The median annual nurse practitioner salary is about $94,000. This equates to $45 per hour. This falls well in the range of salaries for the middle 50% of nurse practitioners, which is between $87,000 and $102,000 annually. This is also a pay rate of between $42 and $49 per hour. Professionals working in the lowest 10th percentile should expect a salary around $81,000 per year, or $39 per hour. Meanwhile, nurse practitioners working in the top 10th percentile can expect a comfortable salary of about $110,000 per year. This is also $53 every hour.
Many factors will contribute to the differences in salaries faced by nurse practitioners. These factors may include geographic location, specialty, or type of employment. Experienced nurse practitioners will tend to receive a higher pay grade. In the same token, nurse practitioners working in metropolitan areas should obtain higher incomes.
The total compensation package for a nurse practitioner after benefits is on average about $130,600. Paid benefits from an employer could include vacation time, social security, and health insurance, among others.
Job Description of a Nurse Practitioner
Nurse practitioners receive many tasks within the medical field; they are not simply doctor’s assistants. Nurse practitioners can give diagnoses, provide treatments (including prescribing medications), complete consultations, and promote health care awareness to the public.
Some daily tasks faced by a nurse practitioner include conducting tests, providing treatment, prescribing medications, recording medical history, and assisting physicians. Some states even allow nurse practitioners to perform minor surgical procedures. There are various specialties a nurse practitioner may choose to work in. These may include primary care, acute care, gynecology, oncology, pediatrics, geriatrics, or psychiatry.
Some states will allow a nurse practitioner to work independently. Still others require nurse practitioners to work under the supervision of a doctor.
How to become a Nurse Practitioner
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The first step to becoming a nurse practitioner is to obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited school or program. It will take roughly four years to obtain such a degree, per usual standards. Afterwards, two to six further years of study must be completed to obtain a master’s or doctorate degree in nursing. Graduate programs will allow students to study anatomy, diagnosis, pharmacology, and medical ethics. Clinical training is also involved. It is at this point that aspiring nurse practitioners will begin focusing on a specialty for themselves. Many graduate programs will require a student to gain a few years experience as a registered nurse, also known as an RN. An optional one year residency can also be completed for further education.
All states require nurse practitioners to be licensed in their field. After completing the training programs, candidates must receive board certification. They then must pass the state exam for licensing.
Nurse Practitioner Salary in Other Countries (Canada, UK and Australia)
Nurse practitioners can receive a comfortable yearly salary in other first world countries besides the United States. For instance, the average annual income for a nurse practitioner working in Canada is about C$89,000. Australia’s average pay rate for a nurse practitioner is about AU$97,000 per year.
As with many other health care positions, the United Kingdom pays her nurse practitioners a slightly smaller income than those found in the United States or Canada. The average annual income for a nurse practitioner in the U.K. is about £40,000. This is equivalent to only $64,000 in the United States.
Verdict on Nurse Practitioner Salary
Nurse practitioners must go through a number of years of training in order to receive licensure to practice. The compensation for these educational endeavors is comfortably high, to say the least. While they are not considered doctors, many nurse practitioners have obtained a doctorate in nursing, and they are more than qualified to perform the various functions a doctor might normally complete. Becoming a nurse practitioner is an excellent career choice. Although they are not the highest paid medical professionals by far, six figure nurse practitioner salaries are still very possible, and there’s always room for advancement.