Nurse Practitioner Salary in Louisiana for 2024


Written By: Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH


In May, 2021, Louisiana nurse practitioners came one step closer to independent practice when the Louisiana House of Representatives voted overwhelming to approve House Bill 495. Had the bill been passed by the Bayou State Senate, it likely would have increased the average salary of a nurse practitioner in Louisiana. Unfortunately, however, the bill died without ever coming to vote in the Senate, which means NPs still can only practice in Louisiana under the terms of collaborative agreements with supervising physicians.

How much does a nurse practitioner make in Louisiana? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, NPs average $118,210 annually in the Bayou State. Keep reading for the inside scoop on nurse practitioner salary in Louisiana for 2024.


What is the Starting Salary of a Nurse Practitioner in Louisiana?


The entry-level nurse practitioner salary in Louisiana is $39.21 an hour, which multiplies out to $6,800 a month or $81,550 a year. Entry-level NP salaries are typically lower than average salaries because orienting a new nurse practitioner costs an organization extra money for expenses like learning materials and the opportunity costs associated with staff who must train and supervise these new employees. The organization attempts to recoup some of these onboarding costs by paying new hires lower salaries.

NP entry-level salaries are also influenced by competition in local job markets. At $89,034 a year, entry-level salaries in New Orleans, the Bayou State’s largest metropolis, are 8 percent higher than the starting nurse practitioner salary in Louisiana throughout the state. That’s likely due to a higher demand for NPs in the Big Easy where there are more medical centers and more acutely ill patients than there are in other parts of the state. While considerably more than half of Louisiana’s population lives in an area designated “medically underserved” by the federal government, restrictive NP practice laws drive the demand for nurse practitioners down in these areas, and this depresses the salaries offered to new NP hires.

Hourly$39.21
Monthly $6,800
Annual$81,550
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


What is the Average Salary of a Nurse Practitioner in Louisiana?


What is the average salary of a nurse practitioner in Louisiana? The average nurse practitioner salary in Louisiana is $56.83 an hour, which comes to $9,850 a month or $118,210 a year. NPs in the Bayou State generally reach this benchmark after they’ve spent about a decade working.

Average salaries can vary considerably from location to location within a state. In the Louisiana state capital Baton Rouge, where the poverty rate is a staggering 26 percent, the average salary for NPs is $97,970 annually, which is 17 percent less than the state average; in Lafayette, the unofficial capital of the Bayou State’s oil and gas industry, nurse practitioner salaries average $120,560 annually, which is 8 percent more than the state average.

Variation in average salaries tends to be driven by variation in the cost of living indices. Average Louisiana nurse practitioner salaries are 5 percent less than the average nurse practitioner salary throughout all parts of the U.S. but the cost of living in Louisiana is actually 11 percent less than the cost of living in the U.S. as a whole. That means the purchasing power associated with the average salary of a nurse practitioner in Louisiana is actually 11 percent higher than the purchasing power associated with the average NP salary for the entire U.S.

Hourly$56.83
Monthly$9,850
Annual$118,210
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Nurse Practitioner Salary in Louisiana by Years of Experience


In Louisiana, nurse practitioners with one to four years of experience earn 25 percent more than nurse practitioners who are just starting their careers, while nurse practitioners with five to nine years of experience earn 42 percent more than nurse practitioners who are just starting out. Why is that? Because you get better at things the longer you do them.

Graduates of one of the best nurse practitioner programs in Louisiana learn the hands-on skills they need in their NP programs, but chances are they haven’t had the opportunity to practice them often enough so that these competencies become second nature. And while you can learn leadership theory in an academic setting, it’s difficult to inspire vision and set direction until you’ve actually spent a considerable amount of time in the trenches.

Nurse practitioners with two decades or more of experience can expect to earn significantly more than twice the entry-level NP salary. Here, another dynamic may be at play, however: Like many other states, Louisiana is facing a serious shortage of primary care providers, most notably in its rural and low-income areas. Although statistics pertaining specifically to nurse practitioners in Louisiana have not been broken out, the average age of an NP in the U.S. is 49 years old, and this is the age when many NPs begin to think seriously about retirement. The high nurse practitioner salary in Louisiana paid to NPs with 20 or more years of experience doubtless serves as an incentive to keep many of these NPs in the workforce.

