10 Highest Paying Nurse Practitioner Specialties

With the ever increasing demand for healthcare, it’s no surprise that NPs are now sought after more than ever before. In addition to the job market and other factors such as location and experience level, specialty undoubtedly plays a huge role in determining salary for nurse practitioners. So which nurse practitioner specialties earn the most?

It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly which NP specialties are top earners as this varies by years of experience and practice location. However, using information from the Advance for NPs and PAs annual survey, we can get an idea. Based on survey results, nurse practitioners in these specialties have the highest salaries in the field. 

1. Urgent Care Nurse Practitioner ($152,165)

Urgent care clinics are increasingly in demand and consistently seeking NPs of varying skill levels, including new graduates. Although Urgent Care NPs typically work long, 12 hour days seeing a number of patients with acute illnesses and injuries, many enjoy the flexibility of working just a few days per week as well as being at the top of the payscale.

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2.  Emergency Department Nurse Practitioner ($130,122)

Emergency Department Nurse Practitioners work in the fast paced setting of the ER, treating patients of all ages with varying levels of acuity. Working in the ER typically comes with the caveat of enduring odd hours and weekend and holiday shifts. Though the specialty was once the highest paying field for NPs and has dropped to the number two spot, the average salary for emergency department nurse practitioners has still increased over the last three years.

3. Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner ($116, 806)

Also referred to as Mental Health Nurse Practitioners, the Psych NP’s role mimics that of a psychiatrist’s. Nurse practitioners in this field manage medication regimines, provide case management services and offer crisis intervention. Psych NPs’ salaries have remained steady, holding at the number three highest paid specialty since 2013.

4. Hospital-Based Nurse Practitioner ($114,145)

Jumping upward two spots since 2013, NPs in the hospital setting have seen a salary increase of more than $15,000 per year. NPs in the hospital setting are responsible for managing admitted patients throughout their hospital stay. They may also follow-up with patients following discharge in hospital affiliated clinics. 

5. Hospitalist Nurse Practitioner ($112,744)

With hospitals seeing a decrease in the number of physicians as well as resident workloads, many are finding a solution by adding nurse practitioners to their hospitalist teams. Often certified as Acute Care Nurse Practitioners, hospitalist nurse practitioners provide services to inpatients with complex acute health problems, who either do not have a primary care physician or whose physician does not visit the patient in the hospital.

6. Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner ($99,062)

Women’s Health Nurse Practitioners serve their patients in a variety of practice settings such as prenatal and family planning clinics, as well as in private practices for infertility and urogynecology. WHNPs take on leadership roles as primary care providers for women from adolescence through childbearing and advanced years.

7. Primary Care Nurse Practitioner ($98,628)

A vital part of solving the US’s primary care dilemma, NPs in this specialty provide high quality, yet cost-effective and patient-centered care. Primary Care Nurse Practitioners are increasingly in high-demand, particularly in rural communities.

8. Family Practice Nurse Practitioner ($98,532)

Because FNPs have the flexibility to treat patients of all ages in a variety of healthcare settings, there are a vast number of employment opportunities in this specialty, especially for new graduates. With so many primary care and urgent care type clinics opening across the country to meet healthcare demands, it’s no surprise this is one of the highest paid specialties.

9. Cardiology Nurse Practitioner ($97,953)

Cardiology NPs find fulfillment in a variety of clinical and hospital settings. Whether choosing to work in a heart clinic with ties to a local hospital or exclusively in coronary care units, the diverse practice environment encompassed by this specialty provides a mixture of experiences throughout a Cardiology Nurse Practitioner’s career.

10. Pain Management Nurse Practitioner ($97,940)

The nurse practitioner role in pain management has recently emerged and grown rapidly, helping to alleviate the shortage of health care providers in the specialty. Pain management Nurse Practitioners must possess compassion and provide empathetic and respectful treatment, particularly in a time where sensitivity of addiction issues is of the utmost importance. 

How does your nurse practitioner salary compare?


You Might Also Like: Ask Yourself 6 Questions Before Choosing a Nurse Practitioner Specialty


4 thoughts on “10 Highest Paying Nurse Practitioner Specialties”

  1. In the state of Texas, do I have to have a collaborative agreement with a physician before I apply and obtain my DEA number?

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