utilize that autonomy more fully in a rural healthcare job. With fewer healthcare providers available, everyone needs to provide a wide range of services with little supervision. FNPs who enjoy a large scope of practice and working independently are likely to thrive in a rural practice.

It’s Easy to Make a Difference and Build Relationships

In a rural community, you’ll really get to know your patients. You’ll have the opportunity to build relationships with them and get to know them. It’s also easier to see the difference you make in people’s lives. As a healthcare provider, you’ll get the chance to help reduce the health disparities that affect rural residents.

Being part of a rural community and providing care can be an incredible experience. Instead of working with thousands of patients and getting to know very few of them, you’ll be working directly within your community and providing care to your neighbors.

Resources and Collaborations Will Be Limited in Rural Practice

One of the downsides of rural practice is the lack of resources. A small hospital or practice won’t have the budget for the latest technology or the patient volume to support certain types of equipment. This can be a challenge and creates barriers to providing top-notch care.

Supplies and technology aside, you won’t have access to the same collaborative environment as a rural FNP as you would in an urban or suburban area. It will be more challenging to work through tricky diagnoses or collaborate on complex treatment plans without a network of specialists nearby.

In some cases, rural FNPs have to refer their patients to specialists that practice in far-off cities. This can be difficult emotionally, especially if you know that someone does not have the means to travel so far and see an expensive specialist.

Rural Living Can Be Isolating

Many people who take a job in rural healthcare settings struggle with the transition. It can be very isolating to live in sparsely populated areas. FNPs who decide to work in a rural community need to be proactive with self-care and making friends to fight off the potential for loneliness and isolation.

The Challenge of Maintaining Professional Boundaries

Rural communities are small and often have to rely on one another in many different ways. While that can be a huge positive for community-minded people, there are some downsides when it comes to privacy.

In a small town or rural community, everyone is likely to know your business. It can be difficult to maintain your privacy and professional boundaries when it’s normal in your community to gossip about your neighbors.

Embracing the Rewards and Challenges of FNP Work in Rural America

If you want to make a difference as a healthcare provider and work more independently, then becoming an FNP in a rural community could be a great fit. Embracing the rewards and challenges of healthcare in these settings can be a great way to grow as a healthcare provider while embracing a simpler life.

However, it’s important to consider your preferences and personality in making the decision. Weigh the pros and cons and be honest with yourself about whether life in the country or the wilderness is right for you before you decide.

With a Bachelor’s in Health Science along with an MBA, Sarah Daren has a wealth of knowledge within both the health and business sectors. Her expertise in scaling and identifying ways tech can improve the lives of others has led Sarah to be a consultant for a number of startup businesses, most prominently in the wellness industry, wearable technology and health education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life with a focus on making America a healthier and safer place for future generations to come.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

The Future of Healthcare: Why Nurse Practitioners are Poised to Play a Major Role

Healthcare in the United States has been in a rough spot for— well…quite some time. Covid certainly didn’t invent the struggles of Western healthcare but it did intensify them. Hospitals all across the country are suffering from dangerous personnel shortages that have made it challenging to deliver even basic levels of care to certain communities.

It’s a bad situation. But while the number of nurses shrinks, nurse practitioners have been growing enormously in prominence.

In this article, we talk about what nurse practitioners do, and how they are poised to shape the future of healthcare.

Nurse Practitioners Declutter the Healthcare System

One of the healthcare system’s greatest problems in the United States—

That’s a long list, friend.

Fair enough, one of the many problems is that hospitals have more patients than they do people who are qualified to see them. Nurse practitioners can help to relieve some of that burden by providing much of the same care that doctors have traditionally offered.

There are limitations to the extent that this is allowable. Many of these regulations are regional. For example, some states require nurse practitioners to get a doctor to sign off on all of their determinations, which can nullify the time-saving benefits.

However, in states with more permissive laws, this can be an enormous boon. Keep in mind that it takes a lot less time for someone to become a nurse practitioner than it does for someone to become an MD. This means that it is much easier for hospitals to staff up on nurse practitioners.

