These 5 States Pay the Highest Salaries for Nurse Practitioners

Last Updated/Verified: Feb 6, 2024

Nurse practitioners (NPs) play a critical role in the healthcare system, providing primary and specialty care to patients across the United States. Their expertise and ability to offer a wide range of healthcare services make them indispensable in various healthcare settings. If you’re considering a career as a nurse practitioner and are looking for the best states in terms of compensation, you might want to explore opportunities in the following five states that pay the highest salaries for nurse practitioners.

1. California

California, often known for its beautiful landscapes and diverse communities, also offers some of the highest salaries for nurse practitioners in the country. NPs in California enjoy competitive compensation that reflects the state’s high cost of living. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nurse practitioners make a median annual salary of $158,130. The state’s robust healthcare system and commitment to providing quality patient care create a strong demand for nurse practitioners, contributing to higher salaries.

Additionally, California has numerous prestigious medical institutions and healthcare facilities that offer excellent career prospects for nurse practitioners, making it an attractive destination for those seeking both competitive salaries and professional growth.

2. New Jersey

New Jersey is another state where nurse practitioners receive substantial compensation. The Garden State has a strong healthcare sector, with numerous hospitals, clinics, and private practices that rely on nurse practitioners to deliver healthcare services. NPs in New Jersey benefit from competitive salaries due to the state’s thriving healthcare industry. In New Jersey, nurse practitioners make a median salary of $143,250 yearly.

Moreover, New Jersey’s proximity to major metropolitan areas like New York City and Philadelphia provides nurse practitioners with access to a wide range of job opportunities, further contributing to the state’s attractiveness as a top-paying location for NPs.

3. Massachusetts

Massachusetts consistently ranks among the highest-paying states for nurse practitioners. The state’s commitment to healthcare excellence, along with its renowned medical institutions, results in high demand for skilled NPs. Massachusetts also boasts a strong economy and a high standard of living, which translates into competitive salaries for healthcare professionals–a median salary of about $138,700 per year, according to the BLS.

Nurse practitioners in Massachusetts have the opportunity to work in top-tier hospitals, research centers, and academic institutions, providing them with a diverse and rewarding career experience.

4. Oregon

Oregon is known for its natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities, but it’s also a great place for nurse practitioners looking for competitive compensation. NPs in Oregon enjoy above-average salaries, along with a supportive healthcare environment that values their contributions. According to the BLS, nurse practitioners make a median annual salary of $136,250.

The state’s commitment to healthcare innovation and access to care, particularly in rural areas, has created a growing demand for nurse practitioners. This demand, combined with a relatively lower cost of living compared to some other high-paying states, makes Oregon an attractive destination for nurse practitioners seeking a balanced lifestyle and a fulfilling career.

5. Nevada

Nevada rounds out our list of states offering some of the highest salaries for nurse practitioners. Known for its vibrant entertainment industry and beautiful desert landscapes, Nevada also provides attractive compensation opportunities for healthcare professionals. NPs in Nevada benefit from competitive salaries and the state’s growing healthcare sector–a median annual salary of about $136,230.

Nevada’s expanding population and commitment to healthcare access in both urban and rural areas ensure a strong demand for nurse practitioners, making it an appealing choice for those seeking high pay and professional satisfaction.

Judy Daniels, MSN, RN, AGPCNP-BC