A nurse practitioner's role is vast. It centers around overseeing nurse workflow in a specific field and meting out prompt therapy and treatment to patients via a broad understanding and clinical skills. Coupled with the role of a nurse practitioner, you have to identify and carry out treatments in medical situations, conduct research and examinations through several tests, assess data and outcomes, and collate tests from patients. It is a part of your job requirement to be able to work with various forms of medical instruments. You must maintain effective communication and organization between your fellow health colleagues in a hospital or infirmary.

You must possess excellent leadership and analytical skills. You must also be able to display calmness under pressure and empathy for patients. Additionally, you must hold a bachelor's degree or a master's degree as desired by the employer. As a nurse practitioner, you should earn an average annual salary of $94,386 or $45.38 per hour. It ranges between $70,000 to $125,000.

What Does a Nurse Practitioner Do

Nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners, also referred to as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), coordinate patient care and may provide primary and specialty healthcare. The scope of practice varies from state to state.

Learn more about what a Nurse Practitioner does

How To Become a Nurse Practitioner

Nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners, also referred to as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), must earn at least a master’s degree in one of the specialty roles. APRNs must also be licensed registered nurses in their state and pass a national certification exam.

Learn More About How To Become a Nurse Practitioner

Nurse Practitioner Job Description

Nurse practitioners are licensed healthcare professionals who work in clinics, often as independent clinicians, to provide medical services to clients. These services are often similar to those provided by registered nurses in a hospital, such as administering medicine, managing treatment plans, monitoring health and vital signs, and other activities that address a patient's need.

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Nurse Practitioner Career Paths

Average Salary for a Nurse Practitioner

Nurse Practitioners in America make an average salary of $100,033 per year or $48 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $161,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $62,000 per year.
Average Nurse Practitioner Salary
$100,033 Yearly
$48.09 hourly

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Roles and Types of Nurse Practitioner

The role of a nurse practitioner includes a wide range of responsibilities. These responsibilities can vary based on an individual's specific job, company, or industry.Here are some general nurse practitioner responsibilities:

  • Acting within the scope of practice; diagnose
  • The nurse practitioner (np) provides primary health care to individuals
  • Performs comprehensive examination and screening of patients related to men's health issues. Assists medical provider in the development of treatment plans

There are several types of nurse practitioner, including:

Family Nurse Practitioner

Role:

A family nurse practitioner, or FNP for short, is a specialized nursing role providing preventative healthcare to families. They teach patients how to keep in good health and provide patient care in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Registered nurses may acquire this specialization by getting licensed and obtaining a certification.

Family nurses may work independently or alongside physicians or nurses. Sometimes they choose a specialization like midwifery, internal medicine, mental health services, or other areas.

The occupation of FNP is one of the most popular and higher-paid specialized nursing roles, with numerous job opportunities and a steady increase in demand predicted up until 2028. It is a flexible position that allows further branching out into related areas, such as healthcare management or medical research.
  • Average Salary: $100,541
  • Degree: Master's Degree

Nurse Extern

Role:

Nursing externships are part of the curriculum of a nursing school, taking place before graduation. Nursing externs work in hospitals or clinics, shadowing a registered nurse to gain practical experience on the job to complement their theoretical knowledge.

Apart from getting familiar with the practical duties of a nurse, externs have the opportunity to attend nursing workshops and conferences during their practice period to figure out whether they would like to gain specialized training in some area of nursing.

Nursing externships are unpaid, as you have to be enrolled in a nursing school to attend an externship program. They do, however, provide an excellent opportunity for networking and gaining experience, which largely contributes to your chances of getting hired right out of nursing school.

  • Average Salary: $37,156
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Practitioner

Role:

General practitioners, also called family doctors, provide nonsurgical medical care for a wide range of health issues. They add a personal touch to health care by establishing ongoing relationships with their patients while providing a continuity of care. General practitioners examine patients for illness or injury and plan treatment in the form of medicine or therapies. In addition to prescribing medications and therapies, they often educate patients on preventative healthcare, including proper diet and exercise.

To be successful as a practitioner, you should have excellent active listening and communication skills. You'll need to effectively address patient concerns as well. You'll frequently work with other physicians and support to collaborate on diagnoses and perform procedures and make referrals to appropriate medical specialists. Training to become a general practitioner generally takes from seven to 15 years.

