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How Much Does a Nurse Practitioner Get Paid Per Hour?
Nurse practitioners are licensed to prescribe medications.
A nurse practitioner, also called an advanced practice nurse, is licensed to function at a higher level than a registered nurse. Nurse practitioners can diagnose and treat illnesses or injuries, order medications, and order, perform and interpret specialized diagnostic tests such as lab work or X-rays. Medicare and some private insurance companies allow nurse practitioners to bill for their services. A nurse practitioner might work in a hospital or clinic setting, in a group practice, or as an independent practitioner.
Nurse Practitioner Salaries
Salaries for nurse practitioners can vary widely, depending on factors such as the specialty or location. Job postings on Indeed.com show the annual income of a nurse practitioner as of June 2012 ranged from $52,000 to $122,000. If the nurse practitioner worked a standard 40-hour week, those salaries would translate to $58.65 and $25.00 an hour, respectively. The average nurse practitioner salary as of June 2012 was $95,000, or $45.67 an hour, according to Indeed.com. This is in line with the average salary Allied Health World reports for nurse practitioners in 2012: $97,000 a year or $46.64 an hour.
Specialization and Wages
HealthCareers.com reports that the top five nurse practitioner specialties in 2011 in terms of the number of jobs were family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, mental health and the emergency room. The highest-paying specialty was the emergency room at an hourly rate of $49.87. The remainder of the top five best-paying specialties were neonatal units at $47.99 per hour, retail clinics at $46.54 per hour, gerontology at $45.43 per hour and mental health at $44.42 per hour.
Experience and Gender
Experience doesn t have much of an impact on nurse practitioner salaries after the first five years of practice, according to the 2012 salary survey conducted by The Clinical Advisor. A nurse practitioner with less than five years of experience earned an average of $40.84, while a nurse practitioner with 20 years or more of experience earned $42.56. Male nurse practitioners earned considerably more, at $48.23 an hour. In comparison, female nurse practitioners earned an average of $42.02 an hour.
Region and Work Setting
The average hourly wage in the West in 2012 was $44.88 based on a standard 40-hour work week, according to The Clinical Advisor. Nurse practitioners in the Northeast averaged $44.93 an hour, those in the South averaged $42,68 and those in the Midwest earned an average of $41.14 an hour. Nurse practitioners who worked in offices made $40.66 an hour on average in 2012, according to The Clinical Advisor, although clinic wages varied according to the setting. Those in a hospital clinic earned an average of $44.91 an hour, those in a stand-alone clinic earned $41.07 an hour, and those in a walk-in clinic earned $41.15 an hour.
Location and Wages
Allied Health World reports that nurse practitioner salaries varied according to metro area as of June of 2012. Nurse practitioners in both New York and San Francisco, the highest-paying locales, earned $115,000 a year or $55.29 an hour on average. Atlanta was next, with an annual salary of $101,000 and an hourly rate of $48.56. Minneapolis was considerably lower, at an average of $81,000 a year and $38.94 an hour. Nurse practitioners who worked in an urban setting earned $43.89 an hour on average. Those in suburban settings earned $42.10 an hour, while rural nurse practitioners earned $41.14 an hour.