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APRN Salary + Outlook for 2020


Written By: Darby Faubion BSN, RN

Advanced practice registered nurses are among the highest paid nursing professionals, many earning six-figure incomes. If you are a registered nurse or are considering becoming one and want to pursue a master's or higher degree, the potential to make a generous APRN salary may be appealing to you. In this article, we will discuss different types of advanced practice registered nurses, what their roles and responsibilities are, and examine how an APRN's salary is determined.


What are the 4 Different Types of APRNs, and What are Their Roles & Responsibilities?


Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) have been educated at either a master’s or post-master's level. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) has established guidelines that define and regulate the role of APRNs. The NCSBN recognizes four different types of APRNs. Their roles and responsibilities include the following.

Nurse Anesthetist: A nurse anesthetist provides anesthesia-related care to patients for surgery or other medical procedures. They work in collaboration with physicians, surgeons, and other healthcare professionals to provide care for patients of all ages. Some of a nurse anesthetist's clients have no significant health issues, while others may have acute health issues, including immediate and/or life-threatening injuries or illnesses. Nurse anesthetists work in various settings, including hospitals, outpatient surgical sites, and in-patient surgical centers.

Nurse Midwife: Nurse midwives provide primary and specialty care for women. Although they are often associated with pregnancy-related care, they are also considered primary care providers for women during their lifespan. Their care involves performing examinations, diagnosing, and treating medical conditions. They counsel and educate patients regarding immediate health issues and potential health risks. Additionally, nurse midwives may treat their client's male partners for sexually transmitted diseases, and they provide care for newborns up to 28 days old.

Nurse Practitioner: Nurse practitioners, also referred to as certified nurse practitioners or CNPs, provide care to clients in areas such as family practice, internal medicine, women's health, geriatrics, and pediatrics. They may practice as primary care providers or acute care practitioners. Nurse practitioners are responsible for diagnosing and management of acute and chronic illnesses and diseases. They provide care that is focused on health promotion and maintenance, prevention of diseases, and patient education.

Clinical Nurse Specialist: Clinical nurse specialists help establish and implement treatment plans to help find solutions to psychiatric or medical issues based on a patient's individual needs. They are responsible for the diagnosis and treatment of health issues, the management of diseases, and the prevention of illness and at-risk behaviors among patients, families, and communities. Additionally, a clinical nurse specialist may work as a nurse consultant to help improve patient care provided by healthcare professionals.


What Is the Starting APRN Salary?


One of the perks of becoming an advanced practice registered nurse is the opportunity to earn a higher income. An APRN starting salary range may be anywhere from $76,430 for clinical nurse specialists to over $127,000 for those who practice as nurse anesthetists. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that, on average, entry-level APRNs earn approximately $88,580 yearly.

Type of APRN Hourly Monthly Annual
Nurse Anesthetist $61.29 $10,620 $127,480
Nurse Midwife $33.17 $5,750 $69,000
Nurse Practitioner $39.14 $6,780 $81,410
Clinical Nurse Specialist $36.75 $6,370 $76,430
Average APRN Starting Salary $42.59 $7,380 $88,580
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


What Is the Average APRN Salary?


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an APRN average salary is almost $127,000. Clinical nurse specialists who appear to make the least still earn over $100,000 annually on average. Nurse anesthetists are the highest income earners among advanced practice registered nurses earning an APRN salary over $180,000 each year.

Type of APRN Hourly Monthly Annual
Nurse Anesthetist $87.04 $15,090 $181,040
Nurse Midwife $52.31 $9,070 $108,810
Nurse Practitioner $53.77 $9,320 $111,840
Clinical Nurse Specialist $50.48 $8,750 $105,000
Average APRN Salary $60.90 $10,560 $126,670
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


How Much Does the APRN Salary Grow with Experience?


Generally, the more experience a person has in their chosen field, the more money they can expect to make. APRN salary comparison shows that work experience has a significant impact on income potential.

For example, an entry-level nurse anesthetist earns approximately $127,480 each year. With ten years of work experience, the income typically increases by seventy thousand dollars or more. A nurse anesthetist with twenty years of experience may earn well over $200,000 yearly.

Nurse midwives begin their careers earning yearly pay around $70,000. With as little as one to four years, they can increase their salary to almost $87,000. By ten years in the field, a nurse midwife can earn over $100,000 yearly, and with twenty or more years, he or she may experience an income of almost $159,000.