Years of Experience Hourly Monthly Annual
Starting (Entry-Level)$39.21$6,800$81,550
1-4 Years of Experience$49.00$8,490$101,920
5-9 Years of Experience$55.59$9,640$115,620
10-19 Years of Experience$63.57$11,020$132,220
20 Years or More Experience$73.43$12,730$152,730
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Total Annual Nurse Practitioner Compensation (Including Other Benefits) in Louisiana


Nurse practitioner salary in Louisiana is only part of the total compensation package NPs receive in the Bayou State. Nurse practitioners who work full-time jobs also receive benefits, which are non-cash perks that can often carry a considerable cash value. Benefits can include medical insurance, retirement contributions, paid time off, liability insurance, and paid leave for professional activities. While some benefits like workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance are legally mandated, most are awarded at an employer’s discretion. The great thing about benefits from an employee’s perspective? They’re non-taxable!

When you’re reviewing an employment offer, it’s always smart to look at the benefits package that comes with it. Louisiana NPs working in the private sector earn salaries that are marginally higher than Louisiana NPs working for state and local governments. But when you add benefits to the total compensation package, you’ll see that Louisiana NPs working for state and local governments make significantly more. On average, Louisiana NPs in the private sector get benefits with a cash valuation of $49,945; when added to their average salary of $118,220, this brings their total compensation to $168,165 a year. Louisiana NPs in the public sector, on the other hand, get benefits with a cash valuation of $72,704 a year; when added to their average salary of $118,120, this brings their total compensation to $190,824 a year.

Component Private Industry State and Local Government
Paid Leave $12,444$14,503
Supplemental Pay $5,886$1,908
Insurance $13,117$22,326
Retirement and Savings $5,718$23,662
Legally Required $12,781$10,495
Total Benefits $49,945$72,704
Average Annual Salary $118,220$118,120
Total Compensation $168,165$190,824
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Nurse Practitioner Salary in Louisiana by Practice Setting


The highest-paid nurse practitioners in Louisiana are those who work in outpatient care centers like ambulatory surgery centers, primary care clinics, emergency rooms, and urgent care providers. Bayou State NPs employed by outpatient care centers earn $127,070 annually, which is 4 percent more than their counterparts who work in hospitals and medical centers, and 10 percent more than their counterparts who work in physicians’ offices. This salary differential probably exists because outpatient care centers are one of the biggest profit centers in today’s healthcare environment, and their revenue-generating potential shows no signs of abating.

In contrast, even physicians who are affiliated with a preferred provider organization may be seeing fewer patients at their offices, particularly since the number of such visits declined drastically as a result of the COVID pandemic and still have not entirely rebounded. Physicians in private practice can’t typically take advantage of economies of scale to offset operational losses. Oftentimes, the only strategy available to them is to pay employees less.

Nurse practitioners in educational settings make the lowest nurse practitioner salary in Louisiana: $108,010 annually, which is 13 percent less than NPs who work in outpatient care settings. Universities and professional schools, however, typically pay extremely generous benefits, so these NPs’ total compensation packages are probably quite competitive.

Type of Practice SettingHourlyAnnual
Outpatient Care Centers$61.10$127,070
Hospitals$58.95$122,620
Offices of Physicians$55.56$115,560
Colleges, Universities and Professional Schools$51.93$108,010
Offices of Other Health Practitioners$51.35$106,810
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Nurse Practitioner Salary in Louisiana by Specialty


1. Adult Gerontology-Acute Care Nurse Practitioner:

The average adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner pay in Louisiana is $59.00 an hour or $122,720 annually. AG-ACNPs specialize in the care of adults and senior citizens whose critical illnesses or injuries require hospitalization. Utilization of hospital services in Louisiana was high even before the COVID pandemic, but fueled by the Delta variant, hospitals utilization shot higher than 70 percent. Much of the burden of care for hospitalized COVID patients fell on AG-AC nurse practitioners.

