Highest Paying Nurse Practitioner Jobs – Which NPs Make the Most in 2023?
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Nurse practitioners encompass various specialties, from women’s health to cardiology, emergency medicine, and pediatrics. The wages associated with each specialty may vary, and other factors such as degree level, experience, and geographical location can also play a role in influencing salary for nurse practitioners. In general, higher levels of education or more specialized fields tend to yield a higher salary than those in more general fields. Although nurse practitioners who specialize may find fewer job openings than general practitioners, their higher salaries can make up for it.
While wages for nurse practitioners will vary, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that nurse practitioners earn $118,040 annually on average. The top 10 percent can earn $163,350 or more, while the bottom 10 percent is estimated to make $79,470 or less (BLS May 2021).
Nurse practitioners are in high demand, with an estimated 46 percent increase in jobs in this field from 2021 to 2031 (BLS 2022). In many cases, nurse practitioners provide services that medical doctors may need more time or resources to provide promptly. This is especially true in rural areas, where access to more highly qualified medical care is limited. There is also a growing demand for nurse practitioners due to an aging population and their need for more affordable, convenient healthcare services.
Nurse practitioners can bridge the gap between basic primary care and specialized medicine. Due to their experience and knowledge base, they can offer affordable care options for both preventative and specialized healthcare services, making them highly sought after by both private practices and hospitals. They can diagnose and treat common medical conditions while managing chronic illness, comorbidities, and complex cases.
Use the list below to discover which nurse practitioner specialties and subspecialties have the highest compensation.
Salary percentiles and averages data was gathered from Salary.com (April 2023), a wage aggregate website. They are listed in order of the highest median annual salary to the lowest.
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP)
The highest-paid nurse practitioners in the country are neonatal nurse practitioners (NNPs). Their wages are due to the high degree of specialization required for this job. NNPs provide comprehensive care services to preterm and full-term newborn infants, as well as guidance and support to families concerning their baby’s health.
They work in primarily hospital settings, such as labor and delivery units or neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). They are specifically trained in diagnosing and managing common medical issues found in newborns, such as jaundice, breathing difficulties, developmental delays, infections, genetic conditions, hydrocephalus, and congenital heart disease.
- 10th percentile: $112,038
- 25th percentile: $121,780
- 50th percentile (median): $132,480
- 75th percentile: $143,240
- 90th percentile: $153,036
Emergency Room NP
Emergency room NPs work in emergency rooms across the country. They are responsible for assessing and diagnosing patients, providing treatments, ordering tests, and managing the resources to properly care for patients.
ERNPs provide direct care, including taking vital signs, administering medications, conducting wound and fracture evaluations, treating lacerations with sutures, and performing intravenous (IV) line insertion. They can also help coordinate patients’ care from admission to discharge, including communication with specialists like surgeons or cardiologists when needed.
- 10th percentile: $106,311
- 25th percentile: $115,879
- 50th percentile (median): $126,388
- 75th percentile: $140,557
- 90th percentile: $153,457
Cardiology NPs are experts in heart and cardiovascular disease. They evaluate, diagnose, and manage cardiac conditions such as hypertension, coronary artery disease, arrhythmias, heart failure, and vascular disorders. Cardiology NPs often perform stress tests, Holter monitoring, and electrocardiograms (EKGs). Providing pre-operative and post-operative care for heart surgery patients is also within their scope of practice. They also educate patients on lifestyle changes to improve heart health and reduce their risk of cardiac events.
- 10th percentile: $107,784
- 25th percentile: $114,330
- 50th percentile (median): $121,520
- 75th percentile: $129,660
- 90th percentile: $137,071
Orthopedic NPs specialize in musculoskeletal care and can assess, diagnose and treat orthopedic injuries and conditions. They collaborate with orthopedic surgeons to care for those who have musculoskeletal problems, ranging from sports injuries and fractures to degenerative joint disease.
Orthopedic NPs are trained in patient education, wound care management, medical imaging interpretation, and rehabilitation techniques. They may also assist in surgical procedures or provide perioperative nursing support during an operation.
- 10th percentile: $105,089
- 25th percentile: $112,299
- 50th percentile (median): $120,218
- 75th percentile: $127,830
- 90th percentile: $134,760
Oncology NPs work with cancer patients, including diagnosing and treating cancer-related illnesses. They are trained to recognize signs of cancer and to treat their patients both physically and emotionally. They often collaborate with oncologists and surgeons to develop comprehensive treatment plans for their patients and provide patient education about the disease process, possible side effects of treatments, and ways to manage them. Counseling on lifestyle changes to improve general health is critical to this job. Oncology NPs may also administer chemotherapy drugs, referring patients for further testing or surgery if needed.
- 10th percentile: $106,828
- 25th percentile: $113,201
- 50th percentile (median): $120,201
- 75th percentile: $124,601
- 90th percentile: $128,607
Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
Family nurse practitioners (FNPs) are the ultimate primary care providers. They work with individuals, families, and communities to assess, diagnose and manage acute and chronic health issues while promoting healthy lifestyle choices. They order tests, interpret results, and prescribe medications when necessary.
A large component of their jobs is to provide preventive care services such as immunizations, physicals, health screenings, and patient education. FNPs also act as care coordinators for their patients and will collaborate with physicians and other healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive care.
- 10th percentile: $102,960
- 25th percentile: $110,790
- 50th percentile (median): $119,390
- 75th percentile: $129,700
- 90th percentile: $139,087
Acute Care NP
Acute care nurse practitioners care for acute or critically ill patients. They manage the diagnosing and treating injuries or sudden illnesses, such as heart attacks, stroke, and sepsis. Acute care NPs work in various settings, including emergency departments, urgent care, and intensive care units. Typical duties include physical assessments, psychological evaluations, ordering tests, interpreting results, prescribing medications, and developing treatment plans.