Entry-level nurse practitioners earn a little over eighty thousand dollars in their first year. With ten to nineteen years, they can increase their salary by over $45,000 annually. After twenty years in the field, they may more than $152,000.

Type of APRN Level of Experience Hourly Monthly Annual
Nurse Anesthetist Starting (Entry-Level) $61.29 $10,620 $127,480
1-4 Years of Experience $71.21 $12,340 $148,110
5-9 Years of Experience $84.03 $14,570 $174,790
10-19 Years of Experience $97.95 $16,980 $203,730
20 Years or More Experience $100.00 $17,330 $208,000
Nurse Midwife Starting (Entry-Level) $33.17 $5,750 $69,000
1-4 Years of Experience $41.82 $7,250 $86,990
5-9 Years of Experience $50.50 $8,750 $105,030
10-19 Years of Experience $61.11 $10,590 $127,110
20 Years or More Experience $76.44 $13,250 $158,990
Nurse Practitioner Starting (Entry-Level) $39.14 $6,780 $81,410
1-4 Years of Experience $44.61 $7,730 $92,790
5-9 Years of Experience $52.80 $9,150 $109,820
10-19 Years of Experience $61.07 $10,590 $127,030
20 Years or More Experience $73.15 $12,680 $152,160
Clinical Nurse Specialist Starting (Entry-Level) $36.75 $6,370 $76,430
1-4 Years of Experience $41.88 $7,260 $87,120
5-9 Years of Experience $49.57 $8,590 $103,100
10-19 Years of Experience $57.34 $9,940 $119,260
20 Years or More Experience $68.68 $11,900 $142,850
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


APRN Salary by Practice Setting


There are several factors that may influence an APRN salary. Geographical location, years of experience, and specialty area are among those. Additionally, the practice setting where an advanced practice registered nurse chooses to work may also impact his or her potential earnings.

Advanced practice registered nurses who work in colleges, universities, and professional schools or who are employed in physician's offices usually earn the lowest APRN salary, between $105,000 and $108,000 each year. APRNs who practice in hospitals or outpatient care centers typically make up to ten thousand dollars more each year.

Type of Practice Setting Nurse Anesthetist Nurse Midwife Nurse Practitioner
Hourly Annual Hourly Annual Hourly Annual
Offices of Physicians $82.32 $171,220 $51.33 $106,760 $52.37 $108,930
Hospitals $92.97 $193,380 $52.97 $110,180 $55.67 $115,790
Outpatient Care Centers $108.00 $224,630 $59.43 $123,620 $57.65 $119,920
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools $88.50 $184,090 $50.76 $105,590 $50.63 $105,310
Offices of Other Health Practitioners $81.32 $169,140 $38.73 $80,560 $52.24 $108,660
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


APRN Average Salaries in Every State, Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics


As mentioned above, geographical location often influences an individual's earning potential. Typically, areas that have a higher cost of living expenses tend to offer higher or more negotiable salaries than those with lower costs of living.

Currently, the U.S. Board of Labor Statistics reports that the potential APRN salary for nurse practitioners in Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee is just under $100,000 annually. Hawaii offers nurse practitioners an average yearly salary of $124,000. With its high cost of living, California pays nurse practitioners the highest salary at almost $137,000.

Nurse midwives in Alaska and Florida earn between $84,000 and $86,000. Those who practice in California, on the other hand, may make almost twice as much with an average yearly income of $154,000.

Even in the states with the lowest average income, nurse anesthetists make close to $145,000 annually. Montana and Wyoming pay nurse anesthetist salaries between $239,000 and $243,000 yearly.

