Are Nurse Practitioner Salaries on the Rise?

What’s the hottest healthcare role experiencing an annual salary increase of 6.6% over last year? According to the latest study, nurse practitioners are both in-demand and well compensated in the U.S. marketplace.

Nurse practitioners have been serving crucial fill-in roles, expanding the physician’s reach by handling their own client load. These clinical care extenders have helped stretch our healthcare safety net, at a time when widespread shortages of physicians will reach a critical mass.

The importance of nurse practitioners is being acknowledged in the marketplace by the growth of new job opportunities and a steady increase in their rate of pay. Here’s what the latest national research shows.

Salary Facts About Nurse Practitioners

HealthLeaders Media reports on the latest data by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and research from PracticeMatch, which shows the numbers of NP roles are expanding and there are increasing incentives for candidates to take these positions.

PracticeMatch surveyed nearly 1,100 nurse practitioners and physician assistants to determine what they were experiencing in the marketplace. Some of their findings included information on salaries and bonuses:

  • 12% of the respondents said they received a signing bonus upon job acceptance. That number increased by 1% from the prior year.
  • 15% of physician assistants and nurse practitioners with less than 10 years of experience received a sign-on bonus.
  • The average sign-on bonus was $7,200.
  • 5% of the nurse practitioners surveyed said they earn more than $150,000 annually.
  • Nurse practitioners reported earning an average salary of $113,900.
  • The average annual salary increased by 6.6% from 2018.
  • 86% of the nurse practitioners surveyed said they were satisfied with the level of their income.

The PracticeMatch survey also yielded data about the qualifications of these candidates making top dollar as nurse practitioners:

  • 7% of the survey respondents had a doctoral degree.
  • The average length of experience was 13 years in the field.
  • The average length of time spent in the position was seven years.
  • There is a high level of job satisfaction, with 5% of survey participants saying they were happy with their career path. That satisfaction level increased by a percentage point from the prior year.

Given that nurse practitioners have similar duties to physicians, the HealthLeaders Media article offered additional survey data from Medscape’s Physician Compensation Report 2018. Their survey showed that physician’s salaries are also on the rise:

  • In the United States, the average physician salary is $299,000.
  • Most notably, primary care providers’ salaries went up on average by $6,000 from the prior year to $223,000.
  • Specialty physician providers averaged a salary of $329,000, which also increased by an average of $13,000 from 2017.
  • Plastic surgeons had the highest average salary, at just over one-half of a million annually.
  • Preventative medicine and public health doctors made the least of all the specialty areas, at just $199,000.

The Need for Nurse Practitioners

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners cites a growing demand for NPs, with a record-breaking 248,000 licensed professionals in 2018. Today, the demand for high-quality primary care services is high, and growing. Nurse practitioners serve an important function, extending the primary care safety net and improving our nation’s healthcare outcomes.

To speak with a National Recruiters talent team member about a career in this field, contact our top healthcare recruiters today.


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