Becoming a family nurse practitioner (FNP) is a great way to boost your earning potential as a nurse. Across various specialties, nurse practitioners earned an average salary of $114,510 per year ($55.05 per hour) in the US in 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The job outlook for nurse practitioners is also very positive. The BLS projects 52 percent employment growth for nurse practitioners from 2019 through 2029, well above the national average across all occupations.
If you’re interested in advancing your nursing career and expanding your scope of practice, then becoming an NP might be a good track for you.
Family nurse practitioner average salary by state
One of the most important determining factors in how much you can make is the state of employment. Find the average annual salary for a nurse practitioner by state:
|State||Per hour||Per year|
|District of Columbia||$55.84||$116,150|
Where do family nurse practitioners work?
NPs can practice in all kinds of different settings, such as outpatient clinics, hospitals, emergency departments, private physician or NP offices, nursing homes, schools and colleges, and public health departments.
Salary for a FNP depends largely on the state where you’re employed and what kind of medical institution you’re working in (physician’s office, private practice, hospital, clinic, urgent care center, etc.). Find out where nurse practitioners most often work and the average salary estimates for each type of healthcare facility.
Industries with the highest level of nurse practitioner employment
|Industry||Employment||Per year||Per hour|
|Offices of physicians||101,220||$111,310||$53.51|
|General medical and surgical hospitals||49,920||$118,210||$56.83|
|Outpatient care centers||18,920||$123,850||$59.54|
|Colleges, universities, professional schools||6,790||$108,060||$51.95|
|Offices of other health practitioners||6,170||$112,040||$53.86|
What kind of nurse practitioners get paid the most? It’s highly variable depending on where you work. According to the BLS, the highest paid nurse practitioners work in the community food and housing/emergency and other relief services industry, averaging $143,480 per year ($68.98 per hour). The top 10 percentile of nurse practitioners overall earn more than $150,000 per year.
What is a family nurse practitioner and what do they do?
A family nurse practitioner (FNP) specializes in family practice and sees patients of all ages. Their role includes health promotion, wellness and disease management, and also treating chronic, episodic illnesses.
Due to demand for medical care and a relative shortage of doctors, nurse practitioners are more and more acting independently in primary care, especially in rural locations. FNP’s have much more autonomy over patient care than most other types of nurses.
The difference between FNP and NP
The difference between general nurse practitioners and family nurse practitioners is:
- Nurse practitioners may specialize in psychiatric, pediatric, geriatric, women’s health, or dermatologic care, among many other possibilities.
- A family nurse practitioner specializes in family practice, which can cover one or many of these specialties.
Rather than focusing on a particular age group or medical area, an FNP’s responsibilities include primary and comprehensive care through the patient’s lifespan. A career as an FNP could be right for you if you are interested in providing a higher level of care for a diverse patient population and in a variety of healthcare settings. Learn more about the skills needed to succeed as a nurse practitioner.
How do you become a family nurse practitioner?
You won’t find an entry level job as a nurse practitioner starting at the range of salaries listed above. This represents one of the highest heights in the nursing profession, and you’ll need years of schooling to reach this level. Going from non-nurse to nurse practitioner represents a long journey, but can also open doors to all sorts of different opportunities.
Herzing University offers an online FNP program for BSN nurses and an accelerated RN to FNP program for ADN/ASN holders looking to reach the next level of education and advance their career. With Herzing, you can complete your MSN-FNP in as little as 20-24 months. Not including the clinical component, you can complete your nurse practitioner degree 100% online.
Take the next step.
We’ve put together a 7-step guide on how to become a family nurse practitioner:
- Understand the role
- Become an RN-BSN
- Earn your master's degree
- Complete your clinicals and graduate
- Pass the certification exam
- Earn licensure in your state
- Start your career as a nurse practitioner
Board certification is required for NPs in most states after completing the program of study. The two main board certifying bodies are the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).
Both certifications enable FNPs to work in any clinical setting in any state. The ANCC certification is also designed to certify nurses for educator roles in an academic setting.
Learn more about our nursing degree pathways and get started on your journey today!