The NP (Nurse Practitioner) job description is a complex one, and it can make anyone holding such a job feel proud. A nurse practitioner is usually called by its longer name, Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) and works directly under the supervision of a doctor, possibly having LPNs (Licensed Practical Nurses) under their direct supervision as well. Some states even allow these advances nurses to work independently, beyond the supervision of a physician. An advanced registered nurse practitioner is a highly trained employee, who holds a master’s degree in nursing and can also have a specialty field upon passing an exam for specializing in that field. Examples of such fields of specialty can be pediatric, psychiatric, neonatal care, women’s health care, acute care and so on. A nurse practitioner should be able to perform an initial health assessment, to diagnose health disorders, to prescribe medication to treat the problems identified and to supervise the patient’s care over a lifespan. This kind of health practitioner earns more than a less specialized one, but there are still several factors that can help them earn an even higher Nurse Practitioner salary such as experience, specialty or geographical location. Here is a look at how these factors impact the salary of this nurse.
Nurse Practitioner Salary
According to the National Bureau for Labor Statistics, the median salary of an advanced registered nurse practitioner is $82,940. That means that 50% of all employees in this field earn a bit less and 50% of them earn a bit more than this median value. The lowest salary an ARNP can make in this country is $63,707 and the maximum one is situated at a value of $103,074 (according to the Bureau). This data refers only to the base salary, without the commonly used bonuses which make the figure of actual earnings closer to the $65K – $110K range. These nurses in the top earning 10 percentile earn a yearly salary of $126,250 (bonuses included), with an hourly wage of $60.69.
As far as specialty fields go, the median neonatal nurse practitioner salary is $85,032, the median family nurse practitioner salary is $82,053, the median acute care nurse practitioner salary is $89,263, the median psychiatric nurse practitioner salary is $92,396 and the median pediatric nurse practitioner salary is $97,000.
In order to become a nurse practitioner yourself, you need to first obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing from any accredited program in your area. Most community colleges offer this bachelor program, which usually lasts 4 years and requires both classroom and clinic hours. After graduating from this bachelor degree, you need to obtain a master’s degree in nursing, with a specialization in the field of your choice (which takes a further 2 years of study). This is the requirement in order to become a nurse practitioner. If you wish to reach an even higher nurse practitioner salary, you should consider also completing a doctorate program (for a further 4 years of study). An ARNP with a doctoral degree can put the nurse practitioner vs. physician assistant salary comparison to some serious strain.
Best Paying Industries for an ARNP
As with every other job field, not all of these nurses work in hospitals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the best paying employers for an ARNP are general medical and surgical hospitals (with a median salary of $98,860 per year), outpatient care centers (with a median salary of $96,250 per year) and offices of physicians (with a median salary of $94,320 per year). The jobs in offices of physicians are also the most numerous, but the overall employment in this profession is on the rise, so there isn’t much to worry about.
Top Paying States and Cities
As for geography, some areas offer higher salaries for these nurses than others. According to the Bureau, the top-paying states for this profession are: California (with an annual mean wage of $110,590), Massachusetts (with an annual mean wage of $105,010), Texas (with an annual mean wage of $101,490), New York (with an annual mean wage of $100,420) and Florida (with an annual mean wage of $91,070). One of the best cities to work in as a nurse practitioner is considered to be New York, while one of the worst is considered to be Atlanta, as far as the pay scales are concerned.