If you'd like to become a general practitioner, you'll need a Bachelor's degree, preferably in a relevant science field, four years in medical school, a three to seven-year residency, and certification by the American Board of Family Medicine, American Board of General Practice, or American Board of Internal Medicine.
  • Average Salary: $84,058
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

States With The Most Nurse Practitioner Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active nurse practitioner jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where nurse practitioners earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Nurse Practitioner Jobs By State

Nurse Practitioner Education

Nurse Practitioner Majors

79.5 %

Nurse Practitioner Degrees

Masters

47.1 %

Bachelors

37.0 %

Associate

10.5 %

Top Colleges for Nurse Practitioners

1. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition

$55,695

Enrollment

6,596

Admissions
Most Popular Majors
Business
Biology
Nursing
Psychology
Medical Technician

2. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

$55,584

Enrollment

10,764

Admissions
Most Popular Majors
Education
Biology
Business
Nursing
Health Care Administration

3. Yale University

New Haven, CT • Private

In-State Tuition

$53,430

Enrollment

5,963

Admissions
Most Popular Majors
Business
Biology
Public Health
Nursing
Psychology

4. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition

$15,262

Enrollment

30,079

Admissions
Most Popular Majors
Business
Biology
Education
Kinesiology
Nursing

5. Georgetown University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition

$54,104

Enrollment

7,089

Admissions
Most Popular Majors
Biology
Business
Nursing
Kinesiology
Liberal Arts

6. University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

$13,226

Enrollment

31,568

Admissions
Most Popular Majors
Biology
Business
Psychology
Education
English

7. University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA • Private

In-State Tuition

$17,653

Enrollment

16,405

Admissions
Most Popular Majors
Liberal Arts
Education
Biology
Business
Nursing

8. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition

$8,987

Enrollment

18,946

Admissions
Most Popular Majors
Business
Biology
Psychology
Kinesiology
Nursing

9. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

$59,430

Enrollment

8,216

Admissions
Most Popular Majors
Business
Biology
Nursing
Public Health
English

10. Chamberlain College of Nursing - Arlington

Arlington, VA • Private

In-State Tuition

$19,375

Enrollment

506

Admissions
Most Popular Majors
Nursing

Top Skills For a Nurse Practitioner

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 28.7% of nurse practitioners listed patients on their resume, but soft skills such as interpersonal skills and leadership skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Nurse Practitioner Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Nurse Practitioner templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Nurse Practitioner resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

Nurse Practitioner Resume
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Nurse Practitioner Demographics

Nurse Practitioner Gender Distribution

Female
Female
87%
Male
Male
13%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among nurse practitioners, 86.9% of them are women, while 13.1% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among nurse practitioners is White, which makes up 77.5% of all nurse practitioners.

  • The most common foreign language among nurse practitioners is Spanish at 62.4%.

Online Courses For Nurse Practitioner That You May Like

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1. Health After Cancer: Cancer Survivorship for Primary Care

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This course presents basic principles of cancer survivorship to primary-care physicians. Developed by a team of experts in caring for cancer survivors, and narrated by a primary-care physician, this course provides practical tips and tools that can be easily integrated into medical practice. You will learn about the complex physical and psychosocial needs and concerns of the growing number of cancer survivors, along with the key role that primary care physicians have in guiding these patients...

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2. Symptom Management in Palliative Care

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This course should be taken after the Essentials of Palliative Care course and continues building your primary palliative care skills – communication, psychosocial support and goals of care. You will learn how to screen, assess, and manage both physical and psychological symptoms. You will explore common symptoms such as pain, nausea, fatigue, and distress and learn specific treatments. You will continue to follow Sarah and Tim’s experience and learn cultural competencies critical for optimal...

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3. Essentials of Palliative Care

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This course starts you on your journey of integrating primary palliative care into your daily lives. You will learn what palliative care is, how to communicate with patients, show empathy, and practice difficult conversations. You will learn how to screen for distress and provide psychosocial support. You will learn about goals of care and advance care planning and how to improve your success with having these conversations with patients. Finally, you will explore important cultural...

