Average Nurse Practitioner Salaries by Specialty

Average Nurse Practitioner Salaries by Specialty and State

The average salary of a nurse practitioner (NP) is a key component when deciding what field you want to specialize in – or if becoming a nurse practitioner is right for you. Nurse practitioners are in high demand throughout the U.S., but some states pay higher salaries than others. Furthermore, some nurse practitioner specialties pay better than others. Understanding how much money you can make as a nurse practitioner will help you with financial planning and give you an estimate of when you can expect to pay off your student loans. In this guide, we break down the highest and lowest-paying specialties for nurse practitioners and which U.S. states pay their nurse practitioners the best.


How much do nurse practitioners make per year?

The average annual nurse practitioner salary in the U.S. is $122,523 as of September 2023. There are many factors that contribute to salaries for NPs, including experience, education, and location. However, the salary range for nurse practitioners typically falls between $113,693 and $133,106. Many nurse practitioner positions are also eligible for bonuses, which can be a substantial part of their overall compensation package.

Average Nurse Practitioner Annual Compensation by Specialty

  1. Neonatal Nurse Practitioner – $136,101
  2. Orthopedic Nurse Practitioner – $123,776
  3. Oncology Nurse Practitioner – $123,658
  4. Family Nurse Practitioner – $122,530
  5. Acute Care Nurse Practitioner – $121,263
  6. Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner – $117,460
  7. Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – $117,173
  8. Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner – $115,672
  9. Emergency Nurse Practitioner – $108,408
  10. Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner – $105,518
  11. Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner – $100,925

Source: Salary.com

Highest Earning States for Nurse Practitioners

A map of the U.S. showing the highest-paying States for nurse practitioners in 2023.

Here are the 2023 top earning states ranked by income for nurse practitioners:

  1. Nevada – $155,981
  2. Massachusetts – $153,093
  3. Alaska – $147,534
  4. Washington – $142,344
  5. New York – $138,555
  6. Illinois – $134,415
  7. California – $131,928
  8. Maryland – $130,007
  9. Virginia – $129,782
  10. Colorado – $128,966

Source: ZipRecruiter

Lowest Earning States for Nurse Practitioners

A map of the U.S. showing the lowest earning states for nurse practitioners in 2023.

Here are the 2023 lowest earning states ranked by income for nurse practitioners:

  1. Florida – $99,390
  2. Alabama – $99,492
  3. West Virginia – $99,890
  4. Louisiana – $101,038
  5. Kansas – $104,974
  6. Mississippi – $109,177
  7. Tennessee – $110,113
  8. Utah – $110,389
  9. Ohio – $112,503
  10. New Mexico – $112,505

Source: ZipRecruiter

How much do family nurse practitioners make?

Family nurse practitioner (FNP) is the most popular NP specialty and can be one of the most lucrative. The average income for FNPs is $122,530 in 2023, according to ZipRecruiter. The salary range for FNPs typically falls between $113,700 and $133,110. New York tops the list of states where the salary for an FNP is above the national average, with an annual salary of $150,288. Keep in mind that cost of living expenses should be considered when comparing nurse practitioner salaries across states.

[ LEARN MORE: What is a Family Nurse Practitioner? ]

How to Choose a Nurse Practitioner Specialty

There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a nurse practitioner specialty, but two of the most important considerations are patient population and work setting. Some NP specialties only work with specific types of patient populations, such as neonatal nurse practitioners who work with high-risk infants. Work setting is also an important factor when choosing an NP specialty. For example, emergency nurse practitioners work in emergency departments or urgent care centers. Before deciding which NP specialty to pursue, do you research and remember to look into licensure requirements for the different specialties.

Requirements to Become a Nurse Practitioner

Becoming a licensed nurse practitioner is a huge accomplishment that requires extensive training. The road to becoming an NP begins with completing a BSN program and passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to earn a nursing license. Prepare for the NGN by taking realistic practice questions and enrolling in comprehensive NCLEX prep.

You’ll need to continue your education by earning an accredited graduate degree (MSN or DNP). Licensing requirements for NPs vary by state, but generally require completing an NP program and obtaining national NP certification. If you’re specializing, you must earn an additional credential. Lastly, you’ll have to apply to be a certified NP in your state, which can take 4 to 12 weeks to process.

Kaplan North America does not offer nursing degree programs that prepare for licensure or career advancement.