Celebrating National Nurse Practitioner’s Week: Your Partner in Health, the Nurse Practitioner

National Nurse Practitioner Week is held annually to celebrate these exceptional health care providers. It is also a national week full of advocacy, public awareness and community outreach on the role of Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and how consumers can seek NPs for quality patient-centered care.

Nurse practitioners are registered nurses (RN) with advanced education and training in the diagnosis and management of common medical conditions, including chronic illnesses.  They provide some of the same services as physicians, maintain a close working relationship with physicians, and can serve as a patient’s primary health care provider.

Signature is proud to offer Nurse Practitioner services to skilled nursing centers and other health care providers in a variety of locations.

Here are some facts put out by the AANP- American Association of Nurse Practitioners:

There are more than 222,000 nurse practitioners  licensed in the U.S.

  • An estimated 20,000 new NPs completed their academic programs in 2014-2015
  • 96.2% of NPs have graduate degrees
  • 83.4% of NPs are certified in an area of primary care
  • Nearly three in four NPs are accepting new Medicare patients, and 77.9% are accepting new Medicaid patients
  • 49.9% of NPs hold hospital privileges; 11.3% have long term care privileges
  • 95.8% of NPs prescribe medications, and those in full-time practice write an average of 23 prescriptions per day
  • NPs hold prescriptive privileges, including controlled substances, in all 50 states and D.C.
  • The majority (60.7%) of NPs see three or more patients per hour
  • Malpractice rates remain low; only 1.9% have been named as primary defendant in a malpractice case
  • Nurse practitioners have been in practice an average of 12 years
  • The average age of NPs is 49 years
  • Patients whose primary care providers are NPs have fewer emergency room visits and shorter hospital stays, resulting in lower out-of-pocket costs.


  1. AANP National Nurse Practitioner Database, 2016
  2. Fang, D., Li, Y., Trautman, D.E., & Stauffer, D.C. (2016) 2015-2016 Enrollment and Graduations in Baccalaureate and Graduate Programs in Nursing. Washington DC: AACN
  3. 2016 AANP National Nurse Practitioner Sample Survey