Hourly$59.00
Annual$122,720


2. Adult Gerontology-Primary Care Nurse Practitioner:

The average adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner salary in Louisiana is $55.79 an hour or $116,050 annually. By some estimates, 95 percent of Louisiana residents live in areas with primary healthcare shortages. At the height of the COVID pandemic, this shortage prompted Louisiana’s governor to sign an emergency executive order allowing AG-PCNPs and other nurse practitioners to practice independently of legally required collaborative physician agreements. If collaborative agreements were waived permanently, adult gerontology-primary care NPs could use their skills and their training to help bridge the Bayou State’s primary healthcare provider gap more effectively.

Hourly$55.79
Annual$116,050


3. Dermatology Nurse Practitioner:

NPs who specialize in dermatology average $58.19 an hour or $121,040 a year. They’re employed mostly in the New Orleans and Lafayette Metropolitan Areas and the tonier suburbs of Baton Rouge. Many of them specialize in cosmological services like Botox and filler injections, and laser treatments.

Hourly$58.19
Annual$121,040


4. Family Nurse Practitioner:

Louisiana’s family nurse practitioners provide the front-line health maintenance, prevention and education services that are critically important to adequate primary healthcare provision. Like other NPs in the Bayou State trained in primary healthcare, FNPs could be doing a lot more for Louisianans if they were permitted to practice to the full extent of their education. Research from the Kaiser Foundation and others shows that nurse practitioners can manage 80 to 90 percent of the care traditionally provided by primary care physicians with no significant differences in treatment outcome.

The average family nurse practitioner salary in Louisiana is $57.87 an hour or $120,380 a year. The reason why family practitioners may make marginally lower salaries in Louisiana (and many other states) is because family practice is the largest NP specialty in the U.S. Prospective employers know they have a large pool of applicants to choose from and don’t have to use higher salaries to attract them.

Hourly$57.87
Annual$120,380


5. Neonatal Nurse Practitioner:

The highest-paid nurse practitioner in Louisiana is the neonatal nurse practitioner. The average neonatal nurse practitioner salary in Louisiana is $62.13 an hour or $129,230 a year. NNPs help manage the care and treatment of critically ill newborns in specialized critical care settings called Intensive Care Nurseries. In 2017, Louisiana’s pre-term birth was 12.7 percent, the second-worst rate in the nation. New Orleans and Baton Rouge are among the top 10 cities in the U.S. for premature births.

Hourly$62.13
Annual$129,230


6. Pediatric-Acute Care Nurse Practitioner:

Louisiana’s pediatric-acute care nurse practitioners work in medical centers and specialized children’s hospitals where they manage the care and treatment of ill and injured juveniles. Many of them are also trained to work with critically ill newborns, which makes them effective substitutes for neonatal nurse practitioners. In the Bayou State, P-ACNPs earn salaries that average $60.54 an hour or $125,940 annually.

Hourly$60.54
Annual$125,940


7. Pediatric-Primary Care Nurse Practitioner:

Pediatric-primary care nurse practitioners provide wellness and preventative care for infants, children, teenagers and adults with certain conditions that were first diagnosed when those adults were children. The specialty overlaps to a large degree with family nurse practice. The average pediatric-primary care nurse practitioner salary in Louisiana is $56.07 an hour or $116,600 a year.

Hourly$56.07
Annual$116,600


8. Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP):

Even before the COVID pandemic hit, Louisiana was facing a serious mental health crisis. An estimated 14 percent of the Bayou State’s adult population is affected by a diagnosable mental illness, and 3.6 of the state’s population live with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or some other condition that makes it difficult for them to carry out the routine activities of daily life. Louisiana ranks 43rd in the nation in expenditures on mental health services: Nearly two-thirds of residents with mental health conditions go untreated.

