Nurse anesthetists and nurse practitioners were among two dozen other emerging careers growing large enough to be tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of the 24 new occupations defined in the BLS Standard Occupational Classification system (SOC), nine are healthcare professions.
More than 105,000 were employed as nurse practitioners in spring 2012, most among the new healthcare positions added. With a mean wage of $91,450 annually, the field is also one of the most lucrative in the SOC reclassified group.
Nurse practitioner is a Jack-or-Jill of all trades, per the BLS definition, handling everything from diagnoses to lab work, x-rays and prescriptions. The career’s diverse skill set should translate to more opportunities in the coming years with the passage of the Affordable Healthcare Act, which extends medical coverage to an estimated 30 million more Americans.
The BLS estimates there are only 34,180 nurse anesthetists in the healthcare industry, but the profession is financially attractive with an annual mean wage of $154,390.