The 5 States With the Most Need for Nurse Practitioners

Last Updated/Verified: Oct 14, 2023

Nurse Practitioners (NPs) play a vital role in the healthcare system, providing high-quality patient care, especially in underserved areas. As the demand for healthcare services continues to grow, certain states across the United States face a pressing need for more NPs to bridge the healthcare gap. In this article, we’ll explore the top five states with the highest need for NPs and the factors contributing to this demand.

1. Tennessee

Tennessee ranks first on the list of states with the highest need for Nurse Practitioners. The Volunteer State is grappling with healthcare disparities in both urban and rural areas. Factors contributing to this demand include a growing aging population, high rates of chronic diseases, and limited access to healthcare services in rural communities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, out of every 1,000 jobs in Tennessee, 4.18 are nurse practitioner positions. NPs in Tennessee play a crucial role in delivering primary care services, especially in medically underserved regions.

2. Mississippi

Mississippi, often cited for its healthcare challenges, takes the second spot on our list. The state faces significant health disparities, including high rates of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. According to the BLS, 3.54 out of 1,000 open job positions are nurse practitioner positions. Additionally, Mississippi has a shortage of primary care physicians, making NPs essential in providing accessible and affordable healthcare services, particularly in rural and underserved communities.

3. Rhode Island

Despite being the country’s smallest state, Rhode Island ranks third in terms of NP demand. As a densely populated state with a high proportion of elderly residents, Rhode Island experiences a growing need for healthcare services. For every 1,000 open job positions, 2.9 are nurse practitioner positions in Rhode Island. NPs in Rhode Island are essential in delivering primary care, managing chronic illnesses, and reducing the strain on the state’s healthcare system.

4. Vermont

Vermont, known for its picturesque landscapes, is fourth on the list of states with a high demand for NPs. The state faces challenges related to its aging population and the prevalence of chronic diseases. According to the BLS, 2.74 out of every 1,000 job positions are nurse practitioner positions. Vermont relies on NPs to provide primary care services, particularly in remote areas where access to healthcare can be limited.

5. Missouri

Missouri rounds out the top five states with the highest need for Nurse Practitioners. The state’s healthcare system faces several challenges, including a shortage of healthcare providers, especially in rural communities. For every 1,000 job positions in Missouri, 2.59 are nurse practitioner positions. NPs in Missouri play a pivotal role in increasing access to healthcare services, improving health outcomes, and addressing the state’s healthcare disparities.

Judy Daniels, MSN, RN, AGPCNP-BC