NPs can work on a wide range of different floors, from neonatal to maternal, allowing hospitals to declutter, and patients to get better quicker care. Fewer patient bottlenecks is better for everyone.

NPs in Private Practice

One of the big appeals of becoming a nurse practitioner is that it can allow you to effectively open up your own practice. Like so many things concerning the life of an NP, this will depend on where you live. However, in many states, nurse practitioners can make diagnoses and prescribe medication just like a general practitioner.

Sometimes, an NP’s ability to do this will be contingent on how long they have been practicing. Other times, it’s simply a matter of getting licensed and setting up a practice.

This is great for patients because it gives them more opportunities to receive care. Many people, particularly those living in areas with limited access to healthcare professionals, are finding that they have to wait more than a year to get a wellness visit.

This is a frustrating, sometimes even dangerous dynamic that more nurse practitioners could help solve.

If you are interested in becoming a nurse practitioner in the hopes of setting up your own practice, do some research about your local laws before you get too far in the process.

It is a Good Option for Burnt-out Nurses

You can’t seem to turn on the news without hearing more about the ongoing healthcare crisis that is taking place in the United States. Since Covid-19 hit it seems that hospitals everywhere have been dangerously understaffed.

This was brought to renewed attention a few months ago when a nurse working in Washington made national headlines for dialing 911 after her hospital reached a breaking point and had too few employees to treat their current patient load.

While that episode was dramatic, it was far from unique. Hospitals everywhere have been overwhelmed by the recent nursing shortage. While it is tempting to lay this crisis at Covid’s feet, the truth is that it has been a long time coming.

For years, experts have been warning about this. The problem? Many people have been leaving nursing, and not enough are coming up to replace them.

The culprit is burnout. Nursing is hard, so people look for different jobs. The healthcare industry, and all the people that it serves suffer as a result.

To become a nurse practitioner is to pivot into a similar, but perhaps more comfortable gig. NPs make more money, work friendlier hours, and get to work with patients on an entirely different scale.

In an industry that is in desperate need of personnel retention, more NPs would be an enormous boon with truly transformative potential.

Where are We At Now?

It sounds like more nurse practitioners would be a great thing for this country. And that’s all well and good, but it doesn’t really matter if we don’t have them, does it? Where are we at now?

That’s a good question. While it wouldn’t be right to say that the United States healthcare system’s need for nurse practitioners is being met, it is fair to say that the profession’s growth rate is in promising shape.

Between 2012-2022 the number of nurse practitioners nationwide grew by a whopping 30%—more than three times the national average for professional growth.

That’s an impressive figure by any metric, and all the more notable when compared to the numbers for regular nurses. RNs are expected to grow by only 6% in the next ten years.

It’s hard to contextualize exactly what this means for the American healthcare system. On the one hand, more nurse practitioners are great. This is definitely a “the more the merrier,” type of situation.

That said, we do still need bedside nurses, and that job market is still in questionable condition. It seems that no matter what happens, the US healthcare system will look different ten years from now than it does today.

A healthy stock of nurse practitioners won’t be able to solve all of our problems, but they certainly will help the transition into a brighter future.

With a Bachelor’s in Health Science along with an MBA, Sarah Daren has a wealth of knowledge within both the health and business sectors. Her expertise in scaling and identifying ways tech can improve the lives of others has led Sarah to be a consultant for a number of startup businesses, most prominently in the wellness industry, wearable technology and health education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life with a focus on making America a healthier and safer place for future generations to come.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

The Complicated Role of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

Formal nursing has played an important role in healthcare for over 150 years. Doctors diagnose and treat patients, but nurses handle patient care, including administering medication and checking vital signs.

Gradually, the role of nurses has expanded, with many registered nurses specializing in different patient populations or the type of care they offer. Some are even continuing their education to become specialized nurse practitioners, such as pediatric nurse practitioners.