- 10th percentile: $104,949
- 25th percentile: $111,059
- 50th percentile (median): $117,770
- 75th percentile: $126,235
- 90th percentile: $133,941
Preoperative and postoperative care to patients undergoing surgery can be delivered by surgical nurse practitioners (NPs). They assess the patient before surgery, develop a plan of care based on their assessment, evaluate the patient during and after surgery, monitor the progress of surgical procedures, and provide follow-up care to ensure that recovery goes smoothly.
While they cannot perform surgery independently, they can assist a physician who is performing surgery. Educating patients about their condition and the potential risks involved with undergoing surgery is also a big part of the job for surgical NPs.
- 10th percentile: $92,010
- 25th percentile: $103,300
- 50th percentile (median): $115,700
- 75th percentile: $124,700
- 90th percentile: $132,894
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)
Psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs) can diagnose, treat, and help prevent mental health disorders. They provide comprehensive care to patients experiencing emotional difficulties, psychiatric issues, and family or relationship problems. PMHNPs conduct physical and mental assessments, diagnose medical conditions, create individualized treatment plans, prescribe medications, administer psychotherapy and other counseling services, provide patient education, and collaborate with other healthcare providers to coordinate patient care.
- 10th percentile: $91,004
- 25th percentile: $102,030
- 50th percentile (median): $114,140
- 75th percentile: $125,190
- 90th percentile: $135,250
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP)
Infants, children, and adolescents can receive primary health care services from pediatric nurse practitioners (PNPs). Duties can include diagnosing and treating common childhood illnesses, providing preventive care through vaccinations, performing physical assessments and developmental screenings, counseling patients and families on health promotion and disease prevention techniques, managing chronic health conditions like asthma or allergies, ordering diagnostic tests such as X-rays or lab work, interpreting test results and prescribing medications when appropriate.
- 10th percentile: $99,488
- 25th percentile: $106,333
- 50th percentile (median): $113,852
- 75th percentile: $119,484
- 90th percentile: $124,611
Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP)
Women’s health nurse practitioners (WHNPs) care for women throughout their lifespans, from adolescence through menopause. WHNPs provide comprehensive healthcare services, including diagnosing and treating common conditions such as urinary tract infections (UTI), pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), and hypertension.
They can also perform breast exams, Pap smears, prescribe medications to treat various ailments, counsel patients about contraception methods, provide prenatal and postpartum care for pregnant patients, manage chronic conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure, and order diagnostic tests, ultrasounds, and mammograms.
- 10th percentile: $99,315
- 25th percentile: $105,544
- 50th percentile (median): $112,385
- 75th percentile: $120,556
- 90th percentile: $127,996
Endocrinology NPs care for people with endocrine disorders, such as diabetes, thyroid disease, and metabolic syndrome. Typical duties for endocrinology NPs include diagnosing and treating endocrine conditions like hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, ordering laboratory tests and interpreting results, providing patient education on nutrition and lifestyle modifications, monitoring blood sugar levels, prescribing medications, and helping manage chronic conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
- 10th percentile: $92,817
- 25th percentile: $99,882
- 50th percentile (median): $107,642
- 75th percentile: $116,938
- 90th percentile: $125,401
Pain Management NP
Many chronic pain sufferers need ongoing care from specialists such as pain management NPs. While much of the work in this field is to diagnose, treat and manage acute and chronic pain, pain management NPs provide a wide range of other healthcare services such as ordering tests, interpreting results, prescribing medicine other than pain medication, regulating opioid use if needed, working together with other healthcare professionals to ensure coordinated care, referring to specialists, and leading interdisciplinary teams in intervention.
A large part of the job can also include educating patients on alternative management strategies such as relaxation tactics, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and exercise.
- 10th percentile: $91,290
- 25th percentile: $98,239
- 50th percentile (median): $105,871
- 75th percentile: $115,014
- 90th percentile: $123,339
Dermatology NPs go beyond simply diagnosing and prescribing medications for skin conditions. They strive to equip patients with the knowledge and skills needed to manage their own skincare and health.
They also order laboratory tests, evaluate the cosmetic outcome of medical treatments, refer to specialists when needed, and provide patient education on skin care strategies, nutrition, and lifestyle modifications.
- 10th percentile: $92,444
- 25th percentile: $98,787
- 50th percentile (median): $105,753
- 75th percentile: $112,449
- 90th percentile: $118,546
Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP)
Adult-gerontology nurse practitioners (AGNPs) serve as primary care providers for patients from adolescence through late adulthood. From monitoring chronic conditions and managing medications to educating patients about their health and well-being and providing emotional support during times of illness or transition, AGNPs specialize in caring for the whole patient.
They collaborate with other healthcare professionals to ensure a holistic and comprehensive approach to patient treatment and rely on evidence-based practice and experience to deliver high-quality care.
- 10th percentile: $88,657
- 25th percentile: $95,405
- 50th percentile (median): $102,817
- 75th percentile: $111,697
- 90th percentile: $119,781
Hospice NPs provide compassionate, holistic care for patients and families facing life-limiting and terminal illnesses. They understand that end-of-life care is a very delicate process and seek to provide comfort, support, and relief from pain and suffering. Hospice NPs also serve as vital resources for families struggling with difficult decisions related to their loved one’s care. They are committed to helping patients and families find peace during times of illness by providing individualized, evidence-based treatments that meet each patient’s specific needs.
- 10th percentile: $86,361
- 25th percentile: $91,609
- 50th percentile (median): $97,372
- 75th percentile: $101,765
- 90th percentile: $105,763