Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?
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.
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:
Featured Online MSN Programs
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.
|APRN Specialization||Average 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|
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:
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.
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.
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.
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
Is 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.
How 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.
What 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.
Are 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.
NurseJournal.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?
Whether you’re looking to get your pre-licensure degree or taking the next step in your career, the education you need could be more affordable than you think. Find the right nursing program for you.
Resources and articles written by professionals and other nurses like you.