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10 Career Paths for Advanced Practice Providers

Jackson Physician Search
January 11, 2024

According to the U.S. News & World Report’s list of 2024’s Best 100 Jobs, Nurse Practioner held the top spot, and Physician Assistant came in at number five. This list, published annually, names the best jobs based on a number of factors, including income potential, stress level, and demand. It’s no surprise that Advanced Practice Providers consistently top the list. After all, as the physician shortage worsens, the healthcare system continues to lean heavily on advanced practice providers, creating more demand, more opportunity, and increasing compensation.

According to a 2023 MGMA STAT poll, 65% of medical practices planned to add at least one new advanced practice provider job during 2023. Opportunity certainly abounds, and Advanced Practice Providers (APPs) have more career options than ever, from clinical practice and hospital-based roles to academic and consulting opportunities. Keep reading for an overview of possible advanced practice provider career paths:

1. Clinical Practice

As demand for care increases, advanced practice providers are seeing more and more patients. A study published by BMJ last year and referenced in an article for Harvard Medical School found a quarter of medical visits in the U.S. were delivered by advanced practice providers. This percentage varied based on the type of visit, with primary care and mental health visits more likely to be delivered by APPs than visits for specialty care. That said, advanced practice providers can be found in both primary care and specialty clinics. In addition to primary care, APPs can specialize in areas such as cardiology, dermatology, gastroenterology, surgery, and more.

2. Hospital-Based Roles

APPs can work in hospitals, managing patients and collaborating with physicians and other healthcare professionals in a team-based approach. Some APPs specialize in surgical care, assisting surgeons in the operating room and managing patient care before and after surgical procedures.

3. Education and Training

APPs can be found in academic roles, teaching and mentoring in nursing or physician assistant programs, and contributing to the education of future healthcare professionals. APPs may also work to develop and deliver curricula for continuing education programs for practicing advanced practice providers.

4. Leadership and Administration

Advanced practice providers can assume leadership roles within healthcare organizations, managing teams of healthcare professionals and contributing to developing clinical policies and procedures. Those with exceptional leadership skills and a good sense of business may choose to work in healthcare administration, overseeing departments, managing budgets, and participating in strategic planning.

5. Telehealth and Remote Care

Telehealth continues to be a popular option with patients around the country. Organizations that are equipped to offer telehealth appointments may leverage APPs to deliver healthcare services remotely, monitor chronic conditions, and offer follow-up care. Depending on licensure, telemedicine companies may hire APPs to provide on-demand healthcare services to patients across geographical locations. 

Though advanced practice providers suffer burnout at lower rates than physicians, the stress of juggling patients and administrative burdens can cause some to seek alternative APP careers such as those listed below:

6. Healthcare Consulting

Experienced advanced practice providers can leverage their clinical expertise to advise healthcare organizations on operational efficiency, quality improvement, and patient-centered care strategies. They may also find consulting opportunities with healthcare insurers, vendors, or advocacy groups where their clinical expertise may be beneficial.

7. Medical Writing and Communication

APPs can transition into medical writing, contributing to healthcare publications, journals, and websites on a variety of healthcare topics that provide accurate health information to the public. APPs may also find writing opportunities with pharmaceutical or medical companies developing content for marketing materials, regulatory documents, or medical education and training materials.

8. Medical Sales

Pharmaceutical, medical device, and medical supply companies may be willing to give APPs opportunities in sales. These advanced practice providers work directly with physicians to educate and train them on the benefits of using their products and/or how to use them effectively.

9. Wellness and Coaching

Transitioning into health coaching roles allows APPs to guide individuals toward healthier lifestyles, emphasizing preventative care and holistic well-being. APPs can also work with organizations to design and implement employee wellness initiatives, addressing burnout on a broader scale.

10. Research and Clinical Trials

Advanced practice providers may find opportunities in research and development, coordinating studies, managing data, and collaborating with interdisciplinary teams to develop or enhance a company’s products.

Advanced practice provider careers have evolved and diversified over the years, offering a range of opportunities. Whether in clinical practice, education, leadership, research, or a corporate setting, APPs continue to contribute significantly to the ever-changing landscape of healthcare. 

If you are searching for an advanced practice provider job, the recruitment team at Jackson Physician Search can help you identify the opportunity that best meets your needs. Reach out today or start searching for APP jobs online now.

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