NP salaries are rising, even in primary care roles

A national survey of more than 800 institutions that employ nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other advanced practice providers found that NP and PA salaries have increased 16% since 2018. Importantly for the majority of NPs, the greatest salary growth is occurring in primary care roles.

The 2023 Advanced Practice Provider Compensation and Productivity Survey, conducted by the consulting firm SullivanCotter, also examined year-over-year trends. It found that the most significant NP and PA salary growth from 2022 to 2023 occurred in primary care, medical, and surgical specialties, each at a rate of 5%. Salaries for NPs and PAs in hospital-bases specialties grew by 2.5%.

SullivanCotter assesses and develops total rewards programs, workforce solutions, and data products for healthcare organizations and nonprofit companies. The advanced practice compensation survey asked respondents to identify base and total cash compensation (TCC) paid to NPs, PAs, and other advanced practice providers in 2023. The 816 employers who responded to the survey collectively employ more than 124,000 advanced practice providers.

In a news release about the results, SullivanCotter said the past 3 years of salary increases outpace the year-over-year changes since 2018 and reflect growing demand for NPs and PAs.

Between 2020 and 2023, the median TCC for nurse practitioners and physician assistants rose:

  • 13.0% for primary care positions
  • 10.2% for medical positions
  • 9.4% for surgical positions
  • 10.9% for hospital-based specialties.

The survey also found that more employers are introducing or refining incentive compensation models, particularly for primary care NPs and PAs. Almost half of the employers who responded said they have incorporated incentive pay in some form.


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