Nurse Practitioner Overview

Overall Score 8.4 / 10

What is a Nurse Practitioner?

Median Salary
$111,680
Unemployment Rate
1.2%
Number of Jobs
114,900

What is a Nurse Practitioner?

Median Salary
$111,680
Unemployment Rate
1.2%
Number of Jobs
114,900
Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with additional education. Extra schooling allows these professionals to take patient histories, perform physical exams, order labs, analyze lab results, prescribe medicines, authorize treatments and educate patients and families on continued care.

Nurse practitioners, also known as advanced practice registered nurses, specialize by patient population, training to work in areas like women's health or pediatrics. They may also work in research or academia.

Their job sounds similar to a physician's role, right? So, what's the difference? The main contrast is the amount of formal education required. Physicians have more training, and their breadth of knowledge and their salaries are usually commensurate with their additional work. However, increasingly – and somewhat controversially – nurse practitioners are providing primary care to patients.

Many nurse practitioners first worked as registered nurses where their treatment of patients extended to holistic and wellness care, and a NP brings that background to his or her diagnosis, treatment and management of medical issues.

Nurse practitioners are handsomely paid for their work, with the top 50% taking home six-figure salaries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 52.2 percent employment growth for nurse practitioners between 2020 and 2030. In that period, an estimated 114,900 jobs should open up.
Median Salary
$111,680
Unemployment Rate
1.2%
Number of Jobs
114,900
Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with additional education. Extra schooling allows these professionals to take patient histories, perform physical exams, order labs, analyze lab results, prescribe medicines, authorize treatments and educate patients and families on continued care.

Nurse practitioners, also known as advanced practice registered nurses, specialize by patient population, training to work in areas like women's health or pediatrics. They may also work in research or academia.

Their job sounds similar to a physician's role, right? So, what's the difference? The main contrast is the amount of formal education required. Physicians have more training, and their breadth of knowledge and their salaries are usually commensurate with their additional work. However, increasingly – and somewhat controversially – nurse practitioners are providing primary care to patients.

Many nurse practitioners first worked as registered nurses where their treatment of patients extended to holistic and wellness care, and a NP brings that background to his or her diagnosis, treatment and management of medical issues.

Nurse practitioners are handsomely paid for their work, with the top 50% taking home six-figure salaries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 52.2 percent employment growth for nurse practitioners between 2020 and 2030. In that period, an estimated 114,900 jobs should open up.
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U.S. NEWS BEST JOBS

Rankings

Nurse Practitioners rank #1 in Best Health Care Jobs. Jobs are ranked according to their ability to offer an elusive mix of factors. Read more about how we rank the best jobs.

8.4

Scorecard

  • 8.4Salary
  • 10Job Market
  • 8Future Growth
  • 4Stress
  • 4Work Life Balance

How Much Does a Nurse Practitioner Make?

Nurse Practitioners made a median salary of $111,680 in 2020. The best-paid 25 percent made $130,240 that year, while the lowest-paid 25 percent made $94,890.
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How to Become a Nurse Practitioner?

You'll spend a considerable amount of time in school. All nurse practitioners must first be registered nurses, so a bachelor's degree, associate degree or other approved diploma is a requirement. Passing the National Council Licensure Examination is also required.

Then, you'll have to get a master's or doctorate degree, which can take anywhere from two to four years. Then there's additional certification to use the APRN title and board certification for your specialty, like women's health, pediatrics or neonatal, to name a few. And you'll also have to obtain a state-specific license.

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Job Satisfaction

Average Americans work well into their 60s, so workers might as well have a job that's enjoyable and a career that's fulfilling. A job with a low stress level, good work-life balance and solid prospects to improve, get promoted and earn a higher salary would make many employees happy. Here's how Nurse Practitioners job satisfaction is rated in terms of upward mobility, stress level and flexibility.

Upward Mobility
Upward Mobility

Opportunities for advancements and salary

Above Average

Opportunities for advancements and salary

Stress Level
Stress Level

Work environment and complexities of the job's responsibilities

Above Average

Work environment and complexities of the job's responsibilities

Flexibility
Flexibility

Alternative working schedule and work life balance

Below Average

Alternative working schedule and work life balance

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