When a nurse looks to choose a specialty as a nurse practitioner, it is good to know which would be the highest-paid one. It might make a difference in the specialty you choose for your career. So, What Are the Highest Paid Nurse Practitioners? There are several options, and each one is as important to the healthcare system as another. According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, even if you know your ideal job, it could be an excellent decision to at least look over some of the highest-paying specialties for a nurse.
Nurse Practitioner Certified Salary
Here are 5 of the nurse practitioner specialties with the highest salary. Remember that each nurse practitioner’s salary is an annual estimate and can vary from region to region. For instance, a travel nurse practitioner may make different wages depending on where they are assigned. An average annual nurse practitioner’s salary can also fluctuate based on production bonus opportunities, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. The highest yearly salary compensation is as follows:
- Certified registered nurse anesthetist – this nurse practitioner specialty is the highest paying in terms of annual median income. Hourly wage can be as high as $87 an hour, with an annual salary between $166,000 and $181,000. Competition is very high for this highest-paying nursing position.
- Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner – the pay scale for this specialty annually is around $107,000 to $139,000. The amount can differ from state to state. Some psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners can prescribe medications.
- Pediatric nurse practitioner – pediatric nursing specialty ranges from about $131,000 annually. Although the salaries start to be in a similar range with other specialties, the duties can differ. However, pediatric nurses’ starting salary may be slightly higher than others.
- Orthopedic nurse practitioner – this specialty has a $123,000 pay range. It is a field that can be very rewarding as you help patients recover from bone and muscle injuries.
- Urology nurse practitioner – a specialty that is an annual under-served area for nurse practitioners. A urology nurse practitioner makes about $120,000 a year.
Nurse Practitioners Other Well-Paying Programs (Including Family Nurse and Critical Care)
Here are some more healthcare specialties for a nurse practitioner that offer excellent annual pay per year.
- General nurse practitioner — $111,000
- Certified nurse midwife — $108,000
- Pain management nurse — $101,000
- Family nurse practitioner — $98,000
- Critical care nurse — $74,000
Is Pursuing a Nurse Practitioner Career Worth It?
Is it worth it to work to get your nurse practitioner employment contract properly reviewed and negotiated? Negotiating a nurse contract is always worth it so that you will have a profitable and productive relationship with your new employer. The overall goal is to be very confident of the nurse contract details and that you won’t hurt yourself in the future with decisions finalized in the nurse contract. Never settle. Know your rights and ensure you keep them.
RN to Nurse Practitioners Know Your Career Salary Worth
As a nurse, you are a valuable asset to any organization. Your knowledge and skill are in high demand. As a clinic or hospital employee, you contribute to them making a profit and should be compensated fairly.
Health Care Contract Salary Negotiation and Nurse Practitioner Salary
Negotiating a nurse contract is vital to clarify how your potential future employer will reward your performance, not just now but also in the future. Realize that emotion should stay out of it, and you should maintain a calm and focused attitude. You are simply having a conversation. Even better than embarking upon this yourself — have an attorney do the review and negotiation for you. Someone with experience can better judge what should be included in the nurse contract.
Nursing Health Care Contract Requirements
Many issues within a nurse contract need review and possibly negotiation. These include:
- Salary – you should know the average amount a nurse is paid hourly and annually. When you have this average, you will learn how to consider your potential employer’s offer.
- Bonuses – the nurse contract should state how bonuses will be paid and when. It should be well-defined. Don’t let your employer get away with making empty promises.
- The flexibility of Schedule – depending on your lifestyle and scheduling needs, you must ensure it is laid out in the nurse employment contract.
- Vacation Time – most employers already offer about two or three weeks of paid vacation time. You might want to negotiate for a few days more. If no paid vacation is provided, ensure your schedule’s flexibility allows for time away.
There are other points to review, such as continuing education, insurance benefits, and retirement. A thorough nurse contract review and effective negotiation put your career on the right track.
Should an NP take a position as an Independent Contractor?
If a nurse practitioner (NP) is offered a position as an independent contractor, should she agree to take it? Any situation has pros and cons, so knowing the details allows the nurse to make a good decision. A nurse might see employers offering as much as $20 an hour more for a nurse to work as a 1099 independent contractor, but is it as beneficial as it looks?
How Annual Taxes Work as an Independent Contractor for Nursing
Taxes are handled differently with regular employees vs independent contractors. When a nurse is a W-2 employee, the nurse must pay state and federal taxes, social security taxes, etc., from the NP’s paycheck. This doesn’t happen with a 1099 position. No taxes are deducted from the nurse practitioner’s pay. Come tax time, the nurse practitioner is responsible for paying income tax, social security tax, Medicare tax, and self-employment tax. Social Security and Medicare taxes will be twice as much since the nurse practitioner doesn’t have an employer paying half. Although it looks like the nurse practitioner is being paid a lot of money at pay time, the nurse can’t forget that they will still owe taxes at tax time.
Demanding More Pay Per Hour (or Salary) as a Nursing Independent Contractor
The nurse practitioner can demand more money when working as an independent contractor. The employer doesn’t have to shoulder the tax burden, so they should be able to pay the nurse much more. Since the nurse also won’t receive any benefits as a 1099 contractor, the NP’s pay should make up for that. The nurse can figure that they can ask for ten to twenty percent more than standard pay for a W-2 employee.
Job Outlook For a Self-Employed Health Care Nurse?
Some people get confused as to whether an independent contractor is considered self-employed. They are the same thing. Independent contractors often go by other names, such as freelancers, contract workers, small business owners, etc.