State Nurse Anesthetist Nurse Midwife Nurse Practitioner
Alabama $157,430 N/A $99,570
Alaska N/A $85,920 $115,890
Arizona $144,530 $117,700 $111,480
Arkansas $182,960 N/A $105,840
California $227,290 $154,500 $138,660
Colorado $175,100 $102,520 $106,760
Connecticut $198,750 $112,920 $115,140
Delaware N/A $95,110 $112,430
Florida $160,030 $84,270 $101,510
Georgia $174,310 $98,440 $105,670
Hawaii $198,330 N/A $124,000
Idaho $150,670 N/A $110,860
Illinois $199,660 $104,640 $107,860
Indiana $165,770 $112,010 $106,380
Iowa $202,400 $104,420 $109,910
Kansas $162,010 N/A $100,550
Kentucky $167,400 $105,890 $99,560
Louisiana $158,500 N/A $106,240
Maine $188,840 $115,200 $106,960
Maryland $186,310 $118,240 $111,800
Massachusetts $201,890 $107,150 $122,240
Michigan $194,640 $92,790 $108,660
Minnesota $192,290 $121,980 $122,850
Mississippi $177,820 $119,640 $110,740
Missouri $161,420 $114,140 $105,050
Montana $239,380 N/A $109,120
Nebraska $179,450 N/A $105,450
Nevada N/A N/A $115,970
New Hampshire $196,000 $108,050 $110,680
New Jersey $193,900 $117,280 $123,810
New Mexico $162,320 $98,750 $111,930
New York $200,350 $120,380 $122,550
North Carolina $189,060 $100,730 $105,890
North Dakota $195,010 N/A $110,950
Ohio $184,380 $103,930 $103,780
Oklahoma $175,090 N/A $113,200
Oregon $234,750 $113,580 $113,430
Pennsylvania $174,240 $98,680 $101,950
Rhode Island N/A $108,320 $115,310
South Carolina $165,940 $99,590 $100,680
South Dakota $190,880 N/A $102,230
Tennessee $157,070 $90,070 $96,510
Texas $167,020 $92,560 $115,440
Utah $146,470 $104,580 $105,240
Vermont N/A $94,850 $105,840
Virginia $180,120 $94,920 $109,110
Washington $192,440 $107,810 $126,920
West Virginia $188,580 N/A $103,170
Wisconsin $233,600 $115,100 $112,130
Wyoming $243,310 N/A $118,110
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


APRN Average Salaries in Your City, Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics


A geographical area is a large determinant of earning potential, regardless of one's degree or career path. Larger cities and highly populated states typically offer higher salaries. At the same time, more rural areas or areas with a less dense population often pay wages that are closer to the lower end of the national average for those jobs.

If you are an APRN or are considering becoming one and want to know which cities may offer the best APRN salary, take a look at the table below. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, some cities the offer generous income opportunities for advanced practice registered nurses to work include the following.

In San Francisco, California, a nurse anesthetist makes approximately $254,860. Nurse midwives and nurse practitioners earn between $156,450 and $157,150. Toledo, Ohio, offers APRNs who are nurse anesthetists a salary of around $266,000. In the same city, nurse midwives earn about $129,000, and nurse practitioners generally make a little more than $106,000 each year.

It is essential to keep in mind that some employers offer benefits such as paid personal and sick leave, insurance and retirement plans, or incentives such as higher pay for working evening or night shifts or working weekends. Therefore, if you are trying to negotiate an APRN salary, be sure to ask potential employers what benefits or incentives, if any, they offer.

