Nurse Practitioner Role Continues to Expand, Helping to Solve the Nursing Shortage 

 In Nurses Weekly

By Madison Vance

Highly trained and board-certified health professionals, nurse practitioners bring a holistic and comprehensive perspective to care. They are also important contributors to solving the national nursing shortage caused by a demographic shift as the Baby Boomer generation retires.

“NPs are filling the need by taking care of the vulnerable populations, working in areas such as Newark and Paterson and Camden, where there’s a great need to take care of the underserved,” said Mary Ellen Roberts, D.N.P., R.N., APNC, FNAP, FAANP, FAAN, in a recent feature on, “Ask a Professor: The Practice Environment in New Jersey.”

An associate professor at Seton Hall’s College of Nursing and a certified Adult Nurse Practitioner and Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Roberts was recently appointed the Senior Editor for the Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. She maintains a practice with Atlantic Health System as an Adult Nurse Practitioner. Roberts has an enduring interest in the advancement of the nurse practitioner role in today’s healthcare environment, encouraging and teaching nurse practitioner’s role development and advancement, and the importance of staying politically active.

The field is growing, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting a 45 percent change in employment from 2019 to 2029 for nurse practitioners, which is much faster than the four percent average job outlook rate for all occupations.

“The future is bright,” said Roberts. “We’re educating more and more NP students. There are more and more positions becoming available in the acute care setting, and more and more positions becoming available in the primary care setting. NPs are going to make a huge difference in healthcare. They already have, and I think they’ll continue to.”

Seton Hall’s College of Nursing offers nurse practitioner programs in the focus areas of Adult-Gerontology – Primary and Acute, Pediatrics – Primary and Psychiatric-Mental Health (NEW). Learn more at

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