When offered a job as an independent contractor and receiving a nurse contract to sign, it is wise to have the nurse contract reviewed by an attorney trained to handle these types of things. This way, the nurse can be sure that the contract is a binding legal document that will benefit the nurse in important ways.
Nurse Practitioners Contract Checklist
Every nurse practitioner’s employment contract is unique. However, nearly every nurse practitioner contract for health care professionals should contain several essential terms. If these essential terms are not spelled out in the employment contract, disputes can arise when there is a disagreement between the employer and employee as to the details of the specific term. For instance, if the nurse expects to work at the practice Monday through Thursday and the employer expects the provider to work Monday through Friday, but the specific workdays are absent from the contract, who prevails? Spelling out the details of your job is crucial to avoid conflicts during the term of your employment. Below is a checklist of essential terms that employment contracts should contain (and a brief explanation of each term):
- Services Offered: What are your patient care duties? Are providers given time for administrative or planning tasks?
- Patient Care Schedule: What days and hours per week are providers expected to provide care?
- Locations: Which facilities will you be scheduled to provide care at (outpatient clinic, surgical sites, in-patient services, etc.)?
- Outside Activities: Are you permitted to pursue moonlighting or locum tenens opportunities? Do you need permission from the employer before you accept those positions?
- Physician Oversight: If physician oversight is needed due to state law, who will be the supervising physician?
- Call Schedule: How often are you on call (after-hours office call, hospital call (if applicable)?
- Electronic Medical Records (EMR): What EMR system is used? Will providers receive training before providing care?
- Base Compensation: What is the annual base salary? What is the pay period frequency? Does the base compensation increase over the term of the Agreement?
- Productivity Compensation: If there is productivity compensation, how is it calculated (wRVU, net collections, encounters, etc.)?
- Benefits Summary: Are standard benefits offered: healthcare, vision, dental, life, disability, retirement, etc.?
- Paid Time Off: How much time off is offered? What is the split between vacation, sick days, CME attendance, and holidays?
- Continuing Medical Education (CME): What is the annual allowance for CME expenses, and how much time off is offered?
- Dues and Fees: Which business expenses are covered in the contract (licensing, DEA registration, privileging)?
- Relocation Assistance: Is relocation assistance offered? What are the repayment obligations if the Agreement is terminated before the expiration of the initial term?
- Signing Bonus: Is a signing bonus offered? When is it paid?
- Professional Liability Insurance: What type of professional liability insurance is offered: claims made, occurrence, self-insurance?
- Tail Insurance: If tail insurance is necessary, who will pay for it when the Agreement is terminated?
- Term: What is the length of the initial time? Does the Agreement automatically renew after the initial period?
- For Cause Termination: What are the grounds for immediate termination for cause in the Agreement for providers?
- Without Cause Termination: How much notice is required for either party to terminate the Agreement without a case?
- Post-Termination Payment Obligations: Will you receive production bonuses after terminating the Agreement?
- Non-Compete: How long does the non-compete last, and what is the prohibited geographic scope?
- Non-Solicitation: How long does it last, and does it cover employees, patients, and business associates?
- Notice: How is notice given in the contract? Contact via email, US mail, etc.? Do the practice and their lawyer have to be notified?
- Assignment: Can the employer assign the Agreement?
- Alternative Dispute Resolution: If there is a conflict, will mediation or arbitration be utilized? Who decides what attorney oversees the process? What litigation is allowed? Who is responsible for attorney’s fees?
Breaking a Nurse Practitioner Contract with a Non Compete
Non compete agreements were initially considered as restraints of trade and thus were invalid on the grounds of public policy at common law; however, many restraints of trade incident to employment agreements were upheld based on the rule of reason. Thus, restrictive covenants not to compete after termination of employment are generally enforceable as long as it is reasonable. However, a few states prohibit health care provider non compete agreements. Please check your state laws for nurse practitioner non compete agreements to see the specific rules for your state. The general test for reasonableness of a non-competition clause holds that on termination of employment, a covenant which restrains an employee from competing with his former employer is termed reasonable if:
- The restraint is not more than required to protect the employer,
- It does not inflict any untold of hardships to the employer, and
- The restraint is not injurious to the public.
Nurse Practitioners Reasonableness of Non Compete
For instance, in Ohio, a non-competition clause was unreasonable when it was noted that a provider’s sub-specialty was uncommon, and that it would be harsh if the restrictive covenant were enforced as the hospital where he was precluded from practicing was only one of the few institutions in the area where he could practice his specialty. Thus, in Ohio, covenants restraining providers from competing with his employer on termination of employment is considered unreasonable if it inflicts untold of hardship on the physician, is injurious to the public, if the demand for the NP’s medical expertise is important for the community people and if the services are essential for the health, care and treatment of public. However, non-competition clauses for nurse practitioners, in general, are enforceable as long as they protect some of the employer’s legitimate interests.
Nurse Practitioners Contract Lawyer
For nurse practitioners, it isn’t always the money that guides someone into choosing a field or specialty. It is often the service and assistance one can be to the patients who need someone to turn to and who can care for them effectively. No matter which specialty you choose, you will be of vital service to people in many ways.
At Nurse Practitioner Contract Attorney, we’re a proficient legal team specializing in contracts for Nurse Practitioners. Our extensive experience in healthcare enables us to address your contractual challenges, providing tailored advice to protect your professional interests. To navigate your contract negotiations with confidence, feel free to schedule a consultation with us today.