Pediatric nurse practitioners are becoming more common and helping to ease the physician shortage we’re facing in the United States. But what does a pediatric nurse practitioner do, exactly, and why is their role in the healthcare system a little bit complicated? Here’s what you need to know.

What is a Nurse Practitioner?

Nurse practitioners (NPs) are recognized as a type of advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). They have advanced training in medicine and can provide a wide range of healthcare services for patients. Some nurse practitioners even have their own practices and provide many of the same services as doctors.

Rather than providing “bedside care,” which is usually carried out by registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs), NPs and other APRNs generally create treatment plans and oversee patient care. They typically have much more autonomy than an RN would and can help patients with everything from preventative care to treatment for acute injuries and illnesses that come on suddenly.

Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

While many nurse practitioners specialize in general care and are known as family nurse practitioners (FNPs), pediatric nurse practitioners (PNPs) specialize in caring for children, also including infants, toddlers, and teens. Working with pediatric patients can be challenging for a number of different reasons, but nurse practitioners get into this field because they love children and want to help them stay healthy.

What is the Role of a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner?

A PNP has an in-depth understanding of child development and the specialized medical needs of children. They can help families with a variety of needs, including childhood wellness checkups, giving immunizations, answering health questions, and treating common childhood illnesses and disorders. PNPs also need to be able to spot signs of abuse and be prepared to report their suspicions if necessary.

In some situations, a nurse practitioner will be able to provide most or all of the services a child needs from their pediatrician. In other cases, a PNP will be part of a larger care team, helping a pediatrician deliver care to children. PNPs have to be extremely patient in order to work with children and their families, who are often scared or confused when they visit the doctor.

Limitations on Nurse Practitioners Can Complicate Care Plans

Depending on an individual state’s laws, nurse practitioners do not always have full practice authority. In some states, they are allowed to diagnose patients and prescribe medications. In others, they need a physician’s oversight or are otherwise limited in the care they can provide.

This means that depending on where you live, becoming a nurse practitioner might not give you the autonomy you’re looking for. If your state has strict limitations on what you can do as a nurse practitioner, it’s important to realize that your job and responsibilities will be different from an NP in a full-practice state.

A Focus on Coordinating Care

PNPs need to be prepared to coordinate care with other healthcare providers, particularly in states that do not allow full practice for APRNs. A PNP needs a wide variety of skills to properly work with pediatric patients and other providers to deliver excellent care. Some of these skills include:

      • Diagnosing patients who cannot express themselves verbally
      • Calming fearful children and parents
      • Collaborating verbally with other providers to create care plans
      • Taking thorough notes to share with other providers
      • Educating families on child development and health

Pediatric nurse practitioners must be compassionate, thorough, organized, and tactful. They need to be prepared to look at a child’s health from every angle and take a variety of factors into account when diagnosing and prescribing treatment or medications.

Becoming a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

The road to becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner begins with becoming a registered nurse. Then, a master’s degree in nursing is required before you can take the board examination to become a PNP. The full-time programs can be expensive, but there are scholarships available.

If you have an associate’s degree, the process of becoming a PNP takes 3-4 years if you attend your program full-time. Those with a bachelor’s degree can usually complete the education requirements in 2 years.

Becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner is no easy feat. However, the demand for skilled healthcare professionals is growing and there’s never been a better time to be an APRN. If you love kids and want more autonomy as a nurse, being a PNP could be the perfect role for you

With a Bachelor’s in Health Science along with an MBA, Sarah Daren has a wealth of knowledge within both the health and business sectors. Her expertise in scaling and identifying ways tech can improve the lives of others has led Sarah to be a consultant for a number of startup businesses, most prominently in the wellness industry, wearable technology and health education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life with a focus on making America a healthier and safer place for future generations to come.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.


10 Most In-Demand Nurse Practitioner Specialties

Nurse practitioners are a driving force in healthcare that provide meaningful care to scores of individuals. These professionals practice nursing at a high level and their duties often overlap with that of physicians. If you’re curious about pursuing a career as a nurse practitioner, it can help to be aware of the many specialties within the profession.