See More on Coursera
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Best States For a Nurse Practitioner

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a nurse practitioner. The best states for people in this position are California, Alaska, Oregon, and Washington. Nurse practitioners make the most in California with an average salary of $120,826. Whereas in Alaska and Oregon, they would average $119,141 and $107,660, respectively. While nurse practitioners would only make an average of $106,739 in Washington, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Alaska

Total Nurse Practitioner Jobs: 483
Highest 10% Earn:
$199,000
Location Quotient:
1.05

2. Montana

Total Nurse Practitioner Jobs: 762
Highest 10% Earn:
$184,000
Location Quotient:
1.2

3. Washington

Total Nurse Practitioner Jobs: 4,217
Highest 10% Earn:
$187,000
Location Quotient:
1.05
Full List Of Best States For Nurse Practitioners

How Do Nurse Practitioner Rate Their Jobs?

Zippia Official Logo

2.0

APNPFebruary 2020

2.0

Zippia Official LogoAPNPFebruary 2020

What do you like the most about working as Nurse Practitioner?

Helping others Show More

What do you NOT like?

Lack of pay, paperwork, seeing the same patients and doing the same as a physician but getting paid alot less! Show More

Zippia Official Logo

4.0

Great ProfessionOctober 2019

4.0

Zippia Official LogoGreat ProfessionOctober 2019

What do you like the most about working as Nurse Practitioner?

I like the autonomy and the fulfillment of helping others. Show More

What do you NOT like?

I dislike the variations in the pay rates between NPs and PAs. Show More

Zippia Official Logo

2.0

Love/HateAugust 2019

2.0

Zippia Official LogoLove/HateAugust 2019

What do you like the most about working as Nurse Practitioner?

patient interaction, discussion of anything encouraging as they deal with longterm chronic illnesses. Empowering the patient to be part of the solution, and also to find ways to focus outside of their illness. And I love discussing research with patients when it relates . Show More

What do you NOT like?

#1 Administration does not value you as a health professional. They are stuck in the image of the nurse meaning we follow. They don't see us as clinicians that make a difference not just by caring, but by evaluating organ systems, medication regimens, finding the answer by communicating and getting a great history in regards to chief complaints, evaluating labs and staying up to date with research. I and other NP's before me laid the groundwork for our profession y working hard and being smart and educated. I have seen how companies want to get rid of the experienced NP to fill the role with two entry level NP's. There is age discrimination on top of it, it's not just the pay. #2 Arrogant doctors who push most of the work onto you in regards to documentation and also patient's medical management. Then act like they are "so busy". We know the good doctors from the ones who are their own fan club. Show More

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Top Nurse Practitioner Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ nurse practitioners and discovered their number of nurse practitioner opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Matrix Medical Network was the best, especially with an average salary of $112,084. UnitedHealth Group follows up with an average salary of $41,131, and then comes Planned Parenthood with an average of $98,083. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a nurse practitioner. The employers include Cigna, Fallon Health, and UnitedHealth Group

Most Common Employers For Nurse Practitioner

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1Apogee Physicians$118,000$56.7340
2Kaiser Permanente$112,919$54.2988
3Matrix Medical Network$112,084$53.89612
4CVS Health$110,940$53.3461
5TeamHealth$109,943$52.8658
6EmCare$103,422$49.7269
7Massachusetts General Hospital$103,375$49.7042
8At Your Home Familycare$102,240$49.1566
9Henry Ford Health System$102,214$49.1463
10Ipc The Hospitalist Company, Inc.$101,775$48.9341

Nurse Practitioner Videos

Becoming a Nurse Practitioner FAQs

Aprn Vs. Nurse Practitioner

An APRN is a nursing professional that, at a minimum, has an RN license, clinical experience, and master's degree in nursing, while a nurse practitioner is a type of APRN.

An APRN can diagnose illnesses, order lab tests, and prescribe medications in certain states. They often develop strong, impactful relationships with their patients because of the in-depth care that they provide. They are usually specialized in one area and educate their patients on preventive health care.

Nurse Practitioner Vs. Dnp

A nurse practitioner is a nursing occupation or career, while a DNP is a terminal degree in the field of nursing.

A nurse practitioner works directly with patients and is typically responsible for providing urgent, primary, and specialty care. Most duties include recording and tracking medical histories, collecting patient samples, and creating treatment plans. They work in a range of settings, including medical offices, hospitals, and managed care facilities.

Nurse Practitioner Vs. Lpn

A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse with advanced education and clinical training, while an LPN is a nurse that provides more basic care to patients.

A nurse practitioner often provides specialized care to groups of people with specific medical needs. A nurse practitioner also emphasizes health promotion and preventive care for their patients. There are a lot of areas a nurse practitioner can pursue, including family care, pediatrics, women's health, mental health, as well as many others.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Nurse Practitioner?

