I read a lot on nurse practitioner specific message boards and groups and talk with other nurse practitioners via messenger and over email on a daily basis (more like an hourly basis anymore). One thing that is a common and routine topic of conversation is MARKET SATURATION. Any nurse practitioner out there knows the market is becoming more and more saturated with new graduate nurse practitioners. If you are not aware of this, you need to get your head out of the sand.
I wrote an extensive article about nurse practitioner market saturation HERE 2 years ago. Read that if you haven’t. Well, unfortunately, it looks like the situation is getting worse…
It has become an almost daily occurrence over on the Facebook groups where you hear about a poor nurse practitioner that simply cannot find a job. If they do, they are being totally taken advantage of by SHARKS and given an insulting salary. This compounds the problem because as more nurse practitioners are taking lower salaries out of desperation, it just waters down our profession. It waters down our salaries. It waters down our credibility.
Salaries have gone DOWN in many areas of the country, even in the face of inflation. If they haven’t gone down, then they have stayed the same. If you have been fortunate enough to receive regular raises, then good for you, you have a solid employer and you better stay with them (unless you want to start a practice of course). But for the majority of nurse practitioners, salaries are not moving, even though we are seeing more patients, yet healthcare administrator salaries are at all time highs…
Regardless, the problem is there, and it is not going ANYWHERE, if anything, it will worsen.
I hear time and time again that we should “band together” and “go to our credentialing agencies and demand change”, “go to our boards and demand more stringent licensing requirements”, “demand higher admissions standards for graduate school entry”, and so forth and so forth…
This just falls on deaf ears.
No one is actively trying to change anything… Even if we did band together in the thousands and demand change, I fear nothing would even happen. Increased enrollment, credentialing, and licensing are good for the pocketbooks of schools, credentialing agencies, and boards of nursing. It really is a damn shame.
So, instead of trying to find ways to DECREASE market saturation, you just need to accept the fact that it is happening. There is VERY LITTLE you can do about it. It really is not worth your energy. That energy should be harnessed for more positive outcome producing activities in your life. And that is what thousands of nurse practitioner entrepreneurs out there are doing!
Accepting reality for what it is will set you free. It is the fastest way to move forward in your life. The world will keep spinning regardless of what you do or what you don’t like. The only thing you have control over is your life.
So, instead of worrying and complaining about the nature of our profession, worry about your own circumstances. This will IMPROVE your life. It will allow you to focus on the processes necessary to build a life where you live on YOUR terms. Trying to change admission standards for schools will not impact your life in any significant way. Instead, focusing on how you are going to build a financially independent life WILL positively impact the life of your family.
This is a short article. I just wanted my nurse practitioner sisters and brothers to understand that the reality of the situation is what it is. Focus on YOUR practice. Focus on the lives of YOUR patients and community. Focus on YOUR career and financial health. THIS is what will produce positive results for the people around you. THIS is how YOU can change the small world around you and at the end of the day, that is what really matters.