A Look at the Nurse Practitioner Salary Explosion


Over the last decade, the number of nurse practitioners working in the U.S. has exploded from an estimated 97,000 to more than 189,000.

According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, these NPs are working in all areas of specialization.

Thanks to the triple-headed healthcare challenge that includes sweeping reforms, the looming doctor shortage of 2020 (and-beyond), and the skyrocketing medical needs of baby boomers, nurse practitioners are more in demand than ever: That’s good news if you’re already in this field and better news if you’re considering going into it.

Why they’re in-demand…

What’s more, the job forecast for nurse practitioners is only getting better, employment opportunities are in abundance, and unemployment rates for NPs are extremely low.

According to the National Salary Survey, the median annual salary for nurse practitioners has increased in the last decade from $69,203 to $90,700. Perhaps even more impressively, the top 10% of NPs in the country earn over $120,000.

What’s involved

Nurse practitioners focus on disease prevention and wellness counseling. They work in hospitals, physicians’ offices, health centers, and walk-in clinics. They may go into general or family practice or specialize in specific areas of the population such as pediatrics, women’s health, or geriatric care.

Nurse practitioners take patient histories, perform exams, order and analyze lab results, prescribe medication, authorize treatments, and counsel patients about continued care. Some NPs also conduct research and teach.

What you need to become one

To train as a nurse practitioner, be prepared to spend more than a few years in school.

In order to become licensed to practice, nurse practitioners typically obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, followed by a three-year Master’s degree.

A Doctor of Nursing Practice takes an additional two to three years beyond the Master’s degree, although there are some programs that skip the Master’s degree and allow you to go straight into a Doctorate from a BSN.

Then comes the national board certification exam, along with state and federal licensing.

To maintain certification and licensing, NPs must update regularly with continuing education credits.

Soliant Health can help you expand your possibilities as a nurse practitioner. Take a look at our most recent job opportunities here.


American Association of Nurse Practitioners

A history of Nurse Practitioners in America

Occupational Employment Statistics for Nurse Practitioners

Job profiles for Nurse Practitioners

Differences between Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants

More on education needed to become a Nurse Practitioner

More on Nurse Practitioner salary ranges

Tera Rowland
Contributor Tera Rowland

Tera Rowland is the vice president of Soliant and has worked in the healthcare staffing industry for almost 20 years in public relations, social media, marketing and operations. In addition to Soliant, Tera worked at the Mayo Clinic as an internal communication manager and for the Children’s Miracle Network. She is a member of the American Marketing Association and the American Staffing Association. Also, Tera has served on the board of directors for the Jacksonville Women’s Leadership Forum as part of the communication committee. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations as well as a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from the University of North Florida and has been published in the Huffington Post, Healthcare Finance News, Healthcare Traveler Magazine, and Scrubs Magazine. Make sure to read the rest of Tera's blogs!