5 Lowest Paying Nurse Practitioner Specialties of 2013

While the average salary for nurse practitioners lies somewhere between $91,000 and $94,000 depending on who you ask, some specialties fall below the mark.  Which NP’s are paid the least?

1. Elementary School Nurse Practitioners ($83,333 for 12 months, $62,500 for 9 months)

While elementary school based NP’s aren’t paid nearly as well as nurse practitioners practicing in different specialties, there’s a good reason.  NP’s working in the school system have regularly scheduled time off in accordance with the academic calendar.  In fact, some nurse practitioners working for school systems work only 9 months a year taking summers off along with the kids.

2. College Health Nurse Practitioners ($83,494 for 12 months, $62,621 for 9 months)

Similarly to elementary school nurse practitioners, NP’s employed in college health may not be highly paid but are awarded additional job perks.  Some college health nurse practitioners, for example, are given summers off.  Trading a lower salary for nearly unlimited vacation days isn’t such a bad deal.

3. Women’s Health ($84,704)

Sorry WHNP’s, the women’s health field overall simply doesn’t pay nurse practitioners as well as other specialties.  You would think by that doing pelvic exams all day, these nurse practitioners would deserve a fat paycheck however women’s health NP’s are paid well below average.

4. Pediatric Nurse Practitioners ($87,395)

Treating children can be quite fun and rewarding, however pediatric nurse practitioners typically earn below average salaries.

5. Primary Care Nurse Practitioners ($90,600)

Although primary care nurse practitioners aren’t paid as well as NP’s working in more specialized areas, pay for primary care providers is projected to increase.  Keep your eye on primary care earnings as they are on the rise and will hopefully be on par with the average NP salary in the near future.

It can be discouraging to fall in the mix of the lowest paid nurse practitioner specialties.  However, earning near the $90,000 mark isn’t that bad.  If you love your patient population and enjoy your job, it may be worth forgoing a pay increase by switching specialties to stick with your current setting.


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Note: Salary information from ADVANCE for NP’s and PA’s