30 Top Benefits of Being a Nurse Practitioner in 2023 and Beyond
Written By: Donna Reese MSN, RN, CSN
With the founder of the nurse practitioner movement, Loretta Ford, turning 102 years old this year, we can surmise that she is happy to know that the outlook for NPs is bright for 2023 and beyond. Ms. Ford will surely agree that there are numerous advantages of being a nurse practitioner nowadays.
Curious NPs may want to know exactly what are the benefits of being a nurse practitioner? Both new and experienced nurses can uncover the many positive attributes of our profession by reading “30 top benefits of being a nurse practitioner in 2023 and beyond”. You will be pleased by the multitude of fabulous reasons that you chose this great profession. No wonder NPs were ranked as the #1 healthcare profession this past year.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BEING A NURSE PRACTITIONER?
(The following are the top 30 benefits of being a nurse practitioner in 2023 and beyond.)
BENEFIT #1: Compensation
One of the biggest benefits of being a nurse practitioner is that you should be compensated nicely for your advanced degree and knowledge as an NP. Nurse practitioners are in demand; therefore, future employers will try to entice you to work for them by offering a competitive salary and compensation package. Sign-on bonuses of $10,000 are typical at present, which is a nice way to begin your new position as an NP. With the average NP making $ 138,895 (per Glassdoor), you can be pretty happy with your wage in this career.
Due to the high need for NPs, you are in a great position to negotiate the terms of your contract. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by taking the first offer that comes your way without considering all that you need and want from your new job.
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BENEFIT #2: Flexibility
As nurses, we are very limited in our choice at work to leave early, come in late, or even take our scheduled breaks. As a nurse and new breastfeeding mother, I recalled times when I had to choose between hastily pumping in a tiny bathroom and my one and only break. This scenario is not unusual for nurses who forego much of their break time due to the constraints of the job.
As an NP, we are offered more flexibility in our daily work schedule and typically do not have to punch a clock like many other healthcare professionals. We sometimes bring our kids to work if needed or leave to grab a quick cappuccino. If we must get caught up, we don’t necessarily have to stay at work after our shift, but instead, we can take work home or come in on a Saturday. In our nursing life, we did not have this seemingly everyday luxury.
BENEFIT #3: In Demand
The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics
predicts a 40% job growth for nurse practitioners through 2031. This prediction is above average for most occupations, so you can rest assured that a job will be available for you well into the future.
NPs specializing in adult-gerontology
can be especially reassured that they will be needed as our large baby boomer population ages and become needier. In addition, with the primary care provider shortage becoming critical, FNPs should be able to find jobs easily to help fill the gap in care.
BENEFIT #4: Respect
As a nurse, at times, we can feel like a handmaiden, cleaning people and scapegoats. As nurse practitioners, we still may get beaten up a bit on the job by patients, doctors, and families, but the incidences are less-so in our profession. As providers and advanced practice nurses, we typically gain the respect of our patients and those we work with. The community generally admires NPs, as do those in the working world. This feeling of respect is one of the benefits of being a nurse practitioner that is novel to our profession after being treated poorly as an RN.
BENEFIT #5: Self-Satisfaction
What is more satisfying than successfully completing a rigorous nurse practitioner program
of study and landing the job of your dreams? Finally, reaching a tough goal creates a gratifying sense of self-satisfaction that we NPs can all recall. Once on the job, this feeling continues as we work with patients who need us to help them achieve optimal wellness.
I recall this feeling at my first job, where I was so proud to introduce myself as their NP provider. This sense continued when I happily spoke to others about my new job and profession. We certainly have accomplished much and deserve to bask in the glow of our achievement.
BENEFIT #6: Patient Education
As a provider, nurse practitioners are the star when it comes to patient education. We know the importance of educating patients, so they master their conditions and are less likely to have complications due to medication errors and ignorance regarding the critical aspects of their care. Informed patients are generally happier and healthier than their counterparts who are in the dark about their condition and treatment.
Since most NPs enjoy health teaching, this is one of the benefits of being a nurse practitioner that is a pleasure.
BENEFIT #7: Holistic Care
As nursing students, we learn about holistic care in our practice as a nurse. This concept is carried over as we transition to nurse practitioners. Patient-centered holistic care
is one of the primary positive aspects of our profession that sets us apart from other providers. As a whole, nurse practitioners excel at treating their patients' minds, bodies, and spirits to achieve high levels of patient satisfaction. The ability to make our patients happy through our care model is one of the biggest benefits of being a nurse practitioner!
