Nurse practitioners most recruited providers, survey finds

Nurse practitioners were the most recruited providers among physicians and advanced practitioners, according to a new report by search firm Merritt Hawkins.

This marks the first time in the report's 27-year history that physicians did not hold the top spot. For the past 14 years alone, family physicians were the most recruited position, Merritt Hawkins said.

"COVID-19 and other market forces are changing the dynamics of physician and advanced practitioner recruiting," Tom Florence, president of Merritt Hawkins, said in a statement. "NPs are coming into their own in a market that puts a premium on easy access to care and cost containment."

Nurse practitioners are in demand to staff urgent care centers and outpatient clinics, as well to provide telemedicine services, Florence said.

The reported noted that more patients, often those who are younger, are choosing alternatives to the traditional primary-care setting, which is also softening demand for primary-care physicians, who were the second most recruited providers according to the report.

"Primary-care physicians are still a vital part of team-based care and will be increasingly responsible for coordinating the care of older patients with multiple chronic conditions," Florence said. "But the recruiting frenzy in primary care is over."

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