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11 Highest Paid Nurse Practitioner (NP) Specialties

7 Min Read Published September 27, 2023
Highest-Paid NP Specialties | Nurse.org

Considering becoming a nurse practitioner? You're probably wondering what the highest-paid nurse practitioner specialty is. Read on to learn about all the types of nurse practitioners and the salaries for each.

Highest Paid Nurse Practitioner Specialities

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that in 2022 the median annual income for nurse practitioners was $121,610 per year. However, there are a lot of different nurse practitioner specialties to choose from that will impact your duties and your salary. Let's take a look at some of the most popular ones.

  1. Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner - $145,348
  2. Neonatal Nurse Practitioner - $135,023
  3. Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner - $131,543
  4. Emergency Nurse Practitioner - $130,855
  5. Acute Care Nurse Practitioner - $129,608
  6. Family Nurse Practitioner - $128,141
  7. Oncology Nurse Practitioner - $122,701
  8. Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - $113,153
  9. Orthopedic Nurse Practitioner  - $100,035
  10. Women's Health Nurse Practitioner - $99,495
  11. Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner - $96,198

1. Psychiatric–Mental Health Nurse Practitioner - $145,348

Psychiatric nurse practitioner is the highest-paid nurse practitioner specialty in 2023. But what does a psychiatric nurse practitioner do to earn that high salary?

Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs) focus on mental illnesses in the same way psychiatrists do. As a PMHNP, you'll treat patients, prescribe medication, and/or counsel those who suffer from mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and other disorders.

The official credential you’ll earn via the ANCC is Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner-Board Certified (PMHNP-BC).

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Salary

According to Indeed, the average psychiatric nurse practitioner salary is $145,348 per year, but this will vary based on your years of experience, where you work, and more.


2. Neonatal Nurse Practitioner - $135,023

Neonatal nurse practitioners (NNPs) care for premature and sick newborns, including diagnosing them, providing treatment plans, and prescribing medication. They also can assist in delivering patients in certain settings.

Most commonly NNPs work in Neonatal Intensive Care Units, but they can work in a variety of healthcare settings. The technical skills required to be an NNP make it one of the highest-paid nurse practitioner specialties.

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Salary

Salary.com reports that the median neonatal nurse practitioner salary as of June 2023 was $135,023. 

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3. Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner - $131,543

Aesthetic nurse practitioners are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) who specialize in cosmetic medical procedures that improve their patient’s appearance. As this specialty grows in popularity and demand, so does its high salary.

Aesthetic nurse practitioners examine and evaluate patients, counsel them on a variety of procedures, perform those procedures, and care for them as they recover. They can even own and operate their own cosmetic clinics in some states. 

Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner Salary

According to Ziprecruiter.com, the average national salary for an aesthetic nurse practitioner is $131,543.

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4. Emergency Nurse Practitioner - $130,855

If you work well in high-pressure environments and want to be in one of the highest-paid nurse practitioner specialties, becoming an emergency nurse practitioner may be right for you. Emergency nurse practitioners assess, diagnose, and manage injuries and illnesses that need urgent care.

In many states, emergency nurse practitioners can work autonomously without physician oversight.  

Emergency Nurse Practitioner Salary

According to Salary.com, the median annual salary for an emergency nurse practitioner in the United States is $130,855.


5. Acute Care Nurse Practitioner - $129,608

Acute care nurse practitioners see patients when they are sick, admitted to the hospital, or after a surgical procedure and/or trauma. Their focus is solely on caring for the adult population with complex diseases.

Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Salary

Glassdoor reports that the average acute care nurse practitioner salary in the U.S. is $129,608 per year. 


6. Family Nurse Practitioner - $128,141

Pregnant woman with father holding stomach

If you want to be a “jack of all trades” type of NP, the FNP-BC (Family Nurse Practitioner-Board Certified) designation allows you the most flexibility to work within a healthcare setting or to open your own practice.

Family nurse practitioners work in a similar way to family doctors, which is one of the reasons that they're among the highest-paid nurse practitioner specialties. Most often, they work in hospitals, medical offices, or clinics, but some have their own practices.

But what do family nurse practitioners do? Broadly, they provide family-focused medical care to individuals and groups throughout the lifespan. The most common FNP duties include diagnosing and treating patients, providing wellness check-ups, and prescribing medication.

Family Nurse Practitioner Salary

According to ZipRecruiter, the national average FNP salary is $128,141.

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7. Oncology Nurse Practitioner - $122,701

Oncology nurse practitioners work with patients undergoing cancer treatment. They collaborate with other healthcare providers, including physicians, to develop treatment plans for cancer patients. 

Oncology Nurse Practitioner Salary

According to Salary.com, the median annual salary for an oncology NP as of June 2023 is $122,701, but the range typically falls between $115,501 and $127,201.


8. Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - $113,153

Child at doctor's office with stethoscope over heart

If you love working with children, from infants to adolescents, becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner is the perfect fit for you.

Your practice will focus on the primary health care of young patients to help them achieve healthy physical and emotional development. Upon completing the certification exam, you’ll earn the designation of PPCNP-BC (Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner-Board Certified). 

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Salary

According to Indeed.com, the average salary for a pediatric nurse practitioner in the United States is $113,153 per year.


9. Orthopedic Nurse Practitioner - $100,035

Orthopedic nurse practitioners are among the highest-paid nurse practitioner specialties as they focus on caring for and treating patients suffering from musculoskeletal problems. These problems can include disease and/or injuries of the bones, muscles, joints, and supporting connective tissue. 

Orthopedic Nurse Practitioner Salary

According to Payscale, the average salary for an orthopedic nurse practitioner as of June 2023 is $100,035.


10. Women's Health Nurse Practitioner - $99,495

A Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) specializes in the comprehensive care of women throughout their lives. They focus on reproductive, obstetric, and gynecological health for women of all ages.

Women's Health Nurse Practitioner Salary

According to Payscale.com, Women’s Health NPs make, on average, $99,495 per yearSalary.com reports a slightly higher median annual salary of $114,688 per year, but the range typically falls between $107,701 and $123,025.


11. Adult-Gerontology  Nurse Practitioner - $96,198

Elderly patient with oxygen and doctor checking heartbeat

Though adult gerontology nurse practitioners aren't the highest-paid nurse practitioner specialty, they still make a hearty living while doing extremely rewarding work. If you want to focus on providing care of a more serious nature to adults and to the elderly, you can choose to become an ACNPC-AG, which stands for Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Adult-Gerontology.

Acute care refers to working with patients who have more serious health issues, which is why these NPs typically work in hospital emergency rooms or ICUs. 

If you’re not interested in treating younger patients, you might consider choosing to become an Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner. Like the Family NP, you’ll provide primary care, usually in outpatient settings like clinics or medical offices.

You’ll typically work with adults, but mostly aging patients who come in for routine visits or who have minor or chronic illnesses. 

Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Salary

Payscale.com reports an average annual salary of Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioners of $96,198. But salaries vary, with Glassdoor.com reporting that adult gerontology NPs make $120,704 per year on average. 

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