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Almost nine out of 10 nurse practitioners (NPs) specialize in primary care. Advantages of this career include a high level of professional autonomy, the ability to make a difference in patients' lives, and the high demand for primary care NPs. Because of this demand, primary care nurse practitioner salaries are typically more than $100,000.
How much does a primary care nurse practitioner make? Explore this guide for primary care NP salary ranges, highest-paying states, and ways to increase your primary care NP income.
Average Salary for Primary Care NPs
Primary care NPs assess patients, diagnose conditions, and prescribe treatments for patients in a primary care setting. According to Payscale data from June 2022, the average annual primary care NP pay is $100,820, almost 40% more than the average registered nurse (RN) salary of $68,620. For RNs, earning a master of science in nursing (MSN) to become an NP may prove a valuable investment.
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The Highest-Paying States for Primary Care NPs
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not track NP salaries by specialty. However, because most NPs specialize in primary care, we can compare primary care NP salaries to overall NP salary data.
Primary care NP salaries are greatest in the states with the most demand and highest cost-of-living indexes. While Texas, Florida, and Tennessee are not among the most expensive states, they have a high demand for primary care NPs.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
3 Ways to Increase Pay As a Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
You can increase your primary care nurse practitioner salary through certifications, adding administrative responsibilities, or changing your work setting.
Consider Pursuing Certifications
Within your existing primary care specialty (adult, family, gerontological, pediatric, and women's health nursing), you can earn different specialty certifications. Certification demonstrates your expertise and may help you negotiate higher primary care NP pay.
Gain Experience in Administrative Roles
Your primary care NP salary may increase by taking on leadership responsibilities. This requires administrative skills, such as budgeting, scheduling, and supervision.
Change Practice Settings
Finally, you can earn a higher primary care NP salary by changing your workplace setting. According to the BLS, salaries for advanced practice registered nurses (including NPs) are highest in hospitals and outpatient care centers. Other options include relocating to where primary care NP pay is highest, or becoming a travel nurse if you have some scheduling flexibility but long-term relocation is not a good option.
How Do Primary Care NP Salaries Compare to Other NP Specialties?
Primary care NP salaries vary by nursing specialty. Primary care NP salaries are highest for pediatric mental health primary care ($128,000 median annual salary) and adult primary care ($120,000), according to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). The median pediatric primary care NP salary is $115,000 and the median family primary care NP salary is $114,000. The lowest NP primary care salary is $112,000 for adult-gerontology care.
Frequently Asked Questions About Primary Care NP Salaries
How much does a primary care nurse practitioner make annually?
Primary care NP salaries vary by specialty and location, but the average primary care NP salary is $103,820, according to Payscale data from June 2022. The specialty with the highest primary care NP pay, according to the AANP, is mental health pediatric care, at a median $128,000 annually.
What states pay nurse practitioners the most?
Primary care NP salaries are highest in California, New Jersey, New York, Washington, and Massachusetts. Primary care NP pay is highest in California, with an average annual salary of $151,830, according to the BLS.
What NP specializations earn the highest salaries?
Pediatric mental health nurses earn the highest primary care NP salaries at a median $128,000, according to the AANP. Adult primary care NPs earn the next highest salaries ($120,000), followed by pediatric primary care ($115,000), family care (($114,000) and adult-gerontology care ($112,000).
Are primary care nurse practitioners in high demand?
Primary care NPs are in very high demand, due to the unmet need in most parts of the country for primary care. The BLS projects 45% job growth for NPs between 2020 and 2030.
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