Nurse Practitioners play an important role in healthcare today. With primary care provider shortages and widespread provider burnout, Nurse Practitioners are answering the call to deliver vital health care. Recently, U.S. News and World Report ranked the Nurse Practitioner role first on its 2022 Best Health Care Jobs list and second on its 2022 100 Best Jobs list based on annual rankings that consider the most important aspects of a job, including opportunities for growth, work-life balance and salary.
By 2026, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the NP role will have grown by 36%. This statistic highlights the tremendous job security of Nurse Practitioners, but equally important is the fact that it can also be a financially rewarding career. There are more than 355,000 licensed nurse practitioners in the United States with a mean annual wage of $118,040.
Texas, up from third place last year, employs the most nurse practitioners with a total of 17,810 with California following at 17,400, New York at 15,190, Florida with 14,880 and Tennessee at 11,360 rounding out the top 5 states with highest employment levels. Tennessee increased employment of nurse practitioners almost 37% over last year’s rates.
NURSE PRACTITIONER SALARIES BY STATE
The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released its annual Occupational Employment and Wages study. The map below illustrates the 2021 mean wages of Nurse Practitioners throughout the United States.
The top paying states for Nurse Practitioners are California, New Jersey, New York, Washington and Massachusetts. Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Alabama and South Carolina all come in on the other end with the lowest mean annual wage.
NP SALARY IMPLICATIONS TO CONSIDER
Geographic location and cost of living often dictate the parameters of individual compensation. Utilizing a cost of living calculator can help provide you with a better method of comparing locations when considering a relocation. There are other factors, aside from location, such as degree, background and specialty that can impact how much a Nurse Practitioner makes. Neonatal and Psychiatric nurse practitioner salaries are among the highest paid specialties.
Salaries are also impacted whether you are a W-2 employee or 1099 independent contractor (self-employed NP) which includes Nurse Practitioner contract jobs and locum tenens Nurse Practitioner jobs. 1099 independent contractors made slightly more than the average NPs employed by a medical group or hospital per the latest APRN Compensation Report 2021 from Medscape. Locum Nurse Practitioner rates vary based on most of the same criteria as W-2 employed Nurse Practitioners. The biggest difference when working as a Locum Tenens Nurse Practitioner is your housing and transportation costs are covered by the physician recruiting firm or the facility so the cost of living doesn’t play as big of a factor in the decision-making process.
YEAR OVER YEAR COMPARISONS
Overall Nurse Practitioner wages increased throughout the United States from 2020 ranging from .4% in Maryland to over 12.5% in Iowa. However, several states did see a decrease in wages including Idaho, Wyoming and Tennessee which can be attributed to reduced patient consumption of in-person care resulting in reduced hours for some NPs and limited annual pay increases.
|State||2021 Annual mean wage(2)||2020 Annual Mean Wage|
|District of Columbia||$125,290||$116,150|
(2) Annual wages have been calculated by multiplying the corresponding hourly wage by 2,080 hours.