City Nurse Anesthetist Nurse Midwife Nurse Practitioner
Akron, OH N/A N/A $114,030
Albuquerque, NM $155,740 $97,440 $108,940
Amarillo, TX N/A N/A $101,510
Anaheim, CA $217,450 $163,020 $138,340
Anchorage, AK N/A $72,680 $115,200
Arlington, TX N/A $85,720 $115,190
Atlanta, GA $168,620 $118,780 $106,360
Aurora, CO $181,480 $109,900 $108,150
Austin, TX N/A N/A $107,720
Bakersfield, CA N/A N/A $135,130
Baltimore, MD $199,810 $118,570 $115,140
Baton Rouge, LA $160,840 N/A $92,840
Birmingham, AL $171,170 N/A $103,520
Boise, ID $149,850 N/A $121,350
Boston, MA $202,960 $103,760 $123,690
Buffalo, NY $159,080 $114,950 $103,920
Charlotte, NC $207,650 $108,790 $104,740
Chicago, IL $186,380 $101,060 $106,800
Cincinnati, OH $182,290 $94,790 $98,790
Cleveland, OH $161,930 $102,850 $101,430
Colorado Springs, CO N/A N/A $99,000
Columbus, GA $247,540 N/A $111,980
Columbus, OH $211,000 $109,560 $102,980
Corpus Christi, TX $150,960 N/A $106,420
Dallas, TX N/A $85,720 $115,190
Denver, CO $181,480 $109,900 $108,150
Des Moines, IA $194,850 N/A $101,390
Detroit, MI $182,440 $83,530 $111,580
Durham, NC N/A N/A $105,990
El Paso, TX N/A N/A $109,260
Fayetteville, NC N/A N/A $113,990
Fort Wayne, IN N/A N/A $102,540
Fort Worth, TX N/A $85,720 $115,190
Fresno, CA N/A N/A $132,510
Greensboro, NC N/A N/A $107,650
Henderson, NV N/A N/A $112,470
Honolulu, HI $198,530 N/A $126,210
Houston, TX $172,370 $105,640 $124,960
Indianapolis, IN $165,080 $110,890 $106,750
Jacksonville, FL $170,650 $82,250 $96,210
Jersey City, NJ $206,740 $117,680 $128,720
Kansas City, MO $135,790 $111,420 $108,460
Laredo, TX N/A N/A $114,250
Las Vegas, NV N/A N/A $112,470
Lexington, KY $172,370 N/A $96,180
Lincoln, NE N/A N/A $97,720
Little Rock, AR $176,590 N/A $102,320
Long Beach, CA $217,450 $163,020 $138,340
Los Angeles, CA $217,450 $163,020 $138,340
Louisville, KY $156,490 N/A $105,250
Lubbock, TX N/A N/A $107,080
Madison, WI $203,700 N/A $110,210
Memphis, TN $164,720 N/A $104,680
Mesa, AZ $142,350 $108,530 $108,610
Miami, FL $171,820 $72,860 $103,960
Milwaukee, WI $219,850 $114,390 $111,580
Minneapolis, MN $185,680 $122,080 $120,280
Modesto, CA N/A N/A $143,530
Montgomery, AL N/A N/A $107,750
Nashville, TN $153,980 N/A $94,360
New Orleans, LA $154,200 N/A $106,840
New York, NY $206,740 $117,680 $128,720
Newark, NJ $206,740 $117,680 $128,720
Norfolk, VA $188,840 $95,640 $107,100
Oakland, CA $254,860 $156,450 $157,150
Oklahoma City, OK $175,590 N/A $113,750
Omaha, NE $150,840 N/A $106,540
Orlando, FL N/A $97,660 $99,370
Oxnard, CA N/A N/A $135,700
Philadelphia, PA $175,230 $97,620 $107,250
Phoenix, AZ $142,350 $108,530 $108,610
Pittsburgh, PA $186,080 $91,370 $99,130
Portland, OR $224,170 $113,030 $114,280
Raleigh, NC $165,840 N/A $108,640
Reno, NV N/A N/A $125,670
Richmond, VA $188,580 $109,550 $112,310
Riverside, CA N/A N/A $140,600
Rochester, NY $189,850 N/A $106,040
Sacramento, CA $236,400 N/A $134,130
Saint Paul, MN $185,680 $122,080 $120,280
San Antonio, TX N/A N/A $109,550
San Bernardino, CA N/A N/A $140,600
San Diego, CA N/A $130,140 $125,550
San Francisco, CA $254,860 $156,450 $157,150
San Jose, CA N/A N/A $136,630
Scottsdale, AZ $142,350 $108,530 $108,610
Seattle, WA $190,730 $114,470 $124,730
Spokane, WA $189,240 N/A $160,110
St. Louis, MO $169,720 $102,440 $103,150
St. Petersburg, FL $140,270 N/A $99,420
Stockton, CA N/A N/A $123,060
Tacoma, WA $190,730 $114,470 $124,730
Tampa, FL $140,270 N/A $99,420
Toledo, OH $266,260 $129,360 $106,330
Tucson, AZ N/A N/A $117,230
Tulsa, OK $169,270 N/A $113,520
Virginia Beach, VA $188,840 $95,640 $107,100
Washington, DC $173,340 $103,700 $113,920
Wichita, KS $157,120 N/A $90,060
Winston–Salem, NC N/A N/A $97,900
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Where Do the Majority of APRNs Practice?


APRNs have the opportunity to work in a variety of settings, depending on their preference of specialization. Nurse midwives often work in private practices, hospitals, and birthing centers. Nurse anesthetists work in hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, and physician's offices that perform any procedures requiring anesthesia. Nurse practitioners typically work in doctor's offices or clinics. However, they may also work in healthcare centers, long-term care, or assisted living centers and hospitals.

