Three reasons nurse practitioners should consider working in rural areas
The number of Americans living in regions with little or no access to doctors of nursing practice or other primary care providers has reached over 58 million and is continuing to grow.
In the most recent report by The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization focusing on national health issues, Pennsylvania was recorded to have 159 primary care health professional shortage areas (HPSA), with only 64 percent of the need for primary care professionals being met.
In a previous Healthcare Insider Blog post, we discussed the recent technology used to bring medical supplies and increased care to these rural regions, such as the use of medical drones.
However, technology cannot do everything. The need still exists for healthcare professionals to care for those living in these areas.
As a doctor of nursing practice working as a nurse practitioner in HPSA or rural areas, you may face challenges, such as lack of resources or potential for outdated technology. But with those challenges also come great rewards.
Here are three advantages for nurse practitioners who choose to work in rural areas:
- With a smaller patient population you can become more familiar with your patients as well as their medical and personal needs to improve their quality of care.
- You can have the opportunity to receive reimbursement for student loans through Bureau of Health Workforce loan repayment programs such as National Health Service Corps loan repayment program or NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program.
- Helping those in need creates high job satisfaction. A recent Payscale report found that healthcare practitioners are in one of the highest paying and most meaningful job positions, and that those in jobs that help underserved communities reported finding the most meaning in their job. As a rural doctor of nursing practice, you can do both.
Alvernia doctor of nursing practice students have the opportunity to learn more about caring for patients in different healthcare populations, whether it be in rural or urban areas across Berks county, the United States or across the world through NUR 704: Local and Global Population Based Health. This course discusses behavioral and contextual factors that come together to impact the health of local and global communities and strategies advanced practice nurses can use to mitigate these factors.