As baby boomers are moving into their golden years, the demand for nurse practitioners is on the rise. This is a fast and steadily growing field as the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics predicts a 31% increase in job growth for nurse practitioners by 2022.
Also, due to a shortage of doctors, nurse practitioners are seeing annual incomes that surpass $100,000 due to their expanding roles and increased autonomy. The newest report by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners revealed an annual increase in income from $91,310 in 2011 to $97,083 this year for nurse practitioners working at least 35 hours a week.
Although the annual income is increasing for all nurse practitioners, some nurse practitioner jobs pay considerably more, resulting in a six-figure income, such as those in the following specialties.
Emergency Room Nurse Practitioners
While working in the emergency room, nurse practitioners work in collaboration with a physician to assess the needs of those admitted to the emergency room. You will have the capability to order, interpret and record results of clinical reports and tests, make recommendations for various forms of therapeutic treatment and prescribe medications. Emergency nurse practitioners can expect to earn a salary in the range of $96k-138k per year.
Neonatal Nurse Practitioners
As in the emergency room setting, neonatal nurse practitioners work in collaboration with a physician to provide care for newborns and infants in a neonatal setting. You will be responsible for ordering, interpreting and recording report and clinical test results. A certification as a Certified Neonatal Nurse Practitioner is necessary and will allow you to also prescribe medications and recommend other therapeutic forms of treatment. Neonatal Nurse Practitioners can expect to earn a salary of $102k-122k per year.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists
According to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, a 2014 survey revealed that CRNAs are anesthesia professionals who safely administer nearly 40 million anesthetics each year to patients in the United States. CRNAs are advanced practice registered nurses who have completed an extremely rigorous training. Therefore, they earn a high degree of professional respect and practice without the help of a physician Anesthesiologist. In the rural areas of some states, CRNAs often provide nearly 100% of anesthesia care, completely independent of an Anesthesiologist. CRNAs may also work in collaboration with anesthesiologists, surgeons, podiatrists, dentists etc., CRNAs can practice in any setting that delivers anesthesia, including:
- Obstetrical delivery rooms
- Traditional hospital operating rooms
- Dentist offices
- Ambulatory surgical centers
- Plastic surgery offices
- Podiatry clinics
- Ophthalmology clinics
- Pain management clinics
Most CRNAs can expect to earn a salary in the range of $120k – 220k per year. Those CRNAs who work independently, without the supervision of an Anesthesiologist, can expect to earn as much as $320k per year! Salary varies greatly depending on several factors such as location, level of autonomy and individual skillset.
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners
Psychiatric nurse practitioners can perform many of the same tasks as a psychiatrist, including diagnosing mental illness and prescribing medications. You can also act as a therapist to help those suffering from depression, anxiety and other conditions that can be remedied through counseling. Your options for employment include mental health clinics, correctional facilities, or have your own private practice. Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners can expect to earn a salary in the range of $92k-118k per year.
Dermatology Nurse Practitioners
In this specialty, you will likely work in a clinic, accepting new patients and offering long-term patient treatment. Dermatology nurse practitioners can diagnose and prescribe treatment for numerous conditions, such as:
- Acne vulgaris
- Atopic dermatitis
- Psoriasis contact dermatitis
- Photodamaged skin
- Seborrheic keratosis
- Actinic keratosis
You will also have the education and training to carry out various dermatologic procedures including cryosurgery, shave biopsy, punch biopsy and simple wound closure. Dermatology Nurse Practitioners can expect to earn a salary of $86k-$115k per year.
No matter which nurse practitioner career path you pursue, you will find yourself diagnosing and treating each patient as a whole. Nurse practitioners often incorporate a patient’s family, home environment, and mental well-being into a treatment plan. So, not only are these jobs rewarding financially but self-gratifying as well.