In 2020, an estimated 12.7 million rural adults suffered
from a behavioral health issue – mental illness,
substance use disorder, or other psychiatric conditions.
Accessing behavioral health care is particularly
challenging for rural communities due to disparities in
the distribution of behavioral health care providers.
This study describes trends in the supply and
distribution of psychiatric nurse practitioners in rural
and urban areas in the U.S., nationally and within Census
Divisions. Ongoing tracking of these trends in behavioral
health workforce supply will aid the development of
solutions to address disparities in access to behavioral
health care in rural communities.