Nurse Practitioner Salary

Nurse Practitioner Salary

nurse practitioner salariesThe job of a nurse practitioner today is one of the most sought after and most stable job in the nursing profession. What a nurse practitioner earns annually depends on their educational background, their experience, geographical location, their specialty and where they are working. On average a nurse practitioner’s annual salary can range from $81,310 up to $103.310 or more.

Average NP annual salaries of the top 5 states are:

  • $112,000 in New York and Mississippi
  • $110,000 in the District of Columbia
  • $109,000 in Massachusetts
  • $106,000 in California
  • $104,000 in Georgia

Average NP annual salaries of the lowest 5 states are:

  • $70,000 in Hawaii
  • $75,000 in South Dakota
  • $78,000 in Nebraska
  • $79,000 in Louisiana
  • $81,000 in Idaho

Average nurse practitioner annual salaries according to their work environment are:

  • $65,256-$104,305 in the health care industry
  • $52,084-$107,105 in a hospital
  • $72,894-$108,132 in acute care hospitals
  • $55,000-$111,711 in local and state government
  • $67,686-$130,893 in federal government

Average nurse practitioner annual salaries according to their specialty are:

  • $61,366-$96,687 in pediatrics
  • $67,114-$107,348 in family care
  • $93,925 in neonatal care
  • $72,154-$114.228 in acute care
  • $69,724-$123,043 in psychiatry

With these salaries there is also many perks that a nurse practitioner enjoys. These perks can include paid vacation days, sick days, paid holidays when off and double time if working, life insurance, health insurance that may cover the family, 401K, social security, pension, long and short term disability if hurt on the job, differential pay if working shifts other than day-shift, mileage if their job requires them to travel, education reimbursement if taking more classes to add other specialties, profit sharing, uniforms supplied, and so much more.

Salary of a Nurse Practitioner in 2015

The salary of a nurse practitioner in the US is estimated to range between $81,315 and up to $103,115 per year this due to the fact of her training and other factor that influence. A nurse practitioner is a Registered Nurse that has already encompassed the level of a bachelor’s degree and has already gained a master’s degree or even a doctoral.

For 2015, the salary of a nurse practitioner is expected to grow constantly due to the number of demanding and due to a shortage of other professionals in the rural areas. The number of these professionals is growing, and the salaries for them are mainly influenced according to the state and the employer. The actual training that was also completed has a word to say, not to mention the years of experience that count a lot in this profession.

Nurse Practitioner Salary in 2016

In the United States, for the year 2016, the median income of a nurse practitioner is estimated to have an average that reaches around $87,508 per year. The starting point in the earnings of these professionals usually is estimated at $68,246 and up to $108,776. The bonuses that are granted for nurse practitioners tend to reach up at $10,052 while the profit sharing ranges from $309.14 and up to $16,639.

With all these benefits added the total payment for these professionals tends to range from $69,585 per year and up to $116,318 per year, according to the salary data information provided by PayScale. There are various factors that impact and affect the earnings such as the place of residence, the area of specialization, type of employment, years of experience and other as well. The vast majority of those working in the field are women rather than men.

According to the place of residence, the income of a nurse practitioner or else called an NP, varies from state to state. The two main factors that influence the earnings are the living expenses found in that particular region as well as the costs of living.

The national average for these specialists, according to PayScale is situated at around $89,891. The highest top payment for NPs can be found in San Francisco where the average granted incomes reach at $109,010 per year. Great salaries for these professionals can also be spotted in New York, Philadelphia, Huston and other as well.

The level of experience is not the main factor that influences the incomes of these specialists, but it can contribute in time to the earnings received. For instance, an entry-level professional with less than 5 years of practice in the working field can expect to have a median income that goes up to around $86,010 per year. Those individuals that are working for 5 and up to 10 years can expect to take home an average median salary estimated at $94,010 while the experienced nurse practitioners with 10 and up to 20 years of experience can expect at around $99,010 per year. The veterans in this field with more than 20 years and with plenty of knowledge and practice upon their hands will earn typically around $102,010 per year.

Nurse practitioner salary in Canada, Australia and UK

  • Canada—the average NP annual basic salary ranges from C$42,500-C$103,153 but they can earn a bonus up to C$14,658 a year. If you have 1-4 years experience, your average annual salary would be C$45,769-C$88,563. If you have 5-9 years experience, your average annual salary would be C$68,986-C$93,483.
  • Australia—the average NP annual basic salary ranges from AU$71,469-AU$100,803 but they can receive a yearly bonus of AU$1,277-AU$11,000.
  • UK—the average NP annual basic salary ranges from 13,281-40,651 but they can receive an annual bonus that can be as much as 302.01.