BENEFIT #8: Prescribe Medication
For me, one of the top benefits of being a nurse practitioner is the ability to prescribe medication. Writing my first few scripts was an exciting experience for me and was the highlight of my transition to an NP. After all, having the ability and authority to prescribe medication is one of the most obvious functions of our jobs that set us apart from our previous lives as an RN. Although some states still make prescribing a bit cumbersome or restricted due to their NP scope of practice
regulations, we all can prescribe to some extent in our work settings.
BENEFIT #9: Able To Practice Independently
Unlike physician assistants, the nurse practitioner profession is designed to practice independently. What a joy it is to have this independence! While some states, such as Georgia and Missouri, tamp down this privilege with restrictive practice authority, our profession as a whole is making gains in independent practice across the US. With half of the states and US territories granting full practice authority
, NPs across the country are spreading their wings fully to practice as they choose.
For those who can fully practice independently, the privilege to freely prescribe medication is undoubtedly one of the top benefits of being a nurse practitioner.
BENEFIT #10: Ability To Own A Business
It is exciting to know that NPs can be business owners of all sorts of enterprises. We can spread our wings and pursue our passions outside traditional NP roles to join the world of free enterprise.
Nurse practitioner business ideas
can be any of the following (plus so many more):
• Health coach
• Nurse and medical personnel staffing company
• Home health company
• Private duty (owner or independent worker)
• Health writer
• Online scrubs and nursing supply company
The great thing about being a business owner is that you can use yourself as the “product”, such as an independent provider for Medicare risk assessments, or own a whole company and employ others for a larger venture.
BENEFIT #11: Fill A Gap In Care
The American Association of Medical Colleges
reports, “The United States could see an estimated shortage of between 37,800 and 124,000 physicians by 2034”. While this is alarming for our future patients, the news is good for nurse practitioners seeking work. It is glaringly obvious that NPs are needed to fill this gap. And we are even more essential in medically underserved areas such as impoverished sections of inner cities, rural areas, reservations, and migrant camps.
BENEFIT #12: Can Work From Home
Most of us enjoy the flexibility provided by working at home. Nothing is better than staying at home in our PJs with a pot of coffee close by, making job-related phone calls, and working on paperwork with the dog at our feet. This perk was one of the top benefits of being a nurse practitioner for me in my present job. Some days I do not get out of my jammies until noon as I work through the morning on my computer.
Of course, not all NPs can work from home, but many do have the luxury, at least on occasion, to “work from home
”. With high demand for NPs and staffing shortages, employers may be more than willing to allow you to continue to work from the comfort of your house in order to keep you on the job. Remember this fact when you negotiate your contract, as employers may not volunteer this option.
BENEFIT #13: Can Teach
Nurse practitioners make excellent teachers due to exceptional communication and leadership skills. With our advanced nursing degree, we can work as nurse educators
in various settings.
Hospitals and healthcare corporations employ nurse practitioners as educators as well as colleges, and nursing and trade schools. Classroom teaching or clinical educators are in high demand at present, with an ongoing nursing faculty shortage
. The private industry also seeks advanced-practice nurses to educate consumers on their medical products, with an added bonus of excellent pay in this environment!
BENEFIT #14: Achieve Work-Life Balance
Nurse and nurse practitioner burnout rate is at an all-time high. Recently, the VA reported
that burnout affects between 40 and 80% of clinician groups. With that disquieting fact, it is essential that NPs find ways to care for themselves physically and mentally.
Obviously, work-life balance
is necessary to avoid this level of distress. Fortunately, nurse practitioners are in the driver’s seat when negotiating benefits, which should include flexible schedules and plenty of extra days for R&R and sick time. Employers want to keep their nurse practitioners happy, so it is more common to find jobs where you do not have to be held hostage by your job.
With the high level of stress associated with the healthcare industry of late, having the ability to balance your life with your job is one of the more essential positive benefits of being a nurse practitioner.
BENEFIT #15: Can travel
Although the travel industry boom for medical professionals is beginning to calm down, there will always be opportunities to work as a traveler for NPs. For those who want to see the world, experience new opportunities, and make great money, there is nothing better than jumping in as a traveling provider. With satisfying compensation of $165,420, travel nurse practitioners
can live quite comfortably in this field. With some agencies offering sign-on bonuses, food allowances, and paid rent, this is an excellent opportunity to compile a nice little nest egg.
