Best States for Nurse Practitioners: Where Is the Highest Demand for NPs?

January 21, 2022 , Modified on April 27, 2022 · 0 Min Read

If you're curious about the best states for nurse practitioners, explore this guide and find out where nurse practitioner demand is high.

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Best States for Nurse Practitioners: Where Is the Highest Demand for NPs?
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If you're considering a career as a nurse practitioner (NP), you may wonder about the current demand. The opportunities for NPs continue to increase rapidly across the United States. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks NPs among the top five fastest-growing occupations with the highest projected growth at 52% between 2020-2030.

Read on to learn about the top 10 best states for nurse practitioners.

Top 10 States for NP Job Growth

The tables in this section list the top 10 states for NP job growth from 2018-2028 as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor's Projections Central. The first table provides the number of projected new jobs in each state from 2018-2028, and the second table lists the projected percentage of job growth for those states.

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Top 10 States for Nurse Practitioner Job Growth (2018-2028)*
State *Number of Jobs
1. New York 21,870
2. California 19,700
3. Texas 16,430
4. Florida 15,200
5. Illinois 10,700
6. Tennessee 10,060
7. Ohio 9,620
8. Georgia 8,850
9. Massachusetts 8,550
10. Pennsylvania 8,220
Top 10 States for Nurse Practitioner Job Growth (2018-2028)*
State *% Change
1. Georgia 41.4
2. New York 41.3
3. Florida 36.9
4. Tennessee 34.7
5. Texas 31.9
6. Illinois 31.1
7. California 30.5
8. Pennsylvania 26.5
9. Ohio 24.6
10. Massachusetts 16.2

New York

Projections Central reports a projected 21,870 NP jobs in New York by 2028, with an average of 1,640 new positions added annually from 2018-2028. New York's Department of Labor breaks down the numbers within the top 10 regions.

Top 10 Regions in New York for Nurse Practitioner Job Growth (2018-2028)
Region Number of Jobs
New York City 2,510
Long Island 880
Hudson Valley 660
Finger Lakes 480
Western New York 440
Capital Region 280
Central New York 270
Southern Tier 140
Mohawk Valley 130
North Country 100
Top 10 Regions in New York for Nurse Practitioner Job Growth (2018-2028)
Region % Change
Hudson Valley 44.3%
Central New York 42.2%
Western New York 41.5%
New York City 38.7%
North Country 38.5%
Finger Lakes 37.5%
Capital Region 35.4%
Long Island 34.9%
Mohawk Valley 32.5%
Southern Tier 24.1%

California

Projections Central's data for California points to 19,700 NP jobs by 2028 and 1,390 average annual openings from 2018-2028. The top 10 regional data is pulled from the California Employment Development Department.

Top 10 Regions in California for Nurse Practitioner Job Growth (2018-2028)
Region Number of Jobs
Los Angeles — Long Beach — Glendale 1,040
San Diego-Carlsbad 920
Riverside — San Bernardino — Ontario 460
Oakland — Hayward — Berkeley 450
Fresno 360
Sacramento — Roseville — Arden-Arcade 290
San Francisco — Redwood City — South San Francisco 290
San Jose — Sunnyvale — Santa Clara 220
Anaheim — Santa Ana — Irvine 200
Santa Rosa 100
Top 10 Regions in California for Nurse Practitioner Job Growth (2018-2028)
Region % Change
San Diego — Carlsbad 68.7%
Fresno 64.3%
Santa Rosa 47.6%
Oakland — Hayward — Berkeley 45%
Sacramento — Roseville — Arden-Arcade 34.5%
Los Angeles — Long Beach — Glendale 31.6%
Riverside — San Bernardino — Ontario 29.5%
San Francisco — Redwood City — South San Francisco 26.1%
San Jose — Sunnyvale — Santa Clara 24.4%
Anaheim — Santa Ana — Irvine 21.7%

Texas

According to Projections Central, Texas should see an annual average job increase of 1,170 for a total of 16,430 NP jobs by 2028. These include the Texas Labor Market Information's regional projected openings for 2018-2028.

