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Career Outlook: Employment Growth and Salaries for Nurse Practitioners

by South University
April 4, 2017

Nurse practitioners play an essential role in our country’s healthcare system, working in collaboration with physicians or independently to provide primary and specialty care for their patients. If you’re considering pursuing a career as a nurse practitioner or enhancing your existing nursing practice leadership and knowledge, when it comes to both salary and employment growth, the outlook for nurse practitioners is promising!

Employment Growth for Nurse Practitioners

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 2014 to 2024, nurse practitioner employment will grow across the country at a rate of 35%—a rate 5 times the average.

Nurse practitioners can expect particularly high demand in inner cities and rural areas, which are frequently medically underserved by physicians. Growth for the nurse practitioner career is anticipated due to factors that are also increasing demand for healthcare services. First, the number of people with health insurance is growing, and these newly insured individuals will want preventative and primary care providers—a role regularly filled by nurse practitioners. Second, as the large baby-boomer population continues to age, this group will also require increased care from nurse practitioners for chronic and acute conditions.

As of their most recent stats from 2015, the BLS estimates that 136,060 nurse practitioners are working in the United States, with Mississippi, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Tennessee having the highest concentration of nurse practitioner jobs in their state’s population.

Nurse Practitioner Salaries

In May 2015, the BLS reported a median annual wage for nurse practitioners of $98,190, noting that some positions also offer flexible hours, educational benefits, and childcare.

Not picky about where you live? Maybe you’re looking for adventure? In 2015, California, Alaska, and Hawaii reported the highest mean nurse practitioner salaries, each over $114,000, followed closely by Massachusetts and Oregon. Nurse practitioner salaries also vary based on your specialization and the area of the healthcare industry in which you work.

How to Build Your Career as a Nurse Practitioner

Interested in a career as a nurse practitioner? South University offers a master’s degree and postgraduate certificate programs with nurse practitioner specializations, including RN to MSN programs which do not require a BSN for admission. Combining online learning with on-site training, these programs are led by professional nursing instructors who can offer valuable support and mentorship as you develop your skills.

For those already working in nursing practice, South University also offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program designed to help you enhance your clinical nursing practice, inquiry, and leadership skills. Explore our full list of Nursing programs available online and at our campus locations today!


U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2015 - Nurse Practitioners

South University does not guarantee employment of any particular level of compensation following graduation.

South University does not guarantee third-party certification/licensure. Outside agencies control the requirements for taking and passing certification/licensing exams and are subject to change without notice to South University.

Programs, credential levels, technology, and scheduling options vary by school and are subject to change. Not all online programs are available to residents of all U.S. states. Administrative office: South University, 709 Mall Boulevard, Savannah, GA 31406-4805 © 2017 South University. All rights reserved. Our email address is

See for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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The Role of Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioners

by South University
November 30, 2015

As you may already know, nurse practitioners serve as important primary medical care providers for many patients across the United States. Among the various specialties nurse practitioners may have, adult gerontology primary care is one that could increase in importance as the average age of the US population continues to rise. Today, we look at the care and services adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioners offer patients.


An Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP) is a type of a nurse practitioner who specializes in caring for patients from adolescence to adulthood to old age. AGPCNPs provide acute, chronic and preventive healthcare services, coordinating with specialty physicians and other healthcare providers as needed.

On top of diagnosing, examining and treating their patients, Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioners typically offer routine checkups, assessments, immunizations, and one-on-one health counseling and education. In fact, providing education is a large part of their day and these nurse practitioners work closely with their patients to develop and implement healthy lifestyle and disease prevention plans, often involving things like diet, exercise and physical therapy in addition to any prescribed medications. AGPCNPs will also work with a patient's family to make sure family members are as involved and informed as needed to support the patient.

Places of Practice

Although state laws vary regarding scope of practice for nurse practitioners, Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioners in many states may have their own private practice in which they see patients in an office or provide home care or do both. AGPCNP may also work in a range of organizations including:

  • Long-term care and assisted living facilities
  • Healthcare clinics
  • Hospitals
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Nursing homes
  • Correctional centers and other settings with primary care services


All Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioners have achieved licensure and credentialing beyond what is required to work as a registered nurse (RN). To practice, every nurse practitioner must complete a master’s degree program, with many earning additional post graduate certificates and even doctoral degrees. Over the course of their career, nurse practitioners continue to grow and maintain their knowledge of healthcare by completing regular continuing education courses and workshops.

Learn more about Nurse Practitioner Careers

To learn about nurse practitioner programs, careers and opportunities, read more articles about nurse practitioners on our blog or explore our Nursing programs, including those designed to prepare students for careers as Nurse Practitioners.

Programs, credential levels, technology, and scheduling options vary by school and are subject to change. Not all online programs are available to residents of all U.S. states. Administrative office: South University, 709 Mall Boulevard, Savannah, GA 31406-4805 © 2015 South University. All rights reserved. Our email address is

See for program duration, tuition, fees and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

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Summer Brain Foods

by South University
July 10, 2015
Summer Brain Foods

By Erin Black-McIntyre
Communications Analyst - II
South University, Online Programs

It’s summer time and there is an abundance of fresh fruits and veggies to fill your refrigerator. With so many options, how do you choose what to buy? Rather than relying on your taste buds or cravings to make your decision, why not choose options that help to fuel the part of your body needed to function best for school and work, your brain.