It takes 10 years of professional experience to become a nurse practitioner. That is the time it takes to learn specific nurse practitioner skills, but does not account for time spent in formal education. If you include the normal education requirements to complete a college degree, then it takes 13 to 15 years years to become a nurse practitioner.

Advanced Practice Nurse Vs Nurse Practitioner

An advanced practice nurse is a nurse that has met advanced educational and clinical requirements, while a nurse practitioner is a more specialized nurse role that services specific groups.

Do You Need A Bsn To Be An Np?

No, you do not need a BSN to be a nurse practitioner (NP). However, you need a Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) to become an NP.

A direct-entry MSN program, or accelerated nursing program, allows for people without a BSN or prior nursing experience to become an NP. As long as a person has a bachelor's degree or master's degree, they can pursue a career in nursing. Typically these programs take two to four years to complete.

How Many Years Does It Take To Become A Nurse Practitioner?

It takes between six to eight years to become a nurse practitioner. A person with a high school diploma can expect to take four years for a bachelor's degree and another two to four years pursuing a master's degree to enter into this role.

Is A Nurse Practitioner Higher Than An Rn?

Yes, a nurse practitioner (NP) has a higher role than a registered nurse (RN). An NP has achieved higher educational achievement and experience than an RN and is considered a higher role than an RN.

Pa-c Vs Nurse Practitioner

A PA-C is a medical professional that acts as a physician's assistant, while a nurse practitioner is a registered nurse with advanced education and clinical training.

A PA-C has an advanced education and is trained in the same way physicians are. A PA-C performs duties with an emphasis on diagnosing, assessing, and treating diseases. This includes diagnosing acute and chronic conditions, ordering and performing diagnostic tests, and prescribing medication.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Being A Nurse Practitioner?

The pros and cons of being a nurse practitioner relate to salary, diverse medical environments, and expensive education. Here are the pros and cons of being a nurse practitioner:

Pros:

  • Nurse practitioners tend to make very high salaries. This is due to the extensive schooling and training they have had to complete to become nurse practitioners.

    Nurse practitioners make impressive salaries, with the average nurse practitioner earning an annual wage of $118,358 in the United States. Nurse practitioners' salaries can vary depending on their medical setting but tend to be very high.

  • Getting to help people and making a considerable impact in their lives. This pro to being a nurse practitioner means that most nurse practitioners experience a wealth of personal satisfaction, fulfillment, and purpose during their careers in the medical field.

    Many nurse practitioners save people's lives, and there is arguably no greater impact you can have on a person's life than to save it from demise.

  • You can practice many different forms of medicine as a nurse practitioner. There is a diverse list of specializations in being a nurse practitioner. As such, a medical student shouldn't have trouble finding the right fit.

    There are nurse practitioners in family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, cardiology, oncology, infectious disease, and many other fields. This abundance represents an expansive amount of knowledge one can pursue.

  • Diverse medical environments. Nurse practitioners can work in many different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, medical clinics, mental health hospitals, inpatient and outpatient clinics, urgent care centers, and many other medical facilities.

    Nurse practitioners may also work for specific organizations, schools, or government institutions.

What Is The Difference Between A Doctor And A Nurse Practitioner?

The primary difference between a doctor and a nurse practitioner is their level of schooling. Doctors need to complete a significantly higher level of education to achieve their role. While a nurse practitioner only needs a master's degree, a doctor needs to continue schooling to get a doctorate.

What Is The Fastest Way To Become A Nurse Practitioner?

The fastest way to become a nurse practitioner is to enroll in a BSN program. By enrolling in this course right out of high school, a person can achieve the nurse practitioner role much quicker, as this degree is the quickest way to move into an MSN program.

What Is The Role Of A Nurse Practitioner?

The role of a nurse practitioner is to provide health care services involving diagnosis, management, and prevention of health problems.

A nurse practitioner provides health care in a wide range of settings including, but not limited to hospitals, emergency rooms, private practices, and more. They have the ability to assess patients, order tests, and perform certain procedures. However, this is not all that they are limited to. They can also interpret tests, make diagnoses, and educate as well.

Where Do Nurse Practitioners Work?

Nurse practitioners (NP) practice in nearly every healthcare setting including hospitals, urgent care facilities, and medical offices. Nurse practitioners provide a wide range of health care services and can serve in almost any setting including...

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