NP Career Info

What is a nurse practitioner?

A nurse practitioner is registered nurse who has achieved an advanced level of training and education in specific medical fields. Their practice closely resembles that of a physician who can either practice under the supervision of a physician or independently in some states. They are known as nurse practitioner (NP) or advanced practice nurses (APRN’s). They are more than just a “physician’s assistant” and have the authority to provide diagnosis and treat patients. A nurse practitioner can either perform independent healthcare in or work as a team. At this time there are only 26 states where a nurse practitioner can practice independently so check with your state to see if your state is one of the 26 states. Many times they will serve as a primary care provider for all ages from children to adults while there are others who specialize in a certain area of medicine like dermatology, midwifery, or psychiatry.

Many patients love to have a nurse practitioner as their primary care physician because they have more time to spend with the patient, more time to listen to them and take notes of any concerns they have, and even enact holistic approaches to the patients care. Working as a nurse practitioner in a group practice or with a physician will allow the physician to accept more patients and can also fill in for the physician on their day off.

Job description of a nurse practitioner

Nurse practitioners are qualified to provide an array of health services like:

  • Treating medical problems
  • Interpret tests that the patient has had done
  • They can prescribe medications, even controlled substances, in all 50 states just like a physician can.
  • Diagnose medical condition and diseases.
  • Provide education and counseling
  • Record medical histories
  • Assist other physician’s in the office
  • Examining patients
  • Taking calls from their patients and answering any questions they might have
  • Referring their patients to specialty physicians if necessary

A nurse practitioner must be empathetic, non-judgmental, and have patience and be compassionate. You will also need to have excellent interpersonal skills in order to communicate effectively with your patients and their families along with other professionals and co-workers. You should also have good computer skills as many health care facilities and physician’s offices have all their medical records in a computer and when seeing a patient many times you will make your notes on the patient’s chart on the notepad computer that they carry with them when they see the patient.

How to become a nurse practitioner?

During high school you should take as many science and math classes as you can. Once out of college you will need to enrolled in an accredited training program to earn your Bachelor’s degree in Nursing (BSN) which takes 4 years to complete. This program will include both clinical rotations in several medical specialties and classroom learning.

If you are not already a registered nurse you will have to obtain your state license to become a registered nurse and practice. In most states you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) that is given by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. In order to earn and keep your state license to practice as a registered nurse you need to check to see if there are any additional requirements by your state nursing board. How long you have to complete this process will depend the on the state where you are going to practice and whether you have to take the test more than one time. On average it will only take a few months to process and receive your license to be a practicing registered nurse.

Before starting your graduate program to receive either your Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) or Master’s Degree in Nursing (MSN), you should choose your specialty. The reason is that many graduate degree programs either encourage or require applicants to have at least 1 or 2 years of working experience as a registered nurse in the specialty that they have chosen. You can specialize in family practice, gerontology, pediatrics, acute care, women’s health and more. Getting your master’s or doctorate degree can take 1 to 3 years to complete. How long depends on the specialty and school they have chosen.

One important thing to remember is that many of these graduate schools require you to have a few years of experience working as a registered nurse. To find an accredited program to attend to get your MSN or DNP, check the websites of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing or the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.

Before you can become a practicing nurse practitioner you must be licensed by the state in which you practice. In order to get this license you do need to make sure that you not only have graduated from an accredited training program but have passing scores on the state exam and have board certification. Most credentialing agencies will require you to also have performed in your specialty a minimum number of hours of nursing practice. How many hours you will need depends on the specialty you have chosen. The number of hours normally runs between 750 to 1400 hours which could take from 6 to 12 months to complete but it depends on the shifts and hours you are working. There are some states that require a nurse practitioner meet their mandatory training requirements before they get their license and become a certified nursing practitioner.

There are several organizations that will award board certification in nursing but before you can become board certified you must meet the state’s training and educational requirements and hold a valid registered nurse license. Some of the organizations include:

  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation
  • Pediatric Nursing Certification Board
  • National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses
  • National Certification Corporation

In addition to having the skills, training, and licenses necessary to become a nurse practitioner you will also need to have excellent observational and analytical skills in order to effectively diagnose and treat their patients.

Work environment and schedule

Being a nurse practitioner offers you a variety of employment opportunities and environments such as working in:

  • Group practices or physician offices
  • In private homes and providing them with health care services
  • Community and government health agencies
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes and long-term care facilities
  • Palliative and hospice care services
  • Private practice.