Here the 10 most in-demand nurse practitioner specialties.

1 – Family Care Nurse Practitioner

 Family care nurse practitioners focus on providing care to individuals throughout their lives. This means that these professionals treat children, teens, adults, and older adults in their practice, oftentimes developing prolonged relationships with patients.

The broad nature of family care allows nurse practitioners in this specialty to practice a wide variety of services and requires an advanced knowledge of healthcare practices. Their duties can range from performing physical exams on patients to treating chronic illnesses over the span of years.

2 – Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

 Pediatric nurse practitioners specialize in providing care to children throughout their childhood. This means that these professionals can potentially treat the same patient over the course of several years through to young adulthood.

Typically, pediatric care nurse practitioners will treat many different illnesses that are specific to children. These include ailments such as Kawasaki disease and certain infections common to children.

3 – Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner

 Adult gerontology nurse practitioners specialize in providing care to older adults. These professionals specialize in treating age-related ailments that their older patients are afflicted by.

In addition to treating certain illnesses, adult gerontology nurse practitioners will also provide patients with strategies and tips to maintain and promote good health as they age. This highlights the two-fold nature of the role, focusing on not only treating certain illnesses but also preventing the decline of health in various ways.

4 – Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

 Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNP) specialize in treating and assessing patients’ mental health states. They have the authority to both assess mental health ailments and prescribe medications as they see fit.

In addition, PMHNPs may also refer their patients to other professionals, such as psychotherapists, depending on their mental health needs. However, it must be noted that different states have different rules regarding the level of authority and autonomy that nurse practitioners may have, and PMHNP practices differ depending on the location in which they work.

5 – Oncology Nurse Practitioner

 Oncology nurse practitioners specialize in assessing and treating patients with cancer or those at high-risk of developing cancer. These professionals work closely with other medical professionals, such as physicians and registered nurses, and play a significant role in the treatment of cancer patients.

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, making professionals with the skills to diagnose and treat this illness in high demand. As such, oncology nurse practitioners and the specialized skills they bring with them are in high-demand in today’s world.

6 – Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

 Acute care nurse practitioners specialize in treating patients who are in critical condition and need immediate care. Examples of ailments acute care nurse practitioners typically treat include heart attacks and trauma as the result of an accident.

In addition to providing immediate treatment, these nurse practitioners also work with patients to provide long term strategies for recovery and the promotion of good health. Given the unique skillset of these professionals, acute care nurse practitioners often work in institutions such as trauma units, urgent care units, and emergency rooms.

7 – Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner

 Aesthetic nurse practitioners specialize in providing patients or clients with a number of treatments clinical procedures that revolve around cosmetic changes to someone’s appearance. Some typical treatments performed by these professionals include botox injections and laser treatments.

The majority of aesthetic nurse practitioners work in private clinics, treatment centers, or spas. As opposed to many other nurse practitioners and medical specialties, aesthetic nurse practitioners typically work within normal business hours, potentially allowing for a more significant amount of work/life balance.

8 – Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner

 Women’s health nurse practitioners specialize in providing women with care at various stages of their lives. Like midwives, these professionals may provide pregnancy-related pre-natal and post-natal care.

Other areas that women’s health nurse practitioners may work in include gynecological and menopausal care, both diagnosing patients and providing them with strategies to manage their ailments. These professionals are trained to be sensitive to the needs of the women that they treat and have an advanced social perspective.

9 – Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

 Neonatal nurse practitioners specialize in providing care to infants who are suffering from a range of ailments, diseases, and infections. Some common ailments these professionals treat include heart abnormalities and infections in infants.

In addition to providing care to infants, neonatal nurse practitioners will also help educate parents on how to best care for their infants depending on their various needs. Typically, neonatal nurse practitioners work in specific neonatal-oriented care units or emergency rooms.

10 – Infectious Disease

 Infectious disease nurse practitioners specialize in treating and helping patients manage infectious diseases. In some cases, their work may revolve around helping prevent certain infectious diseases that certain patients may be more vulnerable to.