Louisiana’s psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners have the training to offer cost-effective care to these individuals, but the state’s restrictive scope of practice laws makes it difficult for them to offer management and treatment to the full extent of their education. The average psychiatric nurse practitioner salary in Louisiana is $60.96 an hour or $126,780 a year.

Hourly$60.96
Annual$126,780


9. Women's Health Nurse Practitioner:

Women’s health nurse practitioners in Louisiana focus on the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of women’s healthcare needs throughout the span of those women’s lifetime. It’s another NP specialty that can be looked upon as a subset of family practice. WHNP salaries in the Bayou State average $56.07 an hour or $116,600 annually.

Hourly$56.07
Annual$116,600


Nurse Practitioner Salary in Louisiana by City


1. New Orleans:

Though New Orleans is Louisiana’s largest city and one of the nation’s premier party capitals, nearly 24 percent of the Big Easy’s population lives below the federal poverty level, which is the second-highest poverty rate among the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. New Orleans residents have a COVID-related per capita death rate that’s nearly twice that of New York City, which medical experts attribute to the high incidence of co-morbidity factors like obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. The city’s health status would be greatly improved by better access to low-cost primary healthcare services such as the ones provided by nurse practitioners. The average nurse practitioner salary in New Orleans is $56.64 an hour or $117,820 a year.

Hourly$56.64
Annual$117,820


2. Baton Rouge:

Roughly 12 percent of Baton Rouge’s residents are affected by diabetes. More than 33 percent are obese, while nearly two-thirds of the city’s over-65 population have high blood pressure, which is a leading cause of strokes and heart attacks. These are conditions that have been shown to improve when access to primary healthcare services—such as those provided by nurse practitioners—improves. The average salary of a nurse practitioner in Baton Rouge, LA, is $56.17 an hour or $116,840 a year, which is 12 percent less than the state average.

Hourly$56.17
Annual$116,840


3. Shreveport:

Shreveport is a medical hub for the tri-state area where Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas converge. The average salary of a nurse practitioner in Shreveport is $54.09 an hour or $112,510 annually, which is 5 percent higher than the average salary for NPs throughout all parts of Louisiana. Shreveport is home to hospitals like Willis-Knighton Health System, Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport and CHRISTUS Health Shreveport-Bossier, all of which relied heavily on nurse practitioners to see them through the worst parts of the COVID pandemic. In 2022, Shreveport was the fifth-most obese city among the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S.

Hourly$54.09
Annual$112,510


4. Lafayette:

As the center of Louisiana’s oil and gas industry, Lafayette may be one of the Bayou State’s most prosperous cities, but it’s still dealing with a poverty rate that’s over 19 percent. Poverty has a direct correlation with adverse health outcomes, and Lafayette’s adult population is affected by high rates of diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure, all of which are amenable to primary healthcare interventions. The average NP salary in Lafayette, LA, is $63.81 an hour or $132,730 a year. Medical centers in Lafayette include Lafayette General Medical Center, AMG Specialty Hospital, and Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center.

Hourly$63.81
Annual$132,730


5. Lake Charles:

Lake Charles is known for its petrochemical refineries and gambling casinos. Nearly 23 percent of its population live beneath the federal poverty line, and the incidence of chronic conditions linked to poor health outcomes like diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure is much higher than the national average. Some 262 nurse practitioners help fulfill the metropolitan area’s primary healthcare needs. The average NP salary in Lake Charles, LA, is $52.97 an hour or $110,170 a year.

Hourly$52.97
Annual$110,170


NP Pay in Louisiana VS. Other Nursing Careers


Nurse practitioner salary in Louisiana is 31 percent less than the average annual salary for nurse anesthetists across the state but 36 percent higher than the average annual salary for post-secondary nursing instructors and teachers. The average nurse practitioner salary in Louisiana is also 65 percent more than the average annual salary of a registered nurse without an advanced practice degree in the Bayou State and significantly more than twice the average annual salary of a licensed practical or vocational nurse. This demonstrates that an advanced practice degree is likely a worthwhile investment.

