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Primary Care Practitioners Workforce Projections

We study the national-level supply and demand projections for primary care practitioners.

How does this data help?

The data helps policymakers and other stakeholders make decisions about primary care practitioner education, training, and delivery of care.

What do we study about the primary care practitioner workforce?

  • The current number of primary care nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs)
  • The projected number of primary care NPs and PAs
  • Current use of primary care services
  • The projected changes in demand

How do we determine future supply and demand?

We apply current patterns of health care use and delivery to future population demographics.

What are our key findings?

Results in Brief (PDF - 92 KB)

Full Report (PDF - 2 MB)

Figures Slide Presentation (PPTX - 213 KB)

By 2020, for primary care physicians, we project:

  • Demand to grow more rapidly than supply:
    • 8% increase in number to 220,800 FTEs
    • 14% increase in demand to 241,200 FTEs
    • projected shortage of 20,400 FTEs 

By 2020, for primary care NPs and PAs, we project:

  • Primary care NP and PA workforces to grow more than physician supply.
  • Supply of primary care NPs is projected to grow:
    • 30% increase in number to 72,100 FTEs
  • Supply of primary care PAs is projected to grow:
    • 58% increase in demand to 43,900 FTEs
  • Combined demand for NPs and PAs projected to increase by 17%

How to contact us

Ask questions - email us.

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