BENEFIT #16: Can Have A Side Hustle
Are you ready to dip your toe into an entrepreneurial venture but on a smaller scale? Enterprising NPs who want to keep their day job can still own a small business or work on the side, especially if their current job is flexible. A side hustle
can be as simple as writing CEUs or an online course.
Other extra job ideas can be:
• Working per diem at a different job
• Starting a hydration business
• Online coaching
No matter what you choose, you have the potential to make extra money and gain experience that will prove valuable.
BENEFIT #17: Can Specialize
One of the benefits of being a nurse practitioner is that you can specialize or further niche down your practice if you desire. For example, a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner
is in a perfect position to specialize in ADHD treatment or teen mental health. No worries if you don’t have a particular skill to specialize in! There is a myriad of nurse practitioner online mini-courses to help you become adept in a specific niche, such as:
• Foot and wound care
• Hydration therapy
• Women’s hormones
• Men’s health
• At-home risk assessment
• Weight loss
These ideas can be side hustles or add to your practice to boost revenue and make you a valuable commodity. Eventually, you may want to even quit your day job and specialize in this new role as your new career.
BENEFIT #18: Can Make A Difference
Most of us go into nursing to make a difference for our patients. As a nurse practitioner, your credibility is even more valued than a nurse. This increased authority will make your voice even more heard and important to advocate for better healthcare and your patients. Your valuable contribution can be on a small scale, such as in your department or facility. However, nurse practitioners across the globe have proven that they make a difference on an even grander scale in politics and advance our profession.
You can respond to the call for action by:
• Joining nurse practitioner organizations
• Know the critical issues
• Take on leadership roles
• Volunteer: politically, on task forces at work, in NP organizations, and the community
• Write to your legislators on matters of concern
For many of us, making a difference in the lives of our patients and community is one of the top benefits of being a nurse practitioner.
BENEFIT #19: Job Security
It is rare that a nurse practitioner is laid off or fired. Employers need us and will take great measures to keep those in our profession happy and on the job. With the great need for NPs, comes increased job security, which is a great feeling!
One of the biggest benefits of being a nurse practitioner in a downward economy is that medical professionals will still be necessary and essential no matter what happens outside the hospital doors. A study by the Bureau of Labor and statistics
showed that during the economic decline in 2007-2010 (labeled the Great Recession), nursing was proven to be ”recession-proof”, giving mention to all healthcare professionals as a whole in this category.
BENEFIT #20: Job Variety
As with nursing, NPs have more types of jobs to pick from than most any other profession. If you are tired of your current job, there are plenty of other jobs in many environments to choose from. You can be employed in a hospital, ambulatory setting, in politics, private industry, sales, small business owner, writer, speaker, employer for a staffing agency, etc. The list goes on and on. There is hardly an excuse to remain in a job you dislike or are bored of when the world is virtually ready to accept you with open arms in various settings.
BENEFIT #21: Diverse Population
Nurse practitioners deal with people of every shape, gender, culture, age, economic class, and demographic. Depending on the job, your patient population can be highly diverse such as in a hospital or clinic. You get to meet all sorts of patients from every walk of life. Or you may limit the population base according to the job type, such as NPs in neonatology
or working in informatics. One thing is certain; you will never get bored by being boxed into working with one particular population of patients.
BENEFIT #22: School Financial Assistance
One of the bigger benefits of being a nurse practitioner is that most aspiring NPs or those going back for more schooling in our field can find financial assistance for their education. Having your nurse practitioner school paid for
can be quite a perk and a massive worry off your mind. Your employer, community agencies, nursing organizations, schools, and the government offer incentives to help nurses get through NP school.
Most NP compensation packages
will include educational incentives and reimbursements so remember to ask for this benefit when negotiating a contract.
BENEFIT #23: Rewarding
Nothing is more rewarding as a provider than being able to help your patients achieve optimal wellness. After all, our willing nature to be there for patients is why most of us went into nursing school in the first place. As a provider, this satisfaction deepens as we can more fully assist the patient towards good health through our ability to diagnose and treat them. As a nurse practitioner there are many reasons why being a nurse practitioner is worth it
, and the reward of serving our patients is at the top of that list.