OccupationAverage Annual Salary
Nurse Anesthetist$179,140
Nurse Midwife$119,520
Nurse Practitioner$118,210
Nursing Instructor and Teacher, Postsecondary$81,430
Registered Nurse$75,920
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurse$47,430
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


NP Pay in Louisiana VS. Other Healthcare Careers


In the healthcare professions, more years of education are generally correlated with higher pay. Nurse practitioner salary in Louisiana is significantly less than the average annual salary for healthcare providers like dentists, optometrists, podiatrists and pharmacists who’ve completed a four-year doctoral program. This is likely to change if the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree replaces the Master of Nursing Science (MSN) degree as the nursing profession’s terminal degree, as recommended in 2004 by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Nurse practitioners do earn significantly more than physician assistants in the Bayou State despite the fact that the two professions have very similar scopes of practice. This is by no means true in other states and may reflect the fact that like NPs, Louisiana’s PAs cannot operate autonomously but can only perform those services that are assigned by a delegating physician.

Occupation Average Annual Salary
Podiatrist $188,740
Dentist $165,610
Optometrist $141,990
Pharmacist $121,090
Physician Assistant $119,600
Nurse Practitioner $118,210
Veterinarian $110,410
Physical Therapist $95,820
Occupational Therapist $91,790
Audiologist $75,490
Chiropractor $70,880
Speech-Language Pathologist $70,590
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Why is the Outlook Bright for Nurse Practitioner Salary in Louisiana?


According to a needs assessment prepared by the Louisiana Department of Health’s WELL-AHEAD initiative in 2020, Louisiana is one of the unhealthiest states in the nation. Sixty-three out of 64 Louisiana parishes have been designated Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Areas by the federal government. Nurse practitioners can be efficient and cost-effective providers of primary healthcare services when allowed to practice to the full extent of their training.

Though House Bill 495 granting NPs full practice autonomy did not pass the Louisiana State Senate in 2022, it is likely a similar bill will pass within the next few years. The need is there—as the emergency executive order signed by the governor permitting NPs to practice autonomously during the state’s COVID crisis demonstrated. When Louisiana grants NPs full practice authority, the average NP salary in the Bayou State is likely to rise.


Summing It Up


How much does a nurse practitioner make in Louisiana? The average salary of a nurse practitioner in Louisiana for 2024 is $118,210 a year, which is 112 percent more than the average annual salary for all occupations throughout the state ($55,767). It’s a comfortable salary in a state where the cost of living is relatively low; and moreover, it’s a salary that’s likely to increase as restrictions on NP practice authority are lifted. Additionally, you may be able to increase your NP earnings by pursuing various certifications within your NP specialty field.


TOP QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR EXPERT


1. How many Nurse Practitioners are currently employed in Louisiana?

At present, 4,280 nurse practitioners are employed in Louisiana.

4,280
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

2. How much does a nurse practitioner make per hour in Louisiana?

The average nurse practitioner salary per hour in Louisiana is $56.83. This hourly rate varies with experience. Nurse practitioners with one to four years of experience average $49.00 an hour while nurse practitioners with five to nine years of experience average $55.59 an hour. NPs who’ve been in their profession for 20 years or longer can look forward to earning $73.43 an hour.

Years of ExperienceHourly
Starting (Entry-Level)$39.21
1-4 Years of Experience$49.00
5-9 Years of Experience$55.59
10-19 Years of Experience$63.57
20 Years or More Experience$73.43
Average Hourly Salary$56.83
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

3. How does the average salary of a nurse practitioner in Louisiana compare to the average NP salary in the U.S?

The average NP salary in Louisiana is $118,210 annually, which is 5 percent less than the average NP salary throughout all parts of the U.S.

Louisiana United StatesDifference
Number %
$118,210$124,680-$6,470-5.19%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

4. How much does a family nurse practitioner make in Louisiana?

The average FNP salary in Louisiana is $57.87 an hour, which works out to $10,020 a month or $120,380 a year.

