Nurse Practitioners



Nurse practitioners (NPs) are one of four classifications of advanced practice nurses (APNs). APNs are registered nurses who have advanced training and education. This training enables them to carry out many of the responsibilities traditionally handled by physicians. Some nurse practitioners specialize in a certain field, such as pediatrics, oncology, critical care, or primary care. The most common specialty is a family nurse practitioner who usually serves community-based health clinics. There are approximately 189,100 nu...

Quick Facts


Median Salary



Employment Prospects



Minimum Education Level

Master's Degree



Several years' experience as a registered nurse





Personality Traits



Geographic location, experience, and specialty area of practice are all factors that influence salary levels for nurse practitioners. The U.S. Department of Labor reports the median annual income for nurse practitioners as $109,820 in 2019, with the lowest 10 percent earning less than $82,460 and the highest 10 percent earning more than $184,180. NPs, however, tend to earn more than this amount...

Work Environment

The work environment depends on the nurse practitioner's specialty. Some work in remote, rural settings in small, local health care clinics. Others work in modern hospitals or nursing homes. Some nurse practitioners may work with patients who are fearful of any type of health care provider or who may have never been to a clinic before. Some patients may resent being seen by "just a nurse" inste...


The U.S. Department of Labor predicts employment for registered nurses to grow much faster than the average in the coming years, and the job outlook for nurse practitioners is especially good, with 26 percent percent employment growth expected through 2028. One reason for this is that the nurse practitioner is increasingly being recognized as a provider of the high-quality yet cost-effective me...

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