The Dirty Dozen: Lowest Paying States for Nurse Practitioners

When you're looking for a nurse practitioner job or evaluating a potential career change or advancement, salary is a major piece of the equation. If you are relocating for a position, will your move have a positive or negative impact on your earning potential? Does going back to school to become a nurse practitioner make financial sense for you?

The first step in evaluating these kinds of questions is to look at how much you can expect to earn as an NP. While average salaries certainly don't dictate your exact income, they can at least give you an idea of how much you can plan to make in your practice. Pay for nurse practitioners varies significantly across job markets so looking at state and city specific average salaries is the best way to approach your earnings analysis. These twelve states have the least favorable nurse practitioner salaries in the nation. 

1. Oklahoma 

Mean Nurse Practitioner Salary: $82,880

Mean Nurse Practitioner Hourly Wage: $39.85/hour

2. Kansas 

Mean Nurse Practitioner Salary: $84,270

Mean Nurse Practitioner Hourly Wage: $40.51/hour

3. Illinois

Mean Nurse Practitioner Salary: $85,410

Mean Nurse Practitioner Hourly Wage: $41.06/hour

4. Pennsylvania 

Mean Nurse Practitioner Salary: $88,410

Mean Nurse Practitioner Hourly Wage: $42.54/hour

5. South Carolina

Mean Nurse Practitioner Salary: $88,460

Mean Nurse Practitioner Hourly Wage: $42.53/hour

6. North Dakota

Mean Nurse Practitioner Salary: $88,520

Mean Nurse Practitioner Hourly Wage: $42.56/hour

7. West Virginia

Mean Nurse Practitioner Salary: $88,780

Mean Nurse Practitioner Hourly Wage: $42.68/hour

8. Missouri

Mean Nurse Practitioner Salary: $89,690

Mean Nurse Practitioner Hourly Wage: $43.12/hour

9. South Dakota 

Mean Nurse Practitioner Salary: $90,210

Mean Nurse Practitioner Hourly Wage: $43.37/hour

10. Nebraska

Mean Nurse Practitioner Salary: $90,240

Mean Nurse Practitioner Hourly Wage: $43.38/hour

11. Wyoming

Mean Nurse Practitioner Salary: $90,400

Mean Nurse Practitioner Hourly Wage: $43.46/hour

12. Georgia

Mean Nurse Practitioner Salary: $90,490

Mean Nurse Practitioner Hourly Wage: $43.50/hour

Don't forget to take cost of living into account when evaluating nurse practitioner salaries. Many of the states falling into the lowest paying category are inexpensive places to live. Rural locations may also offer student loan repayment programs to nurse practitioners practicing medically underserved areas making an employment package much more attractive. How does your pay compare to average salaries in these states?

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

 

You Might Also Like: Do States With Independent Practice Laws Have Higher NP Salaries?

 

Comments

I believe Utah should also be on this list. Not sure on the accuracy of this.

Anonymous

This is a silly list. The pay depend on cost of living too. California is likely the worst paying state. You make more as a Registered Nurse than you make as a NP.
Generally speaking pay is 85 to 110K. There is a few opportunities where you can make 150K but those are rare and usually night shift, no benefits.

Miguel

Interesting that the states listed do not have "major" medical/research centers. For example, places like Texas or North Carolina might have averages skewed due to Houston, Dallas or Triangle. Nothing to support idea - just a wondering.

MDD

Hi Elle,

Here is a post outlining the states with the top 10 highest nurse practitioner salaries

Erin Tolbert

I would like to see the top 12 highest paying states.. :)

elle

Yikes! Sounds like you got a bad deal! California's average salary is high but so is the cost of living in most areas in the state.  

Erin Tolbert

California really should be in the list! My first FNP job was a whopping $35/hour and that was at a family practice clinic with supposedly student loan repayment but they never did repay the loans.

Ken Craft

I am not surprised about GA . The state does not pay RN's well either.

Stella Duru

You are probably correct, Stephanie. But only 12 are listed here. I worked in Iowa as a registered nurse for about 15 years not realizing they were the second lowest paying state for RNs until I moved to Arizona where I made about 3 times as much working a lot less hours! It's much better to make more and work less!

Lori Ann Soteros

And NC pretty how too.

Sara

Pages

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.