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The 11 Highest Paid Types of Nurse Practitioners

March 11, 2021

Nurse practitioners are among the highest-earning nurses, making an average of $109,601 per year when recorded here from Indeed Salaries, although salary figures are always fluctuating. A nurse practitioner must complete additional schooling beyond that of other nurses which prepares them to take on additional responsibilities. In this article, we examine some of the types different focuses of nurse practitioners that can often point toward a higher pay scale.

Types of nurse practitioners

Below you will find 11 types of nurse practitioners, defined by their specialization. Regardless of focus, all nurse practitioners must meet the minimum requirements to become a registered nurse and then also complete a master’s degree program where they can choose a focus for their specialty. Some may choose to become certified in more than one specialization so that they can combine the duties of multiple types of nurse practitioners. This is particularly useful in smaller offices where there is no need to have separate positions for each of the specializations. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the salary link by each job title below:

National average salary: $396 to $1,375 per week

Primary duties: Acute care nurse practitioners handle serious injuries and illnesses. Their primary duties include examining, diagnosing and treating those injuries and illnesses in their patients. They will also prescribe medications and recommend treatments as well as aftercare plans. Another important responsibility is educating patients about their conditions and helping them develop a health plan for treatment or management upon discharge.

National average salary: $414 to $1,530 per week

Primary duties: The adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner is mainly responsible for treating acute illnesses or episodic flare-ups of chronic conditions in patients ranging from early adulthood to an advanced age. While they often collaborate with AGPCNP and other specialists in order to improve long-term health outcomes for their patients, they do not specialize in preventative care or health management. Rather, they help when a condition becomes critical or when a patient suffers an acute illness or injury that needs immediate treatment.

National Average Salary: $23,818 to $106,539 per year

Primary Duties: Also known as a PNP-AC, a pediatric nurse practitioner in acute care provides care to children suffering from illnesses that are acute, complex, critical or chronic. This includes a variety of disabilities and severe injuries. Their daily tasks involve conducting physical evaluations, interpreting lab results and diagnostic tests and coordinating aftercare options with patients and their families. In short, they are responsible for managing the patient’s care from admission through discharge and helping the patient develop a care plan after they are discharged. They tend to work in pediatric emergency rooms, ICUs or trauma centers.

National Average Salary: $64,619 to $109,575 per year

Primary Duties: The adult gerontology nurse practitioner has a broad range of employment opportunities because their specialization includes patients from late adolescence through an advanced age. Their certification also provides them with primary care training as well as the opportunity to work in a specialized gerontology practice. They are responsible for providing preventative care, such as routine checkups, immunizations, lifestyle counseling, screenings and risk assessments. They are also able to diagnose and treat acute and chronic illnesses. AGNPs can work in hospitals, private practices, hospices and home-based care settings.

National Average Salary: $93,644 to $109,575 per year

Primary Duties: A neonatal nurse practitioner treats newborn babies, including those who are prematurely born or who otherwise might require special care. The most common conditions an NNP treats include low birth weight, congenital heart defects, respiratory distress and other disorders or abnormalities found in newborns. They work regularly with incubators, ventilators and other equipment required to treat newborns with special needs. Some NNPs also consult with new or expecting parents about birth, pregnancy and infant care.

National Average Salary: $102,964 to $198,264 per year

Primary Duties: A women’s health nurse practitioner specializes in providing primary care services to female patients for all issues unique to women’s health, including routine examinations and screenings, prenatal care, contraceptive counseling and treatments for STDs. They generally work in OB-GYN offices, women’s health clinics, family planning centers and in private practices. Their work focuses on women’s health, from pre-conception through the postpartum stage and, as a result, encompasses a wide variety of health issues unique to female patients.

National Average Salary: $106,021 per year

Primary Duties: A family nurse practitioner is trained to work with both children and adults, with a focus on long-term health and wellness as well as preventative care. Some states also allow FNPs to act as the primary care provider for under-served communities with a shortage of doctors. This is due to their unique ability to work with patients of all ages, their qualifications which allow them to diagnose and treat complex conditions and their focus on preventative care.

National Average Salary: $106,385 to $180,435 per year

Primary Duties: An emergency nurse practitioner treats patients admitted to an emergency room or urgent care clinic. One of their main tasks is ordering, interpreting and documenting test results and examinations to quickly determine the cause of the patient’s symptoms. They also prescribe medications and recommend treatments based on these assessments. Working as an ENP requires the ability to quickly assess a patient’s most urgent physical needs, provide resuscitative care quickly and effectively when necessary and possess the cultural competence to communicate treatment plans to patients from a wide variety of backgrounds.

National Average Salary: $106,640 per year

Primary Duties: A pediatric nurse practitioner provides primary care to children in medical offices, hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Their education and training is very similar to a PNP-AC with the exception that a PNP-PC is focused on primary care rather than acute care. This means that they are responsible for more routine care, such as checkups, prescribing medications, ordering tests and diagnosing common illnesses. They also tend to provide ongoing support and consultations to children and their families to help manage the patient’s health from early childhood through to young adulthood.

National Average Salary: $109,575 per year

Primary Duties: The adult nurse practitioner differs from an AGNP in that they treat a younger age range of patients, beginning with patients as young as 12. They are also less specialized in age-related illnesses than an AGNP. In this way, they are more like an FNP. They also focus on preventative primary care as well as long-term health management. An ANP also needs to write referrals to specialists based on their assessment of a patient’s symptoms, interpret test results and discuss the appropriate use and potential side effects of medications.

National Average Salary: $124,138 per year

Primary Duties: Psychiatric nurse practitioners specialize in mental health care and psychiatry. Psychiatric NPs are responsible for assisting in all aspects of mental health care including diagnosis, treatment and management. They conduct interviews and screenings to determine a diagnosis, work alongside psychiatrists to develop the most appropriate treatment plan which may include any combination of medication, individual therapy or group counseling. After developing a treatment plan, psychiatric NPs manage patient cases, which often involves regular check-ins or even conducting therapy sessions themselves.


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