Job Outlook for Nurse Practitioners

nurse standing at bedside with child patient

Choosing a specialty in nursing can be mind-boggling when so many great opportunities are at hand. When making this critical decision, it is important to understand all key dynamics of the job, and most importantly the job outlook.

Nurse practitioners today serve as primary members of the health care industry, with prominent roles in patient care and advocacy. With that in mind, many aspiring nurses consider a career as a nurse practitioner. One of the most efficient ways to begin your path toward becoming a nurse practitioner might be through Marquette University’s Second Degree Direct Entry Master of Science in Nursing program, which delivers an innovative, high-quality curriculum over the course of 19-21 months.

After completing a DE-MSN program, graduates can then pursue further education through a post-master’s certificate program to become a nurse practitioner.

However, it is important to consider logistics before changing careers. One of the most relevant questions you should ask is, what is the job outlook for nurse practitioners?

The Nurse Practitioner Job Outlook Is Positive

The overall job outlook for nurse practitioners is excellent. Job opportunities are currently extensive, both in inner cities and rural areas alike. The nurse practitioner profession is experiencing a huge increase in job outlook. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for nurse practitioners includes a 40% growth rate by 2031. This means that 118,600 jobs will need to be filled in this time.

Aside from the incredible job outlook, nurse practitioners tend to enjoy a high level of autonomy. high salaries which correspond with their importance to modern patient care, with the median pay for the position being reported by U.S. News & World Report as $111,680.

As you will find, when searching for a job as a nurse practitioner, the opportunities are practically endless. Nurse practitioners have a wide range of options when choosing an area of study. Likewise, nurse practitioners can choose to pursue any number of separate working environments. From hospitals and clinics to colleges or nursing homes, nurse practitioners can shape their careers in the direction they choose.

Student at desk studying with laptop

Working Conditions

As explored above, nurse practitioners can work in any number of environments, including their own private practices. Because it takes an advanced degree to become a nurse practitioner, either master’s or doctorate (DNP or PhD), nurse practitioners are highly qualified to provide an array of health care services to patients, and practice with a high level of autonomy across multiple practice areas. This can include:

  • Conducting physical examinations and evaluations
  • Diagnosing and managing chronic and acute illnesses
  • Working with patients and families to achieve their individual health goals
  • Performing special procedures
  • Managing patient medications and treatment plans
  • Order, interpret and respond to blood work, x-rays and other diagnostic tests
  • Rapidly respond to patient care situations and make quick decisions about patient care

While taking on this array of responsibilities, the work schedules of a nurse practitioner may vary. Some schedules may resemble a “typical” 9-5 workweek or regular 12-hour hospital shifts. Others may be on-call during nights, weekends, and holidays. Some nurse practitioners work part-time, some enjoy travel positions, while others work per diem or in needed positions. Because of the demand for nurse practitioners and the vast array of career options, you can choose a position which suits your preferred schedule.

Job Gratification

According to U.S. News and World Report, the nurse practitioner career (as of 2022) is ranked No. 1 in best healthcare jobs and No. 2 in the best 100 jobs. This is because overall, nurse practitioners have a high rate of job satisfaction. However, it does take an individual with certain attributes to become a nurse practitioner. Employers are seeking special qualities in prospective nurse practitioners above being excellent critical thinkers, able to make sound clinical judgment, and capable of working with a high level of autonomy. Some of these qualities may include:

  • Communication
  • Patience
  • Encouragement
  • Empathy
  • Understanding
  • Compassion

The nurse practitioner job outlook remains promising. At Marquette University, we examine whether prospective students fit these qualities listed above, and provide the education and support for students to become excellent practicing clinicians. Our admissions advisers are happy to answer any challenging questions you may have about the program. They understand that you live a busy lifestyle yet want to further yourself for the better. Through excellence, leadership, and service, Marquette University is here to help you aim higher.

student checking heart rate on mannequin

Career Options

As a nurse practitioner, you will also have a variety of career options from which to choose. Some of the most common specialties nurse practitioners enter include:

  • Adult-gerontology nurse practitioner (AGNP)
    • Acute care
    • Primary care
  • Pediatric nurse practitioner
    • Acute care
    • Primary care
  • Psychiatric nurse practitioner
  • Family nurse practitioner

As you can see, you’ll also have the option to work in a variety of settings. Whether you prefer working in a hospital or clinic, with the young or the old, you’ll be sure to find a career path that is of interest to you.

How Marquette’s DE-MSN Program Can Help You Become a Nurse Practitioner

Marquette’s Direct Entry MSN program can be completed in 19-21 months and is designed for those who already hold a non-nursing bachelor’s degree and meet other admissions requirements. We also give our students the choice of completing their coursework in a traditional classroom setting or through a hybrid-online curriculum (depending on the location they are enrolled with). After graduating with an MSN degree, students can then take on additional education to become a certified nurse practitioner.

Learn how the Marquette DE-MSN program works and how it provides a solid first step on the path to a rewarding career as a nurse practitioner.

Didactic Nursing Theory Coursework

Nursing theory coursework delivered through Marquette’s DE-MSN program can take one of two formats: on-campus coursework at our main Milwaukee campus, and online-based coursework for those enrolled at our Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin program site location. If you decide on the more traditional route, you will be completing your nursing courses in a classroom on campus. You will have classes on a set schedule and have more face-to-face time spent with your peers and professors.

On the other hand, if you choose the hybrid-online route in Pleasant Prairie, your nursing coursework will be delivered through a virtual classroom with a variety of engaged learning activities available through a dynamic e-learning platform. These learning activities are mostly completed asynchronously, which means that as long as you meet deadlines, you will have more flexibility in your schedule.

Regardless of how you choose to have the material taught to you, your nursing coursework will provide the foundation upon which your labs and clinicals build.

marquette student studying

Skills Labs and Clinical Simulation

Your skills labs will provide the opportunity for you to practice clinical skills in a controlled setting. In your skills labs, you will be performing basic nursing skills, such as IV insertion, physical assessments, monitoring vital signs and beyond. These are done in preparation for your clinicals and simulation.

During clinical simulations, you will get the chance to practice your new skills in simulated clinical scenarios. You will use advanced medical equipment and work with educational aids like high-fidelity manikins and cutting-edge simulation technology including virtual or mixed reality. These will help you to get as close as possible to real-world scenarios like a sudden cardiac arrest. These labs will allow you to build your confidence in a clinical setting, which will help you excel in your clinical courses.

Clinical Courses

Your clinical courses are your chance to synthesize and apply everything you will learn in your nursing coursework and labs under the guidance of excellent practicing clinicians across an array of practice areas.

Marquette University has partnerships with many of the top healthcare facilities in metro Milwaukee, southern Wisconsin, and northern Illinois. While this is not a guarantee, many of our students have received job offers during their clinical rotations. Make sure to put your best foot forward to make a good impression and network. Even if you don’t receive a job offer, making professional connections can only help your career.

Take the First Step Today!

Now that you are aware of the job outlook for nurse practitioners, get started on your journey to becoming one. If you want to learn more about how Marquette can help you reach your goals, contact us today. Our admissions advisers are here to answer any questions you may have about the Direct Entry MSN program and help you get started on your application.