These brain foods help you power through, whether you’re studying for finals or finishing one more discussion post before your next family picnic.

Blueberries –These berries pack a punch of delicious flavor in every bite. Whether you prefer your blueberries freshly picked, baked in a pie, or added to a smoothie, they help to protect the brain from oxidative stress. They also help to prevent and even improve memory loss.

Lemons – This fresh, summery fruit is versatile and can be used in so many ways, it’s difficult to find something that it doesn’t go well with. Squeeze over fish or chicken for dinner and add a fresh wedge to your drinking water to add potassium to your system, which in turn helps your brain to operate more clearly. In addition to helping you think more clearly, lemons can help to boost your mood too.

Watermelon – Sometimes there’s nothing better on a hot summer day than a piece of fresh, juicy watermelon. It’s a mouth-watering treat that is rich in vitamins and antioxidants. It’s full of B6, which helps to boost brain power and function. In addition to the vitamins, watermelon is extremely hydrating, which is necessary for your brain, nerves, and body to work properly.

Kale – In the last few years, this green leafy vegetable has become increasingly popular, and for good reason. Among its many benefits to your health, kale is one of the best foods for brain health, as it is loaded with antioxidants such as Vitamin A, C, E and selenium, which are all imperative for brain wellness. Try oven roasting kale to make Kale chips, which are easy to package, take on-the-go, or grab for a snack while studying.

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Nurses, Here's How to Help Others by Helping Yourself

by South University
May 11, 2015

Managing Your Personal Health as a NurseTaking care of the ill and injured can be physically and emotionally demanding. With 12-hour shifts commonplace in healthcare settings, it makes sense that maintaining healthy habits can be very difficult. In honor of National Nurses Week, we focus our attention on the steps you can take to stay healthy throughout your nursing career.

Eat Small Portions and Often

Adopt a grazing approach to eating, since it helps you to maintain your energy levels and avoid hunger pangs while at work. Bringing light, well-balanced meals such as lean meats and raw salads make it easier for you to control your food choices.

Make Healthier Snack Choices

The snacks you select during your working hours can take a toll on your productivity and performance, as well as your waistline. Trail mix, rice cakes and low fat yogurt are smart snack options as they provide an energy boost without the crash-and-burn effect of junk foods.

Work out before Your Shift

Exercising before work is wise as it will boost your energy levels and help you shake off drowsiness. Even just 20 minutes of brisk walking or cycling can heighten your alertness and help you think more clearly. Avoid exercise after work, especially if you are heading to bed after a grueling shift. You might, however, consider gentle exercise such as yoga or Pilates to relax your mind and body.

Keep Your Options Open

If your schedule is too demanding to allow for regular exercise, find ways to incorporate it into your work routine. Workout by climbing the stairs, walking the corridors or jogging outside on your breaks. Exercise during your shift is a good way to reboot your energy levels when fatigue starts to rear its ugly head.

Prioritize Your Sleep

Take measures to create an environment conducive for sleep, since this will improve the quality of your sleep. Use blackout curtains or blinds, and disconnect anything that will disrupt your sleep. A peaceful setting will help coax your body into falling asleep and staying asleep.

You Can Do This!

Long hours can be tough. It is important to acknowledge your need for self-care even when you feel exhausted. By watching your diet, finding time for exercise and sleep, and asking for support from family, friends, and colleagues when you need it, you can strike the right balance between caring for yourself and caring for others. Keep up the hard work, and know that what you do is appreciated by many, including all of us at South University!

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Celebrate National Nurses Week With Us!

by South University
May 5, 2015

Nurses serve as the frontline of the American healthcare system. Registered Nurses administer patients’ medications and treatments, create plans for patient care, help perform diagnostic tests, teach patients and their families how to manage illnesses and injuries and so much more.

Celebrate National Nurses Week With Us!In fact, the roles and responsibilities of these caring and compassionate healthcare providers is rapidly expanding. Advanced practice nurses perform physical examinations, diagnose and treat common illnesses and injuries, manage chronic health problems and prescribe medication.

At South University, we truly admire the hard work and dedication of the students in our nursing programs, our nursing alumni and all of the other nurses who display a steadfast commitment to the patients they help each and every day. It’s an honor to offer educational opportunities to help nurses grow and make a larger impact on their patients, communities and the healthcare industry as a whole.

We’re always excited to observe National Nurses Week, sponsored by the American Nurses Association (ANA), each year from May 6 to May 12. This is a time for us to acknowledge the work of these caregivers and say thank you for everything they do for us throughout the year.

National Nurses Week 2015

The 2015 theme of National Nurses Week, “Ethical Practice. Quality Care.” recognizes the impact ethical nursing practice has on patient outcomes and the quality of care. “All nurses have a critical responsibility to uphold the highest level of quality and ethical standards in their practice to ensure the delivery of superior health care to patients, families and society,” states the ANA. “Ethics is an essential component of everyday nursing practice across all specialties and settings and is inextricably linked to quality care.”

Thank a Nurse

Join in the celebration this National Nurses Week and help us honor the special nurses that have touched your lives. We encourage you — our students, alumni and other community members — to participate in the festivities by recognizing or thanking a nurse on our Facebook page during National Nurses Week (May 6-May 12, 2015).

Nurses—help us honor you by sharing your story, advice and accomplishments today. We want to hear your personal story about what you’ve accomplished and overcome, as well as well as what’s keeping you motivated to pursue your education.

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