While location, the job market and years of experience certainly affect how much nurse practitioners are paid, a very important factor affecting NP salaries is specialty. Along with the substantial growth for the NP profession over the last several years, many new opportunities for NPs to enter into niche practice areas with specific certifications for specialties like orthopedics and oncology have cropped up. So how do the various NP specialties rank in their salaries?
The good news- there are a lot of top paying NP specialties that pay a salary above six figures!
1. Adult Gerontology- Primary Care Nurse Practitioner ($93,391)
AG-PC NPs focus on health promotion, disease prevention, and the management of common acute illnesses and chronic health problems that are not immediately life threatening for the adult patient population. Unlike FNPs, pediatric patients under the age of 13 are not within an AG-PC NPs scope of practice.
2. Dermatology Nurse Practitioner ($98,335)
Dermatology is a popular specialty interest among nurse practitioners. Not only do dermatology NPs have the potential to earn top salaries above the six figure range in aesthetic clinic settings, the specialty is known for a balanced lifestyle maintaining traditional office hours and requires few responsibilities like taking call.
3. Adult Gerontology-Acute Care Nurse Practitioner ($95,950)
AG-AC NPs care for acutely ill patients in settings such as emergency rooms and trauma units. Their focus is solely on caring for the adult population (ages 13 and older) with acute and chronic medical conditions. NPs in this field are also often employed by nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
4. Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner ($97,460)
Acute Care PNPs differ from the role of PC-NPs in that they work in a different level of acuity. NPs in this role provide care for pediatric patients and young adults with acute, complex, critical and chronic illnesses in settings such as, ICUs, hospitals, emergency departments and subspecialty clinics.
5. Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner ($104,053)
WHNPs 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.
6. Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner ($105,410)
PC-PNPs provide primary care to patients from birth through late teens in a wide variety of settings including, but not limited to, private practices, school based clinics, hospitals and specialty clinics. The role has seen dramatic salary increases over the last decade as the demand for PC-PNPs has increased similarly to the FNP role.
7. Psychiatric Mental Health NPs ($105,843)
A PMHNP’s role mimics that of a psychiatrist’s. Nurse practitioners in this field manage medication regimens, provide case management services and offer crisis intervention. Psych NPs’ salaries have seen consistency as one of the top paying for the last several years.
8. Family Nurse Practitioner ($108,450)
The FNP role has grown tremendously over the last decade as they are quickly becoming the primary care provider of choice for many Americans. There are a plethora of job opportunities for FNPs because of their ability to practice in a variety of clinical settings.
9. Acute Care Nurse Practitioner ($109,127)
ACNPs generally work in more critical settings such as emergency rooms, inpatient hospitals and ICUs and treat acute conditions that very often are life-threatening.
10. Oncology Nurse Practitioner ($111,443)
Oncology nurse practitioners are responsible for managing the treatment of cancer, usually in collaboration with a physician. They monitor side effects of cancer treatment as well as address survivorship and wellness issues.
11. Orthopedic Nurse Practitioner ($111,567)
Orthopedic NPs treat patients with musculoskeletal issues in both clinic and hospital settings. Their responsibilities include, but are not limited to, assisting in orthopedic surgeries, setting broken bones, and performing joint injections. They also help patients recover from surgery and rehabilitate from injuries.
12. Cardiology Nurse Practitioner ($112,598)
Cardiology NPs diagnose, manage and treat heart conditions such as CHF and arrhythmias. These NP’s help patients make necessary lifestyle changes, prescribe medications and manage recovery after cardiac surgery.
13. Emergency Nurse Practitioner ($112,841)
Emergency Department NPs 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. For the last several years, the specialty has consistently remained one of the top paying careers for NPs.
14. Neonatal Nurse Practitioner ($123,628)
NNPs care for both full-term and preterm infants and newborns who are critically ill. As an NNP, one must be able to work in high stress situations managing both the patient and family. Most neonatal nurse practitioner programs require at least two years of RN experience before applying.
While average salaries can give you an idea of how much nurse practitioners practicing in different specialties can expect to make, it’s important to remember they are just that, averages. Nurse practitioner salaries can vary greatly based on practice location, experience level, and the specific employer.
This information was obtained from Salary.com, which pulls HR-reported aggregate market data to accurately report salary on thousands of jobs. Salaries are researched and validated by compensation professionals to ensure they reflect equitable pay in the modern workforce.