Hourly$57.87
Monthly$10,020
Annual$120,380

5. How much does a psychiatric nurse practitioner make in Louisiana?

The average PMHNP salary in Louisiana is $60.96 an hour, which multiplies out to $10,560 a month or $126,780 a year.

Hourly$60.96
Monthly$10,560
Annual$126,780

6. What are the 5 highest-paid Nurse Practitioners in Louisiana?

Neonatal nurse practitioners in Louisiana earn $129,230 annually, making them the most highly paid NP specialty in the Bayou State. NNPs earn 9 percent more than the average annual salary for all NPs throughout Louisiana.

RankType of NPAnnual
1Neonatal Nurse Practitioner$129,230
2Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)$126,780
3Pediatric-Acute Care Nurse Practitioner$125,940
4Adult Gerontology-Acute Care Nurse Practitioner$122,720
5Dermatology Nurse Practitioner$121,040

7. What are the 5 highest paying cities for Nurse Practitioners in Louisiana?

The five highest paying cities for nurse practitioners in Louisiana are Lafayette ($132,730), Houma-Thibodaux ($128,130), New Orleans-Metairie ($117,820), Baton Rouge ($116,840) and Hammond ($113,730).

RankCityAverage Annual Salary
1Lafayette$132,730
2Houma-Thibodaux$128,130
3New Orleans-Metairie$117,820
4Baton Rouge$116,840
5Hammond$113,730
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

8. How much do Nurse Practitioners earn in the various metros of Louisiana?

NPs employed in the Greater Lafayette Metropolitan Area make $132,730 a year, which is 12 percent higher than the average annual salary for all NPs throughout Louisiana ($118,210). In contrast, NPs employed in the Monroe Metropolitan Area earn $104,470 a year, which is 27 percent lower.

Metro Employment Per Hour Per Year
Lafayette, LA 440 $63.81 $132,730
Houma-Thibodaux, LA 180 $61.60 $128,130
New Orleans-Metairie, LA 1,260 $56.64 $117,820
Baton Rouge, LA 790 $56.17 $116,840
Hammond, LA 140 $54.68 $113,730
Shreveport-Bossier City, LA 300 $54.09 $112,510
Lake Charles, LA 170 $52.97 $110,170
Alexandria, LA 180 $50.60 $105,250
Monroe, LA 260 $50.23 $104,470
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

9. Where do the majority of Nurse Practitioners practice in Louisiana?

Of Louisiana’s 4,280 nurse practitioners, 2,040 work in physicians’ office, 960 work in hospitals, 390 work in outpatient care centers, 110 work in universities and other academic settings, and 180 work in offices operated by non-physician healthcare professionals.

Type of Practice Setting Number of Nurse Practitioners
Offices of Physicians2,040
Hospitals960
Outpatient Care Centers390
Offices of Other Health Practitioners180
Colleges, Universities and Professional Schools110
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

10. What are the approximate number of annual job openings for nurse practitioners in Louisiana for 2023?

In 2023, Louisiana had 320 employment openings for nurse practitioners. Some 199 of those were newly created positions while 121 were replacement positions for NPs who’d retired or left their jobs for other reasons.

New Jobs Replacement Jobs Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement)
199121320
(Source: careeronestop.org)

11. What is the job outlook for NPs in Louisiana?

The job outlook for nurse practitioners in Louisiana is strong. Demand for NPs is expected to increase by more than 37 percent between 2020 and 2030.

Employment Employment Growth (2020-2030)
2020 2030 Number %
3,2104,4201,21037.69%
(Source: careeronestop.org)


Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH
Pattie Trumble is a nurse who worked in both California and New York for many years as an emergency room nurse. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and an Associate Degree in Nursing from the Samuel Merritt Hospital School of Nursing. After 10 years of providing direct care, she went back to school and earned concurrent Master’s degrees in both public policy and public health from the University of California, Berkeley. Thereafter, she worked for various public health agencies in California at both the community and state levels providing economic and legislative analysis.



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