One of the main factors in the boom in nursing jobs and growth in nurse practitioner salaries in Texas and around the country can be found in the demographic information released through the federal government. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that by 2030, one in every five people in the United States will be of retirement age. The bureau projects that by 2035, there will be more senior citizens (78 million) than those under 18 (76.4 million).
Those numbers, coupled with modern healthcare and technology that help people live longer, are driving the need for nurses and other healthcare workers. Another factor is that people of all ages are more aware than ever of the positive impact of preventative care, driving up the number of people seeking medical services. All this has created a situation where ambitious nurses who want to earn a master’s degree and become leaders in their field have a wealth of opportunity, especially in Texas.
What Do Nurse Practitioners Do?
Nurse practitioners are nurses who have earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, gained experience and then went on to earn a master’s degree. Graduate school is required to enter the field. Most nurse practitioners choose to work in a specialty area. Two of the most popular are Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Family Nurse Practitioner.
A Pediatric Nurse Practitioner works with expectant mothers during pregnancy and childbirth, as well as providing post-natal care. A Family Nurse Practitioner may handle many of the duties once done by general practice physicians, including examining patients, making diagnosis and setting up treatment plans. They can work under the supervision of a doctor or independently.
Demand and Salary for Nurse Practitioners
The demand for nurse practitioners is higher than the demand in almost every other profession. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) groups nurse practitioner job projection numbers nationwide with nurse-midwives and nurse anesthetists. They project a 31% increase in these jobs nationwide by 2026. The mean annual nurse practitioner salary was $110,030 in May 2018, according to the BLS.
Texas is one of the Top 5 states for nurse practitioner employment, with 12,020 nurse practitioners working in the state, according to the BLS. All the numbers for nurse practitioners are higher in the Lone Star State. For example, the number of nurse practitioners in Texas is expected to increase 43.8% by 2026, according to the BLS-powered Projections Central. Also, the mean annual nurse practitioner salary in Texas was $111,060 in May 2018, higher than the national average.
Becoming a Nurse Practitioner
The high demand for nurse practitioners in Texas is not expected to end anytime soon. According to the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, the demand is especially high in small towns and rural areas that are now underserved by doctors. However, many cities also have a high demand as the population in Texas continues to grow rapidly.
Earning a master’s degree prepares nurses for positions in leadership within the nurse practitioner field. With hybrid programs such as the one offered by Houston Baptist University, it’s never been more convenient for nurses to manage their professional and personal lives while also earning a master’s degree.