The Average Nurse Practitioner: How Do You Compare?

Have you ever wondered how you rank compared to the rest of the 155,000 members of the NP population?  Do other nurse practitioners make more or less money than you?  Do your fellow NP’s treat more patients than you?  How old are you compared to other nurse practitioners?  Let’s find out!

Where Do Nurse Practitioners Work?

The nurse practitioner career is flexible.  We can work anywhere.  But where and in what types of practice settings do we typically choose to spend our careers?  According the the AANP, 18% of nurse practitioners work in rural settings.  The majority of NP’s choose to practice in urban or suburban locations.  68% of nurse practitioners work in at least one primary care setting (although 88% of NP’s are educated in a primary care specialty).  The minority of nurse practitioners elect to enter specialty practice.

How Much Do Nurse Practitioners Make and How Hard Do They Work?

The 2011 mean full-time salary for nurse practitioners practicing in the United States is $91,310 with an average income of $98,760.  Polls show that NP’s work hard to make this excellent salary.  60% of nurse practitioners treat three to four patients per hour and 7% of nurse practitioners see a whopping five or more patients per hour.  Research shows that even while seeing high numbers of patients, NP’s are still able to do quality work.  Only 2% of nurse practitioners have been named as a primary defendant in a malpractice case.  Compared to malpractice lawsuit rates among physicians, this is nothing.  According to the American Medical Association 61% of doctors age 55 and older have been sued.

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What Qualifications and Certifications Do Nurse Practitioners Obtain?

NP’s are becoming more and more decorated with medical privileges and certifications.  93% of nurse practitioners hold a graduate degree (there was once a time when a graduate degree was not required for practice- these NP’s have been grandfathered into new state laws).  97% of nurse practitioners hold a national certification (some states do not require NP’s to become nationally certified).  All 50 states now allow nurse practitioners to prescribe medications.  In 48 states NP’s are allowed to write for controlled substances.  With these prescribing privileges, 96.5% of nurse practitioners prescribe medications writing an average of 20 prescriptions per day.

Who Is the Average Nurse Practitioner?

According to the AANP, the average nurse practitioner is female (96%), 48 years old and has been practicing as a family nurse practitioner for 12.8 years.  The table below shows the percentages of nurse practitioners practicing in each specialty along with their average age and years of experience.

How do you compare to the average nurse practitioner?


**This information was gathered from the AANP Nurse Practitioner Facts Sheet

4 thoughts on “The Average Nurse Practitioner: How Do You Compare?”

  1. I am surprised at the age of the average NP. All of the NP’s I currently work with and have ever worked with are in their 20’s and early 30’s. Maybe is it my work environment? Any thoughts?

  2. I have worked with nurse practitioners in various settings . Age range varies as well. I just completed my Adult Gerontology Primary Care NP program and I am 48 .

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