Some common illnesses that infectious disease nurse practitioners specialize in treating include Lyme disease and HIV. While many work in healthcare environments and provide healthcare to patients, some of these professionals work to inform healthcare policy by providing their expert opinion.

With a Bachelor’s in Health Science along with an MBA, Sarah Daren has a wealth of knowledge within both the health and business sectors. Her expertise in scaling and identifying ways tech can improve the lives of others has led Sarah to be a consultant for a number of startup businesses, most prominently in the wellness industry, wearable technology and health education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life with a focus on making America a healthier and safer place for future generations to come.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.


Searching for Medical Jobs: Going Where the Money Is

Despite the modern workforce wanting more than just good pay and benefits, there is no getting around the fact that people want to be paid what they feel they are worth. Healthcare workers are not an exception to the rule. It is with that in mind that looking at the top job markets for healthcare workers gets interesting. Some markets definitely pay more than others.

 Becker’s Hospital Review recently released a list of the highest paying job markets for healthcare workers in the U.S., based on data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS). Most of what the data shows isn’t surprising. But there are a few hidden gems in the numbers.

 It is reasonable to assume that job seekers on the hunt for medical jobs might consider salary and benefits first. After that, they might look at things like location and work environment. Moreover, it could be that the majority of American workers do not necessarily want to pick up and move just to make more money.

 Top Locations for Nurses

 The first category examined by Becker’s was registered nurses (RNs). We already know that RNs are in high demand across the country. But where do they earn the most money? Apparently, it’s in California. All the top spots on the Becker’s list are found in the Golden State. Here they are:

  •  San Jose – $155,230
  • San Francisco – $151,640
  • Vallejo-Fairfield – $146,360
  • Santa Rosa – $141,440
  • Napa – $139,680.

 California seems like the place to be if you are a registered nurse hoping to maximize your paycheck. That’s curious, considering that supply and demand heavily influences salary and benefits. What is it about California that appears to make it more difficult to recruit registered nurses there?

 Advanced Practice Nurses

 Becker’s Hospital Review took the approach of dividing advanced practice nurses into two categories: nurse practitioners and physician assistants. That could be due to the fact that the top paying locations for both are different. NPs are paid most in four of the same five cities listed in the RN category. For the fifth city, just remove Santa Rosa and insert Yuba City. San Jose keeps the top spot at $197,870.

 PAs apparently make the most in the joint cities of Portsmouth, NH and Portsmouth, ME. There, they earn roughly $167,240. The remaining four of the top five cities for PAs are:

  •  Panama City, FL – $165,000
  • San Francisco – $164,150
  • San Jose – $163,720
  • Vallejo-Fairfield, CA – $162,030.
  •  California still commands three of the top five spots for physician assistants. So far, the Golden State appears to be the destination of choice for high paying medical jobs.

 Top Locations for Pharmacists

 Last on the list for Becker’s are pharmacists. If you are guessing that California jobs pay the most, you are spot on. Here are the numbers:

  •  San Jose – $168,640
  • San Francisco – $163,840
  • Santa Rosa – $158,420
  • Vallejo-Fairfield – $156,850
  • Santa Cruz – $152,770.

 It is clear that medical jobs pay extremely well in California. We just don’t quite know why. We cannot discount supply and demand but getting a clear picture would also require looking at things like median income, cost of living, and so forth. Just because healthcare workers make more money in California doesn’t mean they enjoy a higher standard of living. Things cost more on the West coast as well.

 At any rate, if you are in the hunt for medical jobs, California has plenty to offer. So do most other states. Take a good look around our job board and see what you can find. With so many jobs available in nearly every healthcare sector, you’re bound to find something that suits you.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Healthcare Jobs at the Mall? Yes, It’s a Thing!