Type of Practice Setting Nurse Anesthetist Nurse Midwife Nurse Practitioner
Employment % Employment % Employment %
Offices of Physicians 22,870 52.49% 2,820 40.69% 95,820 47.77%
Hospitals 14,420 33.10% 2,040 29.44% 47,420 23.64%
Outpatient Care Centers 1,910 4.38% 1,180 17.03% 18,820 9.38%
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools 1,410 3.24% 100 1.44% 6,710 3.34%
Offices of Other Health Practitioners 1,870 4.29% 520 7.50% 6,210 3.10%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


What Is the Salary Outlook for APRNs?


Because the demand for qualified healthcare providers continues to rise, the salary outlook for APRNs is promising. Whether the increased need for healthcare providers is attributed to the baby boomer population reaching retirement age, people living longer, or the alarming number of both acute and chronic illnesses and diseases that are prevalent in society, the market for an advanced practice registered nurse is significant. In fact, the estimated increase in APRN jobs by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is indicative of the chances of the APRN salary being more favorable, giving APRNs negotiating power.


What Is the Job Outlook for APRNs?


The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics has stated that it expects APRN jobs to grow by as much as 28 percent from 2018 to 2028. It reports that nurse midwives and nurse anesthetists will see close to a seventeen percent growth in job opportunities. The BLS also projects that nurse practitioners will see new employment growth of over twenty-eight percent.

Type of APRN Employment New Employment Growth (2018-2028) Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement)
2018 2028 Number %
Nurse Anesthetist 45,000 52,700 7,700 17.11% 3,200
Nurse Midwife 6,500 7,600 1,100 16.92% 500
Nurse Practitioner 189,100 242,400 53,300 28.19% 16,900
(Source: careeronestop.org)


Conclusion


The nursing industry is an ever-growing and expanding industry that offers would-be nurses the chance to achieve higher-level education and certification and to earn a significant income. With the anticipated increase in the demand for advanced practice registered nurses, it is possible to expect a generous APRN salary, even in entry-level positions. If you are considering becoming an APRN, there is no better time than now to begin the journey!


Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Our Expert


How can I negotiate an APRN salary that I am happy with?


If you want to negotiate a salary that you are comfortable with, the first thing you need to do is realize your value as an APRN. Have confidence in knowing that your presence helps reduce the occurrence of medical complications, improves patient satisfaction, and may shorten a patient's length of stay in a hospital or reduce the rate of readmission. Take the time to research what the going rate for an APRN is in the area where you hope to practice. Also, don't sell yourself short by being the first one to discuss a suggested salary. If a potential employer asks you how much money you'd like to make, you can respond by saying things such as, "I am not sure yet what I think is a fair salary. What do you think is an appropriate salary range for the position you have available?" Remember, if you give a number that you think is appropriate before a potential employer does, it may be less than what they had planned to offer you, and you may end up making less than they would have been willing to pay you.

Can an APRN practice independently?


While most states do allow advanced practice registered nurses to work independently, there are some that require APRNs to have a collaborative practice agreement with a physician. Before beginning practice as an APRN, it is advisable to contact your local board of nursing to verify your state's practice authority.

What is the difference between a clinical nurse specialist and a nurse practitioner?


Both clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners are advanced practice registered nurses who have earned a master's or post-Master of Science degree in nursing. Nurse practitioners typically focus on direct patient care. Their typical duties include taking health histories, assess, diagnose, and treat illness, prescribe medications, and refer patients to specialists if needed. Clinical nurse specialists incorporate patient care and management of patient populations to their approaches to nursing care. Clinical nurse specialists focus on improving patient care and engaging in roles as a clinician, researcher, educator, and manager of patient care.

Do continuing education hours affect an APRN’s salary?


Generally speaking, continuing education hours should not affect an APRN's salary. However, not keeping up with continuing education requirements can be detrimental to an APRN's career. APRNs must recertify with the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners or American Nurses Credentialing Center every five years. Depending on an APRN's area of specialization, there are guidelines that determine the minimum number of clinical hours of practice and how many continuing education hours should be completed.

Where can APRNs get certified?


Certification for advanced practice registered nurses is available through both the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners offers Family Nurse Practitioner Certification, Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Certification, and Emergency Nurse Practitioner Certification. The American Nurses Credentialing Center offers various certifications in several specialty and practice areas, including Adult Nurse Practitioner Certification, Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certification, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Certification, and Family Nurse Practitioner Certification.


Darby Faubion BSN, RN
Darby Faubion is a nurse and Allied Health educator with over twenty years' experience. She has assisted in developing curriculum for nursing programs and has instructed students at both community college and university levels.