Nursing Salaries: How Much Does a Nurse Practitioner Make?

Nurse practitioners made an average of $120,680 as of May 2021. Learn how much nurse practitioners and similar careers can make.
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Jackalyn Beck has been a professional writer since 2014. She loves taking complex topics and making them easy to understand. She writes in various niches including education, business, food, and gardening. She has dual bachelor's degrees from Oklahom...
Updated on October 4, 2023
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Elizabeth Clarke is a board-certified family nurse practitioner. Her experience spans emergency departments, cardiac units, pediatric urgent care, and occupational health settings. She earned her bachelor of science in nursing and master's in nursing...
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  • Nurse practitioners can make from $79,470-163,350 annually.
  • Their salary depends on various factors like location, specialty, and years of experience.
  • The career is expected to grow by 40% from 2021-2031.

There are many career opportunities for nurse practitioners. They can land a job almost anywhere, from a hospital to a physician's clinic.

Their specific nursing duties depend on their experience and specialty. Job duties include running diagnostic exams, reviewing medical histories, and coordinating patient care plans.

How Much Do Nurse Practitioners Make on Average?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for nurse practitioners was $120,680 as of May 2021. However, the location and specialty make a major difference in potential earnings. Common specialties include family, geriatric, and neonatal care. People with an MSN might also pursue a similar career, like as a nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife, or physician assistant.

What Are the Highest-Paying Nurse Practitioner Specialties?

Nurse practitioners need a master's degree in nursing. They might also need special certifications or a certain number of experience hours, depending on their chosen specialty.

5 Highest-Paying Specializations for a Nurse Practitioner Master's Degree
Nurse Practitioner Specialty Average Annual Salary
Nurse Anesthetist $167,480
Mental Health Nurse Practitioner $114,500
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner $94,840
Orthopedic Nurse Practitioner $100,040
Urology Nurse Practitioner $94,230
Data from Payscale as of September 2022

How Much Do Nurse Practitioners Make in Your State?

If you are looking to choose a state that pays well as a nurse practitioner, you first need to consider the specific specialty you want to pursue. Regardless, nurse practitioners living in metropolitan areas have higher salaries.

The Highest-Paying States for Nurse Practitioners (by Average Salary, 2022)
Family Nurse Practitioner General Nurse Practitioner Nurse Anesthetist Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • New York
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
  • Nevada
  • Massachusetts
  • Alaska
  • Montana
  • Arizona
  • Wyoming
  • Washington
  • New York
  • California
Data sourced from ZipRecruiter

Job Growth for Nurse Practitioners

Nurse practitioners can expect a lot of potential job growth in the future. In fact, the BLS projects that jobs in this career will grow by 40% from 2021-2031. So it is a fantastic option for people looking to switch to a job that is in high demand.

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What Field of Nursing Pays the Most?

Being a nurse anesthetist is one of the highest-paying careers in nursing. However, it requires a doctorate of nursing practice (DNP) and at least two years of critical care nursing experience. It is also growing at a slower rate than most nursing positions. So, it is especially hard for recent graduates and those with less experience to find a job in this field.

Other options include:

  • Nurse midwives
  • Home healthcare services
  • Psychiatric and substance abuse nurses
  • Neonatal intensive care nurses
  • General nurse practitioners

Read the Video Transcript

Does More Education Lead to a Higher Nurse Practitioner Salary?

MSN Salaries

Nurses often pursue a master of science in nursing (MSN) because it opens up a new world of career possibilities. People who have obtained their MSN often pursue a specialty, like neonatal or geriatric care.

Nurse Practitioner

Depending on their specialty, nurse practitioners can do almost any nursing task and work in many places. Tasks might include developing treatment plans, taking patient information, and giving specialty healthcare.

Median Annual Salary: $120,680

Nurse Anesthetist

Nurse anesthetists are responsible for giving patients anesthesia before, during, and after treatments. They might also provide some pain or emergency care solutions.

Median Annual Salary: $195,610

Nurse Midwife

Nurse midwives often provide specialized pregnancy or neonatal care. They might also give gynecological exams and help with family planning.

Median Annual Salary: $112,830

DNP Salary

While nurse practitioners can pursue a DNP to open up new career opportunities, it might not be the right choice for everyone. That said, having a nursing doctorate does allow for more specialized and research-based careers.

Clinical Nurse Specialist

Clinical nurse specialists are advanced nurses who usually have a specialty and give care based on their area of focus. They perform tasks like developing treatment plans and, in some states, they can even prescribe medicine.

Median Annual Salary: $112,220

Medical Scientist

Medical scientists are people who pursue research in the medical field. There are multiple ways to break into this career, including having a specialized DNP.

Median Annual Salary: $95,310

Nurse Executive Leader

Nurse executives are often considered the highest-ranking nurse in their facility. Their duties might include organizing shifts and overseeing patient care.

Median Annual Salary: $90,020

Editor's note: Some of the salary numbers above may be based on relatively small samples, and potential nursing salaries could vary widely depending on the employer. Reach out to a relevant professional nursing organization for more information about potential salaries in your area.

Frequently Asked Questions About Nurse Practitioner Salary

What is the difference between family nurse practitioner and nurse practitioner?

Nurse practitioners (NPs) typically choose a specialty. Family nurse practitioners are NPs that specialize in family medicine and typically work with multiple age groups. Because of that, family nurse practitioners tend to have more general knowledge and can work with a wider range of patients.

Often nurse practitioners will choose a specialty like geriatric care or pediatrics, which allows them to have a deep knowledge of a certain type of patient or situation. However, people who specialize can still work in a wide variety of places and positions.

What kind of NP makes the most money?

Nurse anesthetists are the highest-paid kind of NP. In May 2021, their median annual pay was $195,610. However, the high pay is also the result of being in a stressful job, and the position requires at least a master's degree.

In addition to being one of the highest-paid kinds of NPs, the demand for nurse anesthetists is increasing. The BLS projects that jobs in the field will grow 12% from 2021-2031.

Is a nurse practitioner the same as a doctor?

No, nurse practitioners and doctors are different in some key areas. In particular, nurse practitioners can't prescribe medicine in some states. NPs also generally have more oversight from a doctor or other medical professionals.

Physicians must also have more education and, in turn, earn higher salaries. For example, general pediatricians made a median annual salary of $198,420 as of May 2021.Doctors usually have a specialty that impacts how much they make and where they practice.

Is a nurse practitioner higher than a nurse?

Yes. registered nurses (RNs) must have a bachelor's degree and receive national and state licenses. NPs often start as RNs and then receive additional certifications and an MSN. They generally have more seniority, education, and experience. They are usually paid more than registered nurses.

NPs may also be assigned to oversee the work of RNs. NPs can also be in formal leadership roles, like nurse executive leaders. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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