Could your search for healthcare jobs lead you to a new position at the mall? Absolutely. As healthcare systems and medical groups are looking for ways to expand without putting a ton of money into new buildings, they are finding the mall environment quite attractive. Malls all over the country are being transformed into mixed-use facilities that include medical facilities of all stripes.

 Vanderbilt University Medical Center has already successfully converted open space at one Nashville mall into multiple clinics. Now they have their eyes set on the Hickory Hollow Mall in the city’s southeast district. The mall offers more than 1 million square feet of easily flexible space, space that could be utilized by a health clinic just as easily as a clothing boutique.

 Saving the Dying Mall

 America’s shopping malls became the place to see and be seen when they first emerged in the 1970s. Throughout the eighties and into the nineties, shopping mall owners enjoyed strong revenue and plenty of growth. But then, for whatever reason, the mall began dying out. An already struggling business model took a big hit from the COVID pandemic.

 These days, owners are looking for every possible way to save the dying mall. Mixed-use projects are one way to do that. Furthermore, inviting medical facilities to set up shop in empty mall space is a win-win for multiple reasons. Property owners benefit by signing new tenants. Medical facilities benefit from two things malls offer in spades: floor space and parking.

 Shopping malls are known for their wide-open spaces, especially in anchor stores. Turning a former department store into a surgical center is just one example. The owner of a medical center walks in and has hundreds of thousands of square feet ready to be converted into surgical suites. Outside is a vast ocean of parking space that offers patients easy access.

 The Possibilities Are Endless

 If this new mixed-use model catches on with medical groups, the possibilities could be endless. From primary care clinics to remote healthcare screening solutions, nothing is off the table. That means plenty of healthcare jobs in spaces that used to be occupied by retail workers hawking everything from bedsheets to jeans.

 Turning vacant mall space into medical space is the real estate equivalent of repurposing. It is a fantastic idea whose time has come. Think about it. How much land was cleared to build that huge mall that now sits nearly empty? It doesn’t make sense to tear the structure down and start over again. So why not re-purpose it?

 Malls are perfect for redevelopment because they are essentially skeletons of flexible space. Malls are architectural shells. You keep the perimeter walls and roof intact while inside, the space is flexible enough to accommodate just about anything. Malls are designed to be that way.

 Mixing Medical with Retail

 Even more intriguing is the concept of mixing medical with retail. One group of workers goes to the mall in search of retail jobs. Another group seeks out medical jobs. While they are all working their typical 9-to-5s, patients and customers become one and the same. They see their doctors first thing in the morning, then head down the walkway to pick up a cup of coffee before going shopping. It is a marriage made in heaven.

 Your next search for healthcare jobs may very well have you looking at mall employment. You might not be staffing the cash register at a retail shop, but you could be offering primary healthcare services in a clinic right next door. It is the wave of the future.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

Kansas Becomes 26th State to Loosen NP Practice Restrictions

Nurse practitioner jobs in Kansas now offer a bit more freedom thanks to a bill recently signed into law by Governor Laura Kelly. The bill eliminates the need for direct supervision among nurse practitioners looking to provide the primary care they are trained and licensed to perform. Kansas is the 26th state to make the change. Two U.S. territories and the District of Columbia have also given greater practice authority to NPs.

 Will the remaining twenty-four states follow suit? That’s hard to say. A similar bill was defeated in Colorado in early 2022. In other states, legislators are not even having the discussion. Whether or not to sever the supervisory relationship between physicians and nurse practitioners is by no means settled.

 Independent Primary Care

 Prior to the new law, Kansas nurse practitioners were allowed to offer primary care under the supervision of a physician. An NP could work in the supervising doctor’s office or, with a written agreement in place, offer care in a separate facility. In either case, the NP’s scope and practice remained subject to doctor supervision.

 Such restrictive scope and practice laws have been common in the U.S. for decades. However, the COVID pandemic made it clear that NPs and their physician assistant counterparts are more than capable of providing quality primary care without being tethered to a physician. Perhaps that’s why just over half the states have since loosened their restrictions.

