Nurse Practitioner Pay Eclipses $100K Annually

, ,

Nurse practitioners are seeing annual net incomes surpass $100,000 as their roles expand amid a doctor shortage, changing state regulations and the push toward team-based approaches to keeping patients healthy and costs in check.

A new report by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners shows total annual income increasing this year to $108,643 from $98,760 in 2011, the last time the organization conducted a compensation survey. The nurse practitioner association’s analysis is based on a survey earlier this year of more than 2,200 nurse practitioners.

The study comes as trends in insurance payment under the Affordable Care Act as well as the private sector encourage health systems to get patients more care upfront whether it be in a doctor’s office, health center or retail clinic.

Nurse practitioners are educated to perform myriad primary care functions, diagnose, prescribe medications and conduct physical exams. State scope of practice laws are increasingly changing to allow nurse practitioners to provide even more primary care even if they don’t have an agreement with an overseeing physician.

Nurse practitioners are increasingly in demand and often the sole provider for patients inside retail clinics run by Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), CVS Health (CVS), Wal-Mart (WMT) and other retail chains and grocers hiring hundreds of such professionals. CVS just this week reaffirmed its plan to have 1,500 retail clinics open by 2017.

“The rising salaries documented by AANP reflect growing understanding that nurse practitioners are vital to today’s health care system,” said AANP’s president Cindy Cooke in a statement accompanying the report.

The nurse practitioner demand is contributing to big boosts in pay. The average base salaries for nurse practitioners who work 35 hours a week or more jumped to $97,083 this year compared to $91,310 in 2011, this year’s compensation report said.

“Their care is safe and effective, with outcomes that are equivalent to those of physicians, and their commitment to primary care has expanded health care access,” Cooke added.

Source: Forbes