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How Much Do Pediatric Nurse Practitioners Make?

NurseJournal Staff
Updated November 29, 2022
On this page, you will find information on pediatric nurse practitioner salary ranges, top-paying states, and how to increase earning potential.
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Pediatric nurse practitioners are in high demand to fulfill the need for both primary and acute care. The typical pediatric nurse practitioner salary is in the low six figures but can grow considerably higher based on education, experience, and work setting.

This guide offers an overview of salaries, lists the highest-paying locations, and explains how to maximize your salary prospects.

Average Salary for Nurse Practitioner

The median pediatric nurse practitioner salary for primary care specialists is $108,500 or $61.50 an hour. This salary is slightly less than the median salary of $110,000 among all full-time NPs.

Average Annual Salary
Source:AANP, 2019

Average Hourly Wage
Source:AANP, 2019

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The Highest-Paying Cities and States for Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not provide city and state data for pediatric NPs specifically. However, salaries across all NP specialties can still indicate the highest-paying regions and what your pediatric nurse practitioner salary might be.

According to the BLS, California has the highest average annual wage for NPs, $151,830. New Jersey is next, at $137,010, followed by New York ($ 133,940), Washington ($130,840), and Massachusetts ($129,540). These states also have a considerably higher cost of living, so be sure to consider that when contemplating where to practice.

The five highest-paying cities are all in California. The highest average NP wage, $197,870, is inSan Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara. Napa is next, at $184,700. SVallejo-Fairfield pays their NPs an annual average of $180,380, followed by San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward ($177,160) and Yuba City ($159,260).

How Do Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Salaries Compare to Other RN Specialties?

Compared to other nurse practitioner salaries, primary care pediatric NPs can expect to earn similar wages to those of family NPs and women’s health NPs, but less than acute care NPs and psychiatric mental health NPs.

These specialties generally report higher earnings across nursing roles and levels. Nurse practitioners who enjoy working with a focus in the pediatric population may consider becoming pediatric acute care nurse practitioners. This sub-specialty reports a median salary of $112,000 a year, according to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).

4 Ways to Increase Pay As a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

You have several options to increase your pediatric nurse practitioner salary, depending on your flexibility and interests. Some options call for lifestyle changes, either for the short term (such as additional education and certification) or the long term, such as travel nursing or moving into administration.

  1. 1

    Travel Nursing

    Travel nursing generally pays considerably more than regular salaries because nurses must travel to a location where demand is highest. Travel nursing may come with additional stresses including distance from friends and families, needing to learn new organizational cultures and protocols, and needing to develop new professional relationships with new colleagues.

    Travel nursing is one of the most effective ways to increase your pediatric nurse practitioner salary for those flexible enough to make the change.

  2. 2

    Earning a DNP

    A DNP is the terminal degree for nurse practitioners; there is no higher degree. A DNP prepares someone to teach at any college or university, head a department, or take on an administrative role, all of which can significantly increase a pediatric nurse practitioner salary. However, this is a significant investment of time and money, since the typical DNP takes at least two years of full-time study.

  3. 3

    Earning Additional Certifications

    The Pediatric Nurse Certification Board (PCNB) offers four different certifications. The Certified Pediatric Nurse – CPN credential is open to RNs at all levels. The Acute Care Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – CPNP-AC, Primary Care Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – CPNP-PC, and Pediatric Primary Care Mental Health Specialist – PMHS are open only to NPs. Any of these can increase your pediatric nurse practitioner salary.

  4. 4

    Changing Work Settings

    According to the BLS, NPs in hospitals earn the highest median salary, $124,660, followed by outpatient care nurses ($122,840) and NPs in physician offices ($114,570). These are for all NPs, as the BLS does not track pediatric nurse practitioner salaries specifically. Within hospitals, according to the AANP, salaries are highest in the emergency department, with a median annual salary of $135,000.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Salaries

question-mark-circleAre pediatric nurse practitioners in demand?

Demand is high for all NPs, with 52% job growth projected between 2020 and 2030, making it one of the fastest-growing jobs in the country. The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) notes the shortage is especially acute in rural and other underserved areas, where millions of children do not have access to a primary care provider. This unmet demand may lead to an increase in pediatric nurse practitioner salaries.

question-mark-circleWhat is the highest-paying nurse practitioner specialty?

The highest-paying NP specialty is adult psychiatric mental health care, at $125,000, according to the AANP. The median mental health primary care pediatric nurse practitioner salary is close behind, at $124,000.

question-mark-circleWhat are the highest-paying work settings for nurse practitioners?

Nurse practitioners working in emergency departments earn the highest salaries, according to the AANP, with a median annual salary of $135,000. Behavioral health/addiction NPs earn a median $125,000, as do NPs working in home healthcare settings. NPs working in college student health earn the least, a median $96,000.

question-mark-circleWhat are the most valuable skills for pediatric nurse practitioners?

According to Payscale, pediatric nurse practitioner salaries are highest for those with skills in pain management, oncology, electronic medical records (EMR), intensive care units (ICU), emergency/trauma, orthopedics, and acute care. Each of these increases pediatric nurse practitioner salaries by at least 5%.

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