BENEFIT #24: Career Longevity
As a nurse practitioner, you may have a few different positions in your career. However, most NPs enjoy a long tenure in this profession. Many even stay in one position the whole time. It is rare to see an NP jump ship to quit the profession or enter another career altogether. For most NPs, their career goals include long-term plans that will require them to stay in the field, hone their skills, and advance within the healthcare system.
One aspect of being an NP is almost guaranteed, you will not be booted out before you are ready due to the high need for nurse practitioners.
BENEFIT #25: Build Connections With Patients
Having the ability to get to know your patients, gain their trust and build connections is one of the more satisfying benefits of being a nurse practitioner. NPs enjoy and see the importance of educating their patients and listening to their concerns. These factors go a long way toward building healthy relationships with your patients. We invest time and energy into making our patients feel “seen”. This pays off in the long run as we acquire a faithful following in our practice.
BENEFIT #26: Government Jobs
Many of the typical government nursing jobs
can translate over to NP positions. One of the benefits of being a nurse practitioner in the military is that you should be able to pick just about any of the same jobs as a civilian, such as in VA hospitals, clinics, or ambulatory care.
In addition, most local, state, and federal government entities seek providers, NPs included. In fact, nurse practitioners help to fill the gap in government jobs that physicians are reluctant to fill, such as in correctional facilities and underserved areas.
BENEFIT #27: Leadership
Nurse practitioners are natural leaders. Additionally, many of us have some leadership experience as RNs before transitioning to the role of an NP. With these two inherent and learned traits, most have the leadership skills
necessary to lead our team to a successful practice.
Having the opportunity to be a leader in our individual job or our profession or community is one of the top benefits of being a nurse practitioner if we want to make a difference in the lives of our patients, community, and profession.
BENEFIT #28: Career Advancement
Most of us will not begin our NP career at the top of the healthcare ladder. We typically get our feet wet working in a hospital or ambulatory care setting where we are most comfortable. However, you will have the ability, authority, and credentials to go far once you feel comfortable in your NP skin.
The opportunity to advance and boost your career
in the healthcare system, nursing organizations, politics, or through a new private venture is an excellent perk of being a nurse practitioner.
BENEFIT #29: Have Your Own Practice
For some NPs, the culmination of all of your hard work and education can be summed up as a private practitioner. Flying on your own and starting your own practice is undoubtedly the pinnacle of what full practice authority can embody for a nurse practitioner. Being an independent nurse practitioner clinic owner
can be a lucrative career choice for all types of NPs, from psychiatric to acute care and pediatrics through old age.
Also, owning a telehealth practice in just about every medical niche specialty is fair game for entrepreneurial NPs wanting to go solo.
BENEFIT #30: Doing Something That You Love!
It is reassuring to know that you are in a great profession with excellent job stability. Additionally, having a career you love is satisfying and, on many days, stimulating. Fulfilling your life passion through work is one of the greatest rewards that we can experience. With such a diverse array of traditional and unique nurse practitioner jobs
available, you can keep that passion burning bright as you continue to challenge yourself with new and exciting twists to your profession.
What Is The Average Salary For A Nurse Practitioner?
The average annual salary of a nurse practitioner is $118,040. That breaks down to $56.75 per hour and a weekly wage of $2,270. According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, you can expect to bring home $9,840 a month on average.
|(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)|
What Is The 10-Year Job Outlook For A Nurse Practitioner?
The outlook for NPs is bright. The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects new employment growth for nurse practitioners of 52.16% by adding 114,900 NPs in the US through 2030.
| Projected 10-Year|
| Number || % |
| 220,300 || 335,200 || +114,900 || +52.16% |
|(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)|
My Final Thoughts
Before starting your NP program, you most likely thought that being a nurse practitioner would be a great career choice. But you may have wondered what are the benefits of being a nurse practitioner? Hopefully, you soon discovered many of the wonderful reasons that so many RNs choose to further their education and become an NP. After reading “30 top benefits of being a nurse practitioner in 2023 and beyond”, you should be convinced that you made the right choice and can rest assured that your career will be fulfilling and rewarding well into the future.
Donna Reese MSN, RN, CSN
Donna Reese is a freelance nurse health content writer with 37 years nursing experience. She has worked as a Family Nurse Practitioner in her local community clinic and as an RN in home health, rehabilitation, hospital, and school nursing.