As an emergency nurse practitioner, I talk with a number of prospective NPs interested in pursuing emergency medicine. While the unpredictability and perceived excitement factor of the department certainly has its allure, salary is another consideration that attracts advanced practice providers to the specialty. Just how much do emergency nurse practitioners and physician assistants earn?

According to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), on average, nurse practitioners in the ED earn a salary of $124,126. Physician assistants in the emergency department earn, on average, $109,000 annually. How do these emergency providers fare compared with NPs and PAs in other specialties?

Overall, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse practitioners of all specialties earn an average salary of $103,880 while physician assistants of all specialties earn an average of $104,860 each year. So, salaries for advanced practice providers in the emergency department are higher than average NP and PA salaries by $20,246 and $4,140 respectively. 

Not only do NPs and PAs working in the ED have above average compensation, I can personally attest that the ED can be a very accommodating place to work. Providers in the emergency department do work their fair share of weekend, holidays and evening/night shifts, however this drawback is often paired with the advantage of working fewer, longer shifts, time off during the traditional work week and even flexible scheduling. While the pace of the ED can be demanding, working in the emergency department is largely  stimulating, appropriately challenging and the perfect setting for providers who are enjoy both the inpatient and outpatient settings as the ED is the intersection of the two. 

When you’re doing your due diligence as far as compensation, don’t forget to take geographic location and cost of living into account. These factors drastically affect how far your paycheck will go once it hits your bank account. 

How does your emergency NP or PA salary compare to the national average?


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