Merritt Hawkins Report: Nurse Practitioners Top Most Recruited Provider List | Company


DALLAS – (BUSINESS WIRE) – August 9, 2021–

Nurse Practitioners topped the list of Most Recruited Providers in the annual Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruitment Trends report produced by Merritt Hawkins, a leading medical research firm and an AMN Healthcare company.

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The 2021 Review of incentives for recruiting advanced physicians and practitioners indicates that in a 12 month period, Merritt Hawkins conducted more nurse practitioner (NP) research assignments than any other type of provider. In the previous 27 years, the report was carried out, doctors occupied the first place. For the past 14 years, the number one spot has been held by family physicians.

“COVID-19 and other forces are changing the dynamics of recruiting advanced physicians and practitioners,” said Tom Florence, president of Merritt Hawkins. “IPs take on their full meaning in a market that favors easy access to care and cost control. “

According to Florence, NPs are being used to staff an increasing number of emergency care centers and outpatient clinics that provide convenient access to care. They are also recruited to provide telehealth services that provide direct access to caregivers. Younger patients, in particular, are forgoing traditional primary care office visits in favor of more convenient settings, the Merritt Hawkins report says, slowing demand for primary care physicians.

“Primary care physicians are still an essential part of team care and will increasingly be responsible for coordinating the care of elderly patients with multiple chronic conditions,” said Florence. “But the frenzy of primary care recruiting is over.”

The elderly are the source of the need for specialists

While family physicians were second on Merritt Hawkins’ list of most recruited providers, primary care physicians accounted for just 18% of the firm’s 12-month research assignments, up from 20% the previous year and 22% two years ago. In contrast, medical specialists accounted for 64% of the firm’s 12-month research assignments, while advanced practitioners, including NPs, physician assistants (PAs) and certified nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) accounted for 18%, compared with 13% the previous year.

With more than 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day, a growing number of elderly patients require specialist services to treat aging organ systems, bones and brains. Specialists, on average, are older than primary care doctors and many are on the verge of retirement, according to Florence, limiting supply. Additionally, while NPs and PAs can perform many of the tasks of primary care physicians, they cannot perform many of the complex procedures performed by specialists. It is for these reasons that the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), in its report of June 2021 The complexities of physician supply and demand, predicted a shortage of up to 48,000 primary care physicians by 2034, but an even greater shortage of over 77,000 specialist physicians.

COVID-19 has suppressed demand for doctors

Merritt Hawkins’ report says COVID-19 had a strong inhibitory effect on demand for doctors. The number of research engagements led by Merritt Hawkins fell 25% year over year as many hospitals, medical groups and other health care facilities shut down and lost revenue. Nonetheless, the number of IP research engagements conducted by the firm has increased year over year, signaling strong demand for these providers.

The drop in demand for doctors is likely to be temporary, says Merritt Hawkins’ report. The various underlying dynamics that drive supply and demand for physicians remain in place, including a growing and aging population, a limited supply of newly trained physicians, and an aging physician workforce. COVID-19 will not permanently change these market conditions, and demand for doctors is already rebounding, according to Florence.

Lower starting wages

Due to declining demand, the starting salaries shown in the report have declined for many types of claimants. However, PIs and MAs were the exception. The average starting salary for NPs, as shown in the report, was $ 140,000, a 12% increase year over year, while the average starting salary for PAs was 128 $ 000, an increase of 14%. The highest average starting salary for physicians, as noted in the report, was $ 611,000 for interventional cardiologists, while the lowest was $ 236,000 for pediatricians.

More information on physician and advanced practitioner compensation and recruiting trends, and a copy of Merritt Hawkins 2021 Review of incentives for recruiting advanced physicians and practitioners, can be viewed at

About Merritt Hawkins

Merritt Hawkins is the largest physician consulting and research firm in the United States and is an AMN Healthcare (NYSE: AMN) company. More information on Merritt Hawkins is available at

About AMN Santé

AMN Healthcare is the leader and innovator of global talent management solutions for healthcare organizations across the country. The Company provides access to the most comprehensive network of quality healthcare professionals through its innovative recruitment strategies and the breadth of its career opportunities. Using its knowledge and expertise, AMN Healthcare helps providers optimize their workforce to successfully reduce complexity, increase efficiency and improve patient outcomes. AMN’s global talent management solutions include managed service programs, clinical and interim healthcare leaders, temporary staff, executive search solutions, vendor management systems, process outsourcing recruitment, predictive modeling, language interpretation services, revenue cycle solutions, accreditations and other services. Customers include acute care hospitals, community health centers and clinics, medical practice groups, retail and emergency care centers, home health facilities, schools and many more health facilities. AMN Healthcare is committed to fostering and maintaining a diverse team that reflects the communities we serve. Our commitment to including many different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives enables our innovation and leadership in the healthcare industry. For more information about AMN Healthcare, visit

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CONTACT: Phillip Miller

Merritt Hawkins / AMN Health

(469) 524-1420



SOURCE: Merritt Hawkins

Copyright Business Wire 2021.

PUB: 09.08.2021 09: 00 / DISC: 09.08.2021 09:02

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