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How Much Do APRNs Make?

NurseJournal Staff
Updated January 11, 2023
APRN salaries are some of the highest in healthcare. Learn how much APRNs make and how to increase your salary.
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Most advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) earn six-figure salaries, enjoy excellent career growth potential, and have high levels of professional autonomy. This guide explores APRN salary ranges, locations where APRNs earn the most, and how to increase your salary if you are already an APRN.

Average Salary for APRNs

APRN salaries vary greatly by specialty, setting, and role. For example, nurse anesthetists earn a median $195,610, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), while nurse midwives earn a median $112,830. By contrast, the median RN salary is $77,660, and the median physician and surgeon salary is $208,000 or higher.

Aside from the APRN’s chosen specialty, other factors affecting APRN salaries include geographic location and local cost of living, type of workplace, education, and experience.

Average Annual Salary
Source:PayScale, April 2022

Median Hourly Wage
Source:PayScale, April 2022

Highest-Paying States for APRNs

Demand and cost of living are the most important geographic factors affecting nurse practitioner (NP) and APRN salaries. In general, larger cities and more densely populated states have higher costs of living and salaries.

According to the BLS, NP salaries range from a median of $149,910 in California to $99,630 in Tennessee. Please note that these salaries are for NPs and do not include other APRN roles, such as nurse anesthetists, clinical nurse specialists, or nurse midwives.

The states with the highest annual pay for NPs are:

Highest Paying States
New Jersey$129,240
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APRN Salaries by Specialization

APRN salaries vary by specialty. Nurse anesthetists earn the highest average salaries, and the difference between nurse anesthetist and other specialties may widen. Beginning in January 2022, new nurse anesthetists must be enrolled in a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program rather than a master of science in nursing (MSN), which will drive up salary ranges.

Due to the rising and unmet demand for mental health care, psychiatric NPs also earn a higher salary than most.

Salaries by Specialization
APRN SpecializationAverage Salary
Family Nurse Practitioner$98,030
Adult Nurse Practitioner$102,600
Pediatrics Nurse Practitioner$93,130
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner$110,330
Acute Care Nurse Practitioner$105,270
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner$113,100
Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner$96,590
Nurse Anesthetist$165,460

Source:PayScale, May 2021

4 Ways to Increase Pay As an APRN

The BLS reports that the lowest 10% of APRN salaries were $79,870 or lower. The highest 10% of APRN salaries were $200,540 and above. Specialty, education level, certifications, experience, and geography all factor into salaries. If you want to earn more, consider these steps:

  1. 1

    Consider Pursuing Certifications

    Certifications demonstrate your knowledge and experience in a particular nursing specialty. Most certifications require nurses to have a certain level of experience in that specialty and to pass the certification examination. You must maintain your certification through continuing education.

  2. 2

    Increase Education Levels

    As of 2025, new nurse anesthetists must have a DNP, and the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) advocates that by 2030, the entry degree for clinical nurse specialists (CNS) should also be a DNP.

  3. 3

    Gain Experience in Administrative Roles

    Another approach to increasing your APRN salary is moving into administration and gaining leadership roles. You might start by becoming a nurse supervisor, then a nurse administrator, and possibly a chief nursing officer.

  4. 4

    Switch Practice Setting

    Once you have your MSN, you can switch specialties and practice settings with a postgraduate course. Psychiatry, urgent care, and acute care pay some of the highest APRN salaries, according to Clinical Advisor. Psychiatric NPs earn an average $138,445, urgent care NPs earn $120,139, and acute care NPs earn $118,959.

Frequently Asked Questions About APRN Salaries

question-mark-circleIs an APRN the same as a nurse practitioner?

NPs are one of the categories of APRNs, so while all NPs are APRNs, not all APRNs are NPs. NPs are APRNs who specialize in a particular population, such as pediatrics, family care, or mental health care. The most common NP specialty is family care.

question-mark-circleHow much do APRNs earn annually?

APRNs earn a median $123,780, according to the BLS. NPs earn a median $120,680, while nurse midwives earn a median $112,830. Nurse anesthetists make the highest APRN salaries at $195,610.

question-mark-circleWhat is the highest paid APRN specialty?

The highest APRN salaries go to nurse anesthetists, who earn a median $195,610, according to the BLS. As of 2025, new nurse anesthetists must have a DNP, which other APRN roles do not require. This could increase nurse anesthetist salaries. Among all APRN specialties, the median salary is $123,780.

question-mark-circleAre APRNs in high demand?

APRNs are in high demand, especially because of the shortage of primary care physicians. APRN salaries reflect this demand. Additionally, some government programs offer full scholarships or loan forgiveness for APRNs who will practice in underserved areas, for the military, or other government providers.

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