Top 10 Regions in Texas for Nurse Practitioner Job Growth (2018-2028)
Region Number of Jobs
Gulf Coast 1,065
Alamo 447
Capital Area 199
East Texas 46
North Texas 43
South Texas 41
Heart of Texas 39
West Central 27
Cameron County 25
Golden Crescent 19
Top 10 Regions in Texas for Nurse Practitioner Job Growth (2018-2028)
Region % Change
South Texas 42.7%
Gulf Coast 40.9%
Capital Area 37.4%
Golden Crescent 33.9%
Alamo 32.4%
Cameron County 30.1%
North Texas 26.7%
Heart of Texas 25.3%
West Central 21.4%
East Texas 14.3%

Florida

Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity figures for 2020-2028 contribute to the 15,200 total NP jobs projected by 2028, broken down to an average annual increase of 1,110 openings.

Top 10 Regions in Florida for Nurse Practitioner Job Growth (2020-2028)
Region Number of Jobs
Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties 671
Broward County 552
Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam, and Saint Johns Counties 434
Hillsborough County 431
Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Sumter Counties 338
Pinellas County 331
Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, and Lee Counties 251
Palm Beach County 235
Brevard County 134
Flagler and Volusia Counties 115
Top 10 Regions in Florida for Nurse Practitioner Job Growth (2020-2028)
Region % Change
Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, and Lee Counties 57.6%
Broward County 51.3%
Hillsborough County 49.9%
Pinellas County 49.1%
Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties 45%
Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Sumter Counties 28.9%
Palm Beach County 28%
Brevard County 27.8%
Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam, and Saint Johns Counties 27.6%
Flagler and Volusia Counties 26.1%

Illinois

Projections Central offers projections of 760 average new Illinois NP positions per year between 2018 and 2028, for a total of 10,700 jobs by 2028. Regional projections are provided by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

Top 10 Regions in Illinois for Nurse Practitioner Job Growth (2018-2028)
Region Number of Jobs
Northeast 1,731
Central 142
North Central 126
Northern Stateline 116
East Central 108
Southwestern 99
Southern 92
Northwest 57
Southeastern 41
West Central 38
Top 10 Regions in Illinois for Nurse Practitioner Job Growth (2018-2028)
Region % Change
Northern Stateline 38.8%
Southern 36.1%
East Central 34.2%
Northeast 30.9%
Central 30.3%
Southwestern 30%
Southeastern 29.5%
West Central 29.2%
North Central 28.4%
Northwest 23.6%

Tennessee

According to Projections Central, Tennessee NPs should see an increase of 730 job openings per year from 2018-2028. By 2028, the total number of NP jobs is projected to hit 10,060.

Tennessee's Department of Labor & Workforce Development reports NP data in nine regional areas for 2018-2028.

Top 9 Regions in Tennessee for Nurse Practitioner Job Growth (2018-2028)
Region Number of Jobs
Northern Middle Tennessee 729
East Tennessee 625
Southeast Tennessee 326
Greater Memphis 242
Northwest Tennessee 231
Northeast Tennessee 210
Southern Middle Tennessee 162
Upper Cumberland 135
Southwest Tennessee 67
Top 9 Regions in Tennessee for Nurse Practitioner Job Growth (2018-2028)
Region % Change
Northwest Tennessee 108.9%
East Tennessee 45.6%
Upper Cumberland 39.9%
Southern Middle Tennessee 37.2%
Northern Middle Tennessee 37%
Southeast Tennessee 34.1%
Northeast Tennessee 34%
Southwest Tennessee 27.2%
Greater Memphis 20.2%

Ohio

Ohio breaks down its 2018-2028 labor projections into seven metropolitan statistical areas. NPs can look forward to a total of 9,620 new positions by 2028, with an average annual increase of 650 jobs per year from 2018-2028, as reported by Projections Central.