The schedule that a nurse practitioner would work depends on their work environment. If you were working inpatient facilities you may work rotating shifts that cover all hours including evening, nights, weekends, and holidays. If you were working for a private practice or community agencies you would most likely work regular business hours 5 days a week and be off weekends. Sometimes working for a community agency or private practice you may offer some appointments in the evenings and weekends to accommodate patients that are working during the day. You may also be on call some nights or weekends if you work for nursing homes or long-term care facilities or hospitals. A nurse practitioner may also have the opportunity to work full or part time but it depends on where they are working.

When working as a nurse practitioner you will spend the work day interacting with patients and maybe their families along with your colleagues and administrators. You will most often work in well-lit and clean settings but if you work in a patient’s home you will have some travel involved. Working in a hospital, nursing home, and long-term care facilities you may find yourself on your feet a lot. You must also be comfortable doing any stooping, bending, or lifting because there may be times that the patient has trouble moving and you have to be the one that does the moving to accommodate the patient.

What a nurse practitioner will do during their work day depends on their working environment. Basically they can do almost everything that a physician can do. They handle the medical needs of the patient by performing tests, examinations, taking their medical history, prescribing medications, reading tests results, making medication changes, talking to the patient’s families, and so much more. A nurse practitioner will also make notes in the patient’s charts about the visit, what the nurse practitioner did, if any tests were run, and when they need to see them again.

Pros and cons of being a Nurse Practitioner

Every time you are looking to see if a job will suit you or not, you should start by checking out the job growth in this case in the health care system. Like any other job, with its demanding of a full task, you’ll realize that the nurse practitioner career has its pros and cons.

Working as one of these professionals, you’ll see that this job doesn’t come only with demanding but also has some huge rewarding. For instance, the nurse practitioner job is one that is often chosen by many students who will want to earn a place among nurses. This job has a great number of growing, and it’s secure and besides that you’ll get plenty of job opportunities.

There is a huge need for people that can mentor and teach about this job as a nurse practitioner, especially since the years of experience and training will make the difference. It is a much-respected job to be able to train and educate the future nurse practitioners in becoming good at what they are doing and in this career.

The most rewarding part of this job is when you are starting to make a difference into a patient life, by leading them to a road to life. It is also that rewarding ability of being able to take are and develop a treatment plan in a great relationship with the patient that will help him or her a lot for the years that follow.

The setting in which you practice is another pro linked as well with the salary that you are earning as a nurse practitioner, which mainly depends on your job location and the type of employment that hired you.

The job opportunities that can be found are many and so is the competition in enrolling in a training that will form you as a nurse practitioner. There are not enough faculties that have qualification to teach in the nurse practitioner school programs.

Depending on your setting in which you work you might be on call many times without receiving compensation for your work or your hours spend at your working place. This again will much depend on the setting in which you are working.

The way to a better job must be earned, and it’s not always that easy to acquire a good job at first. It is mostly difficult because many times the employers will ask for experience in the field, the more diverse background you have in working and gaining the necessary experience the better it will be for you. With all this being added you can clearly see the pattern that pros outweigh the presented cons.

Nurse Practitioner job growth

The employment growth rate for nurse practitioners is projected according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics with 31% or even higher. This projection of growth rate is higher than the national average for other occupations and is mainly due to the effects of the healthcare legislation.

The future outlook is very stable also according to the number of demanding for the healthcare services from the aging baby boom population, which usually live longer and have a less active way of life. The job satisfaction and security for these professionals is very strong since there is also an increased emphasis on the preventive care.  The population is always in need for these professionals, and there are plenty of job opportunities.

A nurse practitioner can find employment in a variety of work setting from hospitals and up to schools, clinics, or other healthcare facilities.

Conclusion on nurse practitioner salary

As mentioned this is one of the most sought after position in the nursing profession and one with stability. On average even a newly graduated nurse practitioner can earn over $70,000 a year plus all the great perks that could be as high as $130,000 when you add them all up. Being a nurse practitioner you can perform most of the same duties as a physician but you do not have to go to school as long as they do. If you love working with people and have a compassionate nature this would be the job for you.

The average NP  annual pay is more than you would get working in a factory or office and the work is not as hard. Although it does take you several years to become a licensed board certified nurse practitioner the compensation is comfortably high. Nurse practitioners are not the highest paid medical professional but it is still possible for them to be able to have a six-figure salary. There are also many opportunities for advancement which in turn means a higher salary.

Post Revisions
  • First Published Date: 12 November, 2014
  • Last Updated Date: 9 September, 2016