Every medical group has a different approach and philosophy when it comes to the use of advanced practice clinicians (APCs), but we’re seeing more and more companies adopt a model that includes physician assistants and nurse practitioners as an integral part of a comprehensive care team.
To help you weigh whether to expand your clinical team to include APCs, here are some trends we’re seeing in the recruitment marketplace:
1. Portable skill sets and expanding roles
There is pressure in the market to find APCs with the skills and experience required to deliver care within specialties beyond primary care. For instance, we’re seeing growth in new positions in support of surgical practices, including orthopedic surgery and neurosurgery.
The skill sets for APCs are more portable across healthcare settings and specialties than those of physicians. This pays dividends when your organization is trying to quickly fill positions in diverse departments. During the initial candidate screening process, you can probe the experience and preferences of each individual and fill positions accordingly.
2. Increasing salaries and full benefits
Over the last five years, we’ve not only seen increased hiring of APCs, we’re also seeing a big increase in salaries. The median compensation of a nurse practitioner is $96,372 and $100,452 for a physician assistant. Standard compensation packages also include full benefits and relocation assistance.
3. Higher turnover, but shorter time-to-fill positions
The average turnover rate for APCs is almost double that of physicians, which likely reflects the competition for their skills within the community. On the other hand, time-to-fill is much shorter than physician search, reflecting the larger pool of APC candidates. As a result, you may have several qualified candidates to choose from when filling a nurse practitioner or physician assistant opening.
4. Recruiting Physicians and APCs together
In most cases, the recruitment of APCs and physicians is not centralized within the same office — but a majority of administrators we work with think that this recruitment should be coordinated. APC recruitment is sometimes managed by the human resource department and included with nurse and allied health staffing, while other organizations take their APCs through the physician channel — including vetting, licensing, and on-site interviews.
Do you think recruiting APCs and physicians together helps build a cohesive care team? What has been your experience with APC recruitment?
Mary Scholz Barber is Senior Executive Vice President of Marketing at Cejka Search, a nationally recognized physician, healthcare executive, advanced practice and allied health search firm providing services exclusively to the health care industry for more than 30 years.