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How Much Do Adult Nurse Practitioners Make?

Keith Carlson, BSN, RN, NC-BC
Updated January 10, 2023
Adult nurse practitioners provide valuable primary and acute patient care. Learn more about this well-paid and essential advanced practice nursing specialty.
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Adult nurse practitioners (ANP-C) are advanced practice nurses who provide primary and acute care to patients from young adults to the elderly.

The Adult Nurse Practitioner certification was retired in 2016 and replaced with the Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (A-GNP) and Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (A-GACNP) certifications. At publishing time, those with a previous ANP certification are still eligible for renewal.

Average Annual Salary
Source:AANP, 2018

Average Hourly Wage
Source:AANP, 2018

Average Salary for Nurse Practitioner Nurses

In 2019, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) reported that adult nurse practitioners earned a total annual salary of $115,500 and hourly rate of $60.00. In comparison, A-GNPs in primary care earned a total annual salary of $107,000 and an hourly rate of $53.00.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the 2021 median adult nurse practitioner salary was $123,780 with a median hourly rate of $59.51. The BLS also estimates 45% job growth for nurse practitioners of all types between 2020 and 2030.

With the potential for more autonomy and a six-figure income, there are many possibilities for those interested in this career path.

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The Highest Paying States for Adult Nurse Practitioners

The BLS provides state-based data for all nurse practitioners, although specific adult nurse practitioner salary data is unavailable.

The five top-paying states for nurse practitioners are:

Highest-Paying States
StateAnnual Mean WageHourly Mean Wage
New Jersey$137,010$65.87
New York$133,940$64.39

Source:U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

As previously noted in data from the AANP, cities with populations greater than 1 million result in higher nurse practitioner salaries. The AANP also identified Alabama and Kentucky as having the lowest NP salaries in the country.

3 Ways to Increase Pay As an Adult Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioner salaries differ based on many factors discussed above. There are several strategies that may help increase an adult nurse practitioner’s salary.

  1. 1

    Pursue Additional Specialty Certifications

    Additional subspecialty certifications are a potential source of increased salary for NPs. Depending on professional interests and career goals, additional certifications include, but are not limited to:

    • CARN-AP: Certified Addictions Registered Nurse &mdash Advanced Practice
    • APHN-BC: Advanced Practice Holistic Nurse, Board Certified
    • GCNS-BC: Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialist
    • PMHCNS-BC: Child/Adolescent Psychiatric Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist
    • AFN-BC: Advanced Forensic Nursing
    • NEA-BC: Nurse Executive, Advanced
    • AGN-BC: Advanced GEnetics Nursing &mdash Board Certified
    • CUNP: Certified Urologic Nurse Practitioner
    • CHPCA: Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Administrator
    • CNN-NP: Certified Nephrology Nurse &mdash Nurse Practitioner
    • CWOCN-AP: Certified Wound Ostomy Continence Nurse &mdash Advanced Practice
    • SANE-A: Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner &mdash Adult/Adolescent
  2. 2

    Gain Experience in Administrative Roles

    Adult nurse practitioner salaries can increase with experience. Adult nurse practitioners can advance into leadership and healthcare administration.

    An adult nurse practitioner could prepare for the following nurse leadership certifications:

    • CENP: Certified in Executive Nursing Practice
    • CNML: Certified Nurse Manager and Leader

    The American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL) offers educational programs, certification preparation, fellowships, a leadership lab, training in healthcare finance, and the Emerging Nurse Leader Institute and Nurse Manager Institute.

  3. 3

    Change Practice Setting

    Adult nurse practitioner salary range changes based on setting, location, specialty, and other factors. Cities with populations greater than 1 million offer higher nurse practitioner salaries. States like Alabama and Kentucky where NPs receive the lowest salaries in the country.

    Specialty also affects salary: emergency, psych-mental health, and neonatal NPs enjoy the highest salaries based on the AANP Compensation Report.

Frequently Asked Questions About Adult Nurse Practitioner Salaries

question-mark-circleWhere are the highest-paid nurse practitioners?

According to the AANP Compensation Report, the highest paid nurse practitioners are:

  • Emergency NP: $135,000 total annual salary: $70.00 hourly rate
  • Adult Psychiatric/Mental Health NP: $135,000 total annual salary: $68.00 hourly rate
  • Neonatal NP: $130,500 total annual salary: $64.00 hourly rate

question-mark-circleWhat percentage of NPs specialize in adult care?

12.6% of NPs specialize in adult care and 7.8% specialize in adult-gerontology primary care.

question-mark-circleHow much more do adult nurse practitioners earn compared to RNs?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the mean annual wage for registered nurses is $82,750, with a mean hourly wage of $39.78.

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) reported in 2019 that the median hourly salary for full-time nurse practitioners was $57.00, with a base median annual salary of $110,000.

question-mark-circleWhat is the highest-paying practice setting for nurse practitioners?

The AANP data show that the highest paying practice setting for all nurse practitioners is the VeteransAdministration, with an annual base salary of $124,000, hourly rate of $62.50, and a total income of $125,500.

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