 The most intriguing aspect of eliminating direct supervision is its potential impact on nurse practitioner jobs. How will NPs choose to practice in states that don’t require it?

 Retail Primary Care

 A recent Forbes article by Senior contributor Bruce Japsen briefly mentioned the proliferation of retail healthcare clinics operated by well-known companies like CVS. The retail health clinic is nothing new, but it has gained widespread attention thanks to the pandemic. Such clinics are prime candidates for independent nurse practitioners.

 Japsen suggests that patients could be willing to seek primary care from a nurse practitioner in a retail clinic if that meant avoiding crowded doctors’ offices and long waits in the waiting room. It is hard to argue his point. Anyone who has sat waiting an hour or more for the doctor, only to be given 10 minutes of their time, might welcome the opportunity to walk into a retail clinic, see the NP, and be out the door in under 30 minutes.

 Of course, not all retail clinics get patients in and out as quickly. But the advantage of the retail model is that nurse practitioners are not bound by tight scheduling. They can see fewer patients in a day and, as a result, spend more time with each patient.

 Not Everyone on Board

 It is clear that not everyone is on board with the idea of loosening restrictions on nurse practitioner jobs. There are doctors and healthcare groups who don’t feel as though NPs have enough training to work independently. There are also patients who just do not feel comfortable visiting with an NP – especially if a doctor is available.

 Efforts to prevent states from cutting direct ties between physicians and nurse practitioners is to be expected. Healthcare is a very touchy subject for obvious reasons. Therefore, wide differences of opinion are part of any debate. Furthermore, such differences are not always worked out as evidenced by the fact that there are still twenty-four states that require physician supervision of nurse practitioners in primary care settings.

 Such supervision is no longer necessary in Kansas. With the new law in place, Kansas joins twenty-five other states in allowing nurse petitioners to practice independently.

by Tim Rush (CEO HSI, LLC)

Where NP, PA, & CRNA Salaries Are Highest & Lowest

Advanced practice roles are typically known to be well-paying, but where are NPs, PAs, and CRNAs making the most? The least? Find out here.

Advanced practice roles are typically known to be well-paying, often ranking high on lists of “Best Paying Jobs” both within and outside of healthcare.

This should not be surprising, considering nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and certified registered nurse anesthetists are highly-skilled, in-demand healthcare workers. However, where they are paid the highest and the lowest salaries may surprise you.

Below are the 10 states where NPs, PAs, and CRNAs make the most and the least, on average, according to 2020 salary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Nurse Practitioners – Highest Paying States

  1. California – $145,970
  2. New Jersey – $130,890
  3. Washington – $126,480
  4. New York – $126,440
  5. Massachusetts – $126,050
  6. Nevada – $119,890
  7. Minnesota – $118,900
  8. Wyoming – $118,810
  9. Hawaii – $118,780
  10. Oregon – $118,600

Nurse Practitioners – Lowest Paying States

  1. Tennessee – $99,370
  2. Alabama – $99,790
  3. Florida – $101,060
  4. South Carolina – $101,190
  5. Kentucky – $102,460
  6. South Dakota – $103,080
  7. Kansas – $104,530
  8. West Virginia – $105,220
  9. Ohio – $105,630
  10. Arkansas – $106,210

Physician Assistants – Highest Paying States

  1. Alaska – $150,430
  2. Connecticut – $146,110
  3. Rhode Island – $135,800
  4. California – $135,180
  5. Nevada – $134,710
  6. New Jersey – $131,210
  7. Washington – $129,910
  8. Vermont – $128,050
  9. New York – $126,370
  10. New Hampshire – $124,080

Physician Assistants – Lowest Paying States

  1. Kentucky – $79,390
  2. Mississippi – $85,380
  3. Alabama – $88,500
  4. Louisiana – $93,770
  5. Missouri – $94,020
  6. Tennessee – $101,640
  7. Arkansas – $101,740
  8. Indiana – $102,030
  9. South Carolina – $103,150
  10. Georgia – $104,230

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists – Highest Paying States

