Nurse Practitioner Salaries, by Specialty and State
June 18, 2019
Nurses who want to take their careers to a new level often pursue a Master of Science degree in Nursing, sometimes referred to as an MS in Nursing. The advanced degree gives them the education and training they need to become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) and the opportunity to specialize in a specific area, such as family practice or Nurse-Midwifery, if they choose.
NPs are able to diagnose patients and prescribe medications in a clinical environment. Nurses enter the profession because they are passionate about patient care and community health, and earning a master’s degree can help prepare nurses for leadership roles and boost earning potential.
It is helpful to understand acronyms for nursing degrees when exploring graduate programs. Generally, any nurse who has earned a Master of Science degree in Nursing is considered an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse or APRN. Nurse Practitioners (NP), Family Nurse Practitioners (FNP), Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioners (AG-ACNPs), Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNM), Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA), and Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) are under the umbrella of an APRN.
Nurses in each specialty area take specific graduate-level courses and training while earning their MS in Nursing to enhance their knowledge. They also take certification exams in their areas of expertise and any state-required continuing education courses. APRN salaries, or NP salaries, can vary based on specialty area, education level, the number of years a nurse has practiced, type of practice, and the state where they work.
Nurse Practitioner Salaries, by Specialty
Following is a description of the job and salary potential for NPs, FNPs, AG-ACNPs, and CNMs.
Like other graduate-level nursing degrees, a Master of Science degree in Nursing can be earned through either online or campus-based Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) programs, in which nurses learn to diagnose and treat patients of all ages. FNP students gain skills that help them teach patients about disease prevention across the lifespan. FNPs treat patients in primary care settings and can find work opportunities in almost any region, including urban, suburban, and rural areas.
While the BLS does not break down average salaries by specialty, they do offer information based on environments. For example, an NP working in a physician’s office made an average annual salary of $107,530 in 2018. It’s important to note that salary numbers specific to FNPs are dependent on location and experience level. A background in emergency patient care, case management, and geriatrics can help boost a Family Nurse Practitioner’s salary.
Candidates generally enter an AG-ACNP program with at least a year of experience in an intensive care unit, emergency department, telemetry unit, or progressive care unit. Through a combination of classroom and hands-on clinical training, students learn to communicate and actively listen to patients and families and manage complex — even life-threatening — medical situations. AG-ACNPs also develop practical skills that help them stabilize seriously ill patients, manage and interpret diagnostic tests, and troubleshoot further complications.
As previously mentioned, the BLS does not break down salaries by specialty. However, the BLS reports that an NP working in a general medical or surgical hospital — as many AG-ACNPs do — had an average yearly salary of $113,900 in 2018.
California boasts the top salary for the job with an annual mean wage of $133,780. Alaska ($122,880) comes in second, and Massachusetts ($122,740) stands at third. (Note: Salary averages are based on BLS 2018 data.) Texas isn’t far behind, with an average nurse practitioner salary of $111,330 in 2018.
Below are state-by-state average salaries for Nurse Practitioners, based on 2018 BLS data:
Annual Average Salary
District of Columbia
Below are state-by-state average salaries for Certified Nurse-Midwives, based on 2018 BLS data. 2018 data from the BLS is not available for Alabama, Arkansas, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, and Wyoming.