Top 7 Regions in Ohio for Nurse Practitioner Job Growth (2018-2028)
Region Number of Jobs
Columbus 398
Cincinnati 356
Dayton 156
Akron 125
Toledo 91
Youngstown — Warren — Boardman 59
Canton — Massillon 37
Top 7 Regions in Ohio for Nurse Practitioner Job Growth (2018-2028)
Region % Change
Columbus 30.6%
Toledo 26.7%
Youngstown — Warren — Boardman 24.9%
Cincinnati 24.9%
Dayton 23.3%
Akron 21.6%
Canton — Massillon 18.4%

Georgia

From 2018-2028, Projections Central expects to see an increase of 660 average annual positions for a total of 8,850 NP openings. The Georgia Department of Labor lists top 10 regional data for the same time period.

Top 10 Regions in Georgia for Nurse Practitioner Job Growth (2018-2028)
Region Number of Jobs
Atlanta 495
Cobb County 409
Fulton County 371
Georgia Mountains 203
DeKalb County 198
Coastal Georgia 147
Northeast Georgia 138
West Central Georgia 122
Northwest Georgia 99
Southern Georgia 88
Top 10 Regions in Georgia for Nurse Practitioner Job Growth (2018-2028)
Region % Change
Cobb County 49%
Atlanta 48.9%
Georgia Mountains 48.9%
Northeast Georgia 48.8%
DeKalb County 44.2%
West Central Georgia 43.3%
Coastal Georgia 43.1%
Fulton County 41.8%
Northwest Georgia 38.8%
Southern Georgia 30.7%

Massachusetts

The Department of Unemployment Assistance in Massachusetts provides regional projections from 2018-2028 for the number of new NP positions, but not percentages of change. NPs should see an increase of 540 positions each year during that time frame, and a total of 8,550 jobs by 2028.

Top 10 Regions in Massachusetts for Nurse Practitioner Job Growth (2018-2028)
Region Number of Jobs
Boston 1,280
Metro South/West 790
Central Massachusetts 660
Metro North 570
South Shore 410
North Shore 290
Franklin/Hampshire 250
Lower Merrimack Valley 230
Cape and Islands 160
Greater Lowell 190

Pennsylvania

The Center for Workforce Information & Analysis at Pennsylvania's Department of Labor and Industry reports regional NP job projections data for 2018-2028. Projections Central's figures point to an average of 570 new positions during that time, for a total number of NP jobs of 8,220 by 2028.

Top 10 Regions in Pennsylvania for Nurse Practitioner Job Growth (2018-2028)
Region Number of Jobs
Philadelphia County 220
Three Rivers 220
Montgomery County 150
South Central 150
Lehigh Valley 120
Luzerne — Schuylkill 90
Bucks County 80
Berks County 70
Central 60
Delaware County 60
Top 10 Regions in Pennsylvania for Nurse Practitioner Job Growth (2018-2028)
Region % Change
Berks County 29.2%
Bucks County 25.8%
Central 27.3%
Delaware County 23.1%
Lehigh Valley 30.8%
Luzerne — Schuylkill 34.6%
Montgomery County 29.4%
Philadelphia County 22.7%
South Central 29.4%
Three Rivers 24.7%

FAQs: Nurse Practitioner Demand


Which state has the highest demand for nurse practitioners?

Nurse practitioner demand is the highest in New York, with an average of 1,640 annual openings projected from 2018-2028. This translates into a projected 21,870 NP positions by 2028.

Why are nurse practitioners in such high demand?

A number of factors contribute to the high demand for NPs, including an aging U.S. population experiencing chronic disease, turnover due to retirement, challenges in nursing education and practice during the COVID-19 pandemic, and an overarching nationwide primary care physician shortage.

Is there a shortage of nurse practitioners?

While a nationwide registered nurse shortage continues, a 2020 study found that the NP population grew by more than 100% between 2010 and 2017. In states where NPs enjoy full-practice authority, the NP growth rate is even higher at 133%.

Is being a nurse practitioner a good career?

Highly trained NPs earn competitive salaries that far exceed those of other nurses. They also benefit from a higher level of autonomy in their patient care, especially in states where they have full-practice authority. NPs perform many of the same duties as physicians, without the extended educational and residency requirements, and are seen as the best solution to the country's primary care physician shortage.

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NurseJournal.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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