  1. Oregon – $236,540
  2. Wisconsin – $231,520
  3. Wyoming – $231,250
  4. Nevada – $223,680
  5. Connecticut – $217,360
  6. New York – $217,050
  7. Montana – $216,420
  8. Minnesota – $216,050
  9. New Jersey – $207,500
  10. California – $205,360

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists – Lowest Paying States

  1. Utah – $127,130
  2. Idaho – $156,250
  3. Louisiana – $161,310
  4. Kentucky – $163,700
  5. New Mexico – $164,980
  6. Arkansas – $167,030
  7. Kansas – $167,700
  8. Indiana – $169,620
  9. Alabama – $170,560
  10. Tennessee – $171,020

Ready to start your search for a higher paying advanced practice job? Click here.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

This Advanced Practice Job Is the “Best Job” in America

Despite times being incredibly taxing for those working in healthcare, somehow, this advanced practice role still came out on top. See what it is here.

Physician Assistants, you’re the best—quite literally. You have the #1 Best Job in America, according to the new rankings released by U.S. News & World Report.

Despite times being incredibly taxing for those working in healthcare, given the unprecedented global pandemic healthcare professionals have had to grapple with on a daily basis, somehow, you still came out on top.

Jobs were awarded an overall score, which was based on a methodology that included measuring salary, the job market, future growth, stress, and work-life balance. Physician Assistants earned a perfect 10 out of 10 points for the job market portion, and future growth looks promising, with an 8 out of 10 score being recorded. When you add in a salary score of 8.4 out of 10, a stress score of 4 out of 10, and a work-life balance score of 8 out of 10, it’s easy to see why the position ranked so high. All in all, Physician Assistants scored a whopping 8.3 out of a possible 10 points, overall, earning them the top spot.

The position, which also topped the lists for Best Health Care Jobs and Best STEM Jobs, ranked higher than not only their fellow advanced practitioners—Nurse Practitioners (#3) and Nurse Anesthetists (#39)—it also outranked Physicians (#5) and Registered Nurses (#37), two professions that have received the bulk of the general public’s praise and admiration over the last year.

How do you feel about the rankings? Does your job seem like it’s the “best”? Tell us in the comments below.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

15 Holiday Wish List Must-Haves for Advanced Practitioners

No matter what you find yourself celebrating this December, here are 15 things advanced practitioners should add to their holiday wish lists.

Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Yule, Solstice, or just the end of 2020—no matter what you find yourself celebrating this December, here are 15 things advanced practitioners should add to their holiday wish lists. Or just snag for themselves, because everyone deserves a treat every now and then—especially this year. From ultra-practical antimicrobial scrubs to a fancy coffee maker to help fuel you when you are at your most exhausted, there is something for everyone on this list.

1. The Gift of Mental Wellness via a TalkSpace Gift Card, $79.00+

2. This Light Blocking Sleep Mask to Help You Recharge, Day or Night, $12.99

3. A UV Light Phone Sanitizer, Because Germs, $119.95

4. Some PPE (Because Can You Really Have Enough PPE?), $79.00

5. This Fancy Coffee Maker, $199.99

6. And an Insulated Cup to Keep Your Fancy Coffee Piping Hot, $34.99

7. Some Extra Cozy Antimicrobial Scrub Pants

Women’s, $32.98+

Men’s, $37.98+

9. A Trusty Stethoscope, $98.99+

10. This Insanely Useful Thing That Makes Cooking a Breeze, Even after Your Longest Day, $59.98+

11. Some Stress Relief In A Jar, $15.18

12. A Neck/Back/Shoulder/Everywhere Else That Hurts Deep Tissue Massager, $39.99

13. TLC for Your Hands after Washing Them Vigorously All Year Long, $14.99

14. An Efficient (But Effective) Gratitude Journal, $22.90

15. This Cute & Comfy T-shirt, $14.90+

Please note: receives no compensation for recommending these items and makes no warranties regarding their safety. Items listed above should be evaluated individually for potential risks and hazards.