Part One Average Nurse Practitioner Salary
In addition to being professionally and emotionally gratifying, becoming a nurse practitioner provides the security of knowing you’ve chosen a career that has tremendous job security and is also financially rewarding. The average nurse practitioner salary is $111,680 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2020. Placing their income at more than double the average annual salary for all other occupations.
Salary Range for Nurse Practitioners
Even those compensated at the lowest end of the salary range for nurse practitioners are paid $84,120, at least $40,000 more than the average national income, while those being paid at the highest level of $190,900 are earning more than $80,000 more than the average national income.
Part Two Nurse Practitioner Salary by Years of Experience
Payscale.com reports an average annual salary of $99,591 or $52.82 per hour. There also is increased pay with experience:
- Less than 1-year of experience earn an average annual salary of $92,487
- 1 to 4 years of experience earns an average annual salary of $97,951
- 5 to 9 years of experience earns an average annual salary of $103,800
- 10 to 19 years of experience earns an average annual salary of $109,436
- 20 years of experience earns an average annual salary of $111,005
Part Three Nurse Practitioner Salaries by State
Though what kind of employer you work for as a nurse practitioner works plays a significant role in how much they are paid, the biggest factor in nurse practitioner salary is geography.
|State||Mean Annual||Avg Hourly||Cost of Living|
|District of Columbia||$116150||$55.84||+49.20%|
Source: BLS, Data extracted June 23rd, 2021. Cost of Living reflects percentage above or below the national average cost of living.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these states have the highest annual mean wage for nurse practitioners:
Top 5 Highest Paying States for Nurse Practitioners
- California - $145,970
- New Jersey - $130,890
- Washington - $126,480
- New York - $126,440
- Massachusetts - $126,050
Part Four Nurse Practitioner Salaries by City
Top 5 Highest Paying Cities for Nurse Practitioners
- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA - $188,070
- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA - $177,800
- Salinas, CA - $155,310
- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA - $153,240
- Napa, CA - $152,640
Top 5 paying nonmetropolitan areas for Nurse Practitioners
- Coastal Plains Region of Texas nonmetropolitan area - $140,540
- Eastern Sierra-Mother Lode Region of California nonmetropolitan area - $139,290
- Middle Georgia nonmetropolitan area - $136,820
- Connecticut nonmetropolitan area - $134,600
- Eastern New Mexico nonmetropolitan area - $130,470
Metropolitan areas tend to provide higher compensation than more suburban or rural areas. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse practitioners can receive the highest annual mean wage in the following cities.
For the last 23 years the Clinical Advisor’s 2021 Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant Salary Survey, has been the gold standard for NPs to determine the salaries of others in their profession. The survey this past year was slightly different due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Similar to results from previous years, most of the NPs (47%) who responded to the 2021 survey reported earning a higher salary this year compared with last year. Interestingly, 21% of NPs reported earning less income last year specifically due to COVID-19.
Most NP (35.3%) respondents reported working in the South, and providers in this area reported making average salaries of $106,643. Similar to the findings from the 2020 survey, NPs in the West reported making the highest average salaries ($128,781). Most NPs worked in urban areas (36.7%) followed by suburban areas (32.5%).
>> Related: Top Online Nurse Practitioner Programs
Part Five Nurse Practitioner Salaries by Place of Work
Nurse Practitioners' salaries also vary by where you work. Below are average salaries by place of employment for NPs according to the BLS.
- Hospitals - $124,660
- Outpatient care centers - $122,840
- Physicians offices - $114,570
- Offices of other health practitioners- $111,610
- Educational services - $111,400
Part Six Nurse Practitioner Salary by Specialty
When prospective nurse practitioners plan their educational path, one of the most important decisions they need to make is about their specialty area. The American Association of Nurse Practitioners' 2020 National Workforce Survey: Practice indicates that the vast majority of nurse practitioners opt for the title of Family or Adult Nurse Practitioner, those who choose nurse practitioner specialty areas are often rewarded with significantly higher salaries.
NP Salary by Specialty
|General Nurse Practitioner||$115,800|
|Family Nurse Practitioner||$105,898|
|Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner||$89,521|
|Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner||$112,217|
|Pediatric Nurse Practitioner||$92,544|
|Acute Care Nurse Practitioner||$104,701|
|Women's Health Nurse Practitioner||$96,113|
|Orthopedic Nurse Practitioner||$100,035|
|Emergency Nurse Practitioner||$103,477|
|Neonatal Nurse Practitioner||$108,132|
Part Seven Is the Nurse Practitioner Salary Worth it? Real Nurses Weigh-in
We asked the Nurse.org social community whether or not they thought becoming a Nurse Practitioner was worth the investment of time and money for the salary increase, here's what they had to say:
- "This is a hard conversation. Is it worth the debt no, is it worth the debt yes! You can’t compare RN money to NP money. As a DNP I make more working 9-5 off weekends, but there is no room to make one dollar more than what is offered not unless your employee offers productivity. (I don’t want to work like that). So now this is when RN’s make more because they work more “total hours”. Or “have another job”. I say go for it and don’t worry about the debt or the money. It’s worth the Autonomy." --kyuraesthetics
- "I have always worked in a clinic as an NP. Other than the actual cost of school and the possibility of a slightly less flexible schedule, I can’t think of any cons. I’ve never regretted my decision. My current schedule is extremely flexible, so that does exist, it just may not be as easy to find in the beginning." -- the.renegade.np
- "I am in DNP-FNP school right now. I made the decision to become a Nurse Practitioner so I can make change that would benefit the nursing community and the patients we serve. There is no price tag when it comes to years of injustice and frustration to do what is right for humanity and fighting systems that don't help human beings. I've been a RN in acute care for over 16 years." -- nursenarcy
Part Eight 3 Ways to Increase Your Salary as a Nurse Practitioner
Nurse practitioners who want to increase their income have a number of options available to them.
Getting certified in the more highly compensated specialty areas is one of the best ways to increase your salary as an NP. But it’s not the only one.
2.) Administrative Duties
Surveys have revealed that nurse practitioners who take on administrative duties such as a director or manager role in addition to their clinical responsibilities report higher base salaries.
3.) Advance your Education
Additionally, pursuing additional education and earning a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree can have a significant impact on the salary that you command. According to Payscale, nurses with a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree earned an average base salary of $105K as of August 2021. Nurses with a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree, on the other hand, earned an average salary of $96k, $9k less per year than the DNP degree.
Party Nine Nurse Practitioner Salary FAQs
Who gets paid more RN or NP?
- NPs make more than RNs. NPs make an average of $111K/year, while RNs make an average of $75K.
What nurse practitioner specialty is the highest paid?
- CRNAs make the highest of any APRN, at around $183K/year.
How many years does it take to become a nurse practitioner?
- After you earn your bachelor’s, an NP program takes 2-3 years.
What is the lowest-paid nurse practitioner?
- Adult-gerontology NPs make the lowest, around $89K/year.
Which nurse practitioner is most in-demand?
- Primary care NPs are expected to be the most in demand, especially as COVID has affected access to primary care.
Curious about what other healthcare professions pay? Check out these salary guides: