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Career Outlook: Employment Growth and Salaries for Nurse Practitioners

December 3, 2015 Considering earning a master’s degree in nursing and pursuing a career as a nurse practitioner? Not

Considering earning a master’s degree in nursing and pursuing a career as a nurse practitioner? Not only is becoming a nurse practitioner an opportunity to learn new skills and increase your quality of patient care, but when it comes to salary and employment growth, the outlook for nurse practitioners is promising!

Employment Growth for Nurse Practitioners

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 2012 to 2022, this occupation will grow across the country at a rate of 34%--a rate that’s more than 3 times the average 11% growth expected across all occupations.

Demand for nurse practitioners is expected to be particularly high in inner cities and rural areas, which are frequently found to be medically undeserved by physicians. Growth for the nurse practitioner career is anticipated to be driven by two factors that are also increasing demand for healthcare services. First, as the number of people with health insurance increases due to recent legislation, these newly insured individuals will look for primary care providers--a role that many nurse practitioners can fill. Second, as the large baby-boomer population continues to age, this group will also require increased care for chronic and acute conditions.

As of 2014, the BLS estimates that 122,000 nurse practitioners are working in the United States, with Maine, Mississippi, Connecticut, Tennessee and Massachusetts having the highest concentration of nurse practitioners in their state’s population.

Nurse Practitioner Salaries

In May 2014, the BLS reported the median annual wage for nurse practitioners to be $95,350. On top of that, the BLS notes that many positions also offer flexible hours and benefits--occasionally including tuition assistance.

Not picky about where you live? Maybe you’re looking for adventure? In 2014, Hawaii, Alaska and California reported the highest mean nurse practitioner salaries at over $115,000, followed closely by California, Oregon and Massachusetts.

Washington, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Minnesota, New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island also had annual mean salaries for nurse practitioners of over $100,530. Nurse practitioner salaries may also vary based on your specialization or the area of the healthcare industry in which you work.

Get Started on Your Career as a Nurse Practitioner

Interested in a career as a nurse practitioner? South University offers a variety of master’s degree and certificate programs with nurse practitioner specializations, including RN to MSN programs which don’t require a BSN for admission. Explore our Nursing programs today!


South University does not guarantee employment of any particular level of compensation following graduation.

South University does not guarantee third-party certification/licensure. Outside agencies control the requirements for taking and passing certification/licensing exams and are subject to change without notice to South University.

Programs, credential levels, technology, and scheduling options vary by school and are subject to change. Not all online programs are available to residents of all U.S. states. Administrative office: South University, 709 Mall Boulevard, Savannah, GA 31406-4805 © 2015 South University. All rights reserved. Our email address is

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