Washington state has over 3600 licensed nurse practitioners who earn, on average, $94,000 to $99,000 annually. Male nurse practitioners make up 14 percent of the NP workforce, a number that's higher than the national average. Demand for nurse practitioners in Washington is expected to increase in the coming years, as the state's population ages and increasing numbers of nurse practitioners retire. Currently, the average age of nurse practitioners in Washington is 50.
Nurse practitioners in Washington have a large degree of professional autonomy. A collaborative practice agreement with a physician is not required to diagnose and treat patients, or to prescribe medication. The professional organization for NPs (and all advanced practice nurses) in Washington is APRNs United of Washington State.
Some of the top NP programs in Washington include:
- Pacific Lutheran University. Located in Tacoma, Pacific Lutheran University offers both a traditional MSN program and an entry-level MSN program. The entry-level program does not guarantee admission to the nurse practitioner track, but interested students may apply if space allows. Pacific Lutheran offers a Family Nurse Practitioner track.
- Seattle University. Seattle U offers a Primary Care Nurse Practitioner track that allows students to choose from four distinct specialties: Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health with an Addictions focus, Adult/Gerontological Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Midwifery. Family Nurse Practitioner students can elect to either write a thesis or complete a scholarly project as their capstone experience.
- Washington State University. Located in Vancouver, Washington, Washington State University has Master's-level NP programs including: a Family Nurse Practitioner track and a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program. The school is set to launch a DNP program in the fall of 2012.