Study: Most of New York’s Nurse Practitioners Work Upstate, in Specialties, and are Over 50

A new report from the Center for Health Workforce Studies analyzes nurse practitioner resources in the state of New York.

ALBANY, N.Y. (October 12, 2016) -- Fewer nurse practitioners practice per capita in downstate New York compared to upstate, a recent study conducted by the University at Albany’s Center for Health Workforce Studies (CHWS) finds.

In addition, more than 75 percent of certified nurse practitioners (NPs) in New York State are actively practicing as NPs, while another 14 percent work as registered nurses.

The analysis of the nurse practitioner workforce, completed by CHWS and presented in a research brief, is based on responses to a mandatory NP survey received from September 1, 2015 through August 31, 2016. Since NPs must re-certify every three years, this analysis represents approximately one-third of all NPs in New York.

“We found that the state’s NP workforce is mostly home grown," said Robert Martiniano, senior program manager at CHWS. "Nearly 90 percent of active NPs completed their training in New York State, almost 85 percent attended a New York nursing school, and 83 percent graduated from a New York high school. This information can support the development of strategies to recruit NPs from underserved areas and encourage them to practice in their home communities.”

Key findings of the report include:

• Just under a third of active NPs practice in primary care settings in New York State. A higher percentage of the state’s NPs practice in specialty settings, including cardiology, endocrinology, and dermatology, among others.

• More than half of the state’s NPs are 50 years of age or older. There were significant age differences by geographic location, with 46 percent of active NPs downstate aged 50 or older compared to 61 percent upstate.

• The state’s active NPs are less racially/ethnically diverse than the state’s population, especially Hispanics/Latinos. Only 5 percent of active NPs are Hispanic/Latino, substantially less than their presence in the general population (18%).

• More than half of the state’s active NPs work in health centers, clinics, or hospital outpatient settings. They also work in private physician practices (18%) and hospital inpatient/emergency departments (12%).

“Timely information on the supply and distribution of the state’s nurse practitioners is critical for effective health workforce planning. Analysis of data drawn from a required state survey of NPs contributes to a better understanding of this workforce,” said Jean Moore, CHWS director. “There are no other state or national data sources that can provide a comparable level of depth about the NP workforce in New York.”

Moore noted that a more detailed report on the state’s NPs is expected to be released later this year. To view the full research brief, visit the CHWS website.

About the Center for Health Workforce Studies
Established in 1996, CHWS is an academic research organization, based at the School of Public Health, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY). The mission of CHWS is to provide timely, accurate data and conduct policy relevant research about the health workforce. The research conducted by CHWS supports and promotes health workforce planning and policymaking at local, regional, state, and national levels. Today, CHWS is a national leader in the field of health workforce studies, and the only HRSA-sponsored center with a unique focus on the oral health workforce.

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