Masters program in nursing allows Registered Nurses to continue in-depth study in a specific area and to move towards highly paid professional roles in clinical care, administrative or research and educational sector. Usually, earning Master of Science in Nursing will take two years to complete and requires minimum of Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) qualification and 1 year of experience as a Registered Nurse (RN). The program covers traditional coursework along with clinical training that allows nurses to gain hands on experience and knowledge in a specific area.
Masters in Nursing (MN) or Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Degree
Some universities call their post graduate program as Masters in Nursing (MN) while others call it as Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). Apart from the name, there is no significant difference between MN and MSN in terms of content of the program. However, earning a Master qualification is worth considering for those looking to enhance their skills and gain higher pay and better positions in a nursing career.
The average salary of BSN holder relies between $42,343 and $81,768 whereas Master of Science in Nursing holders, by contrast, has average earnings of between $62,281 and $195,743. Also please note that, apart from educational qualification, employer, geographical location, years of experience and specialization influences on the salary.
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Degree Salary comparison
(Average Masters in Nursing Salary by Job)
|Family Nurse Practitioner (NP)||$75,212 – $108,275|
|Nurse Practitioner (NP)||$77,798 – $114,894|
|Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP)||$78,105 – $117,468|
|Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP)||$84,357 – $117,409|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||$49,305 – $97,183|
|Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (NP)||$80,433 – $131,888|
|Adult Nurse Practitioner (ANP)||$81,115 – $120,896|
According to PayScale the highest starting salary belongs to Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP) with an average of$84,357. ACNPs provide comprehensive caring such as physical examinations, diagnosis, treating and managing-chronically ill patients. If you are interested in becoming an ACNP, you can start following a Master of Science in Nursing while working as a Registered Nurse and within few years you can reach up to $117,409.
However, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (NP) and Adult Nurse Practitioner (ANP) positions have a great potential to reach to higher salary compared to ACNP. That is because, unlike other job roles, years of experience has a low impact on ACNPs final salary.
(Hourly rate by job)
|Job role||Hourly rate|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||$32.98|
|Family Nurse Practitioner (NP)||$46.63|
|Nurse Practitioner (NP)||$48.59|
|Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP)||$49.97|
|Pediatrics Nurse Practitioner (NP)||$47.07|
|Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (NP)||$59.10|
|Chief Nursing Officer (CNO)||$46.70|
|Clinical Nurse Manager||$35.21|
|Adult Nurse Practitioner (ANP)||$50.38|
Median Bonus by Job
|Family Nurse Practitioner (NP)||$5,099|
|Nurse Practitioner (NP)||$5,094|
|Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP)||$4,500|
|Chief Nursing Officer (CNO)||$9,787|
|Clinical Nurse Manager||$1,600|
|Adult Nurse Practitioner (ANP)||$4,500|
The highest hourly rate belongs to Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner ($59.10) following Adult Nurse Practitioner ($50.38) and Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner ($49.97). Although, when it comes to the bonus, Chief Nursing Officer gets a very generous bonus ($9,787) having a gap of $4,688 to following highest earner Family Nurse Practitioner ($5,099).
Salary Range by Location
In general, the salary of any profession varies according to the city or province or country you live in. Cost of living, supply and demand, the infrastructure of the area plays a key role when determining the average salary. Here is the breakdown of the median salary given by major states in U.S.A for employees with a Master of Science in Nursing qualification.
|State or Province||Median Salary|
According to PayScale, California ($112,666), New York ($96,930) and Texas ($94,458) are the highest paying states. Here is another breakdown of top five average salaries of Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Midwife and Nurse Anesthetist in reference to various states. California, Oregon, and Massachusetts have appeared more than once indicating that there is a significant prospective for RNs who obtain the Master of Science in Nursing degree.
|Nurse Practitioner||Nurse Midwife||Nurse Anesthetist|
|1||Alaska ($111,800)||California ($120,450)||Nevada ($221,240)|
|2||California ($110,590)||New Hampshire ($112,530)||Wisconsin ($200,350)|
|3||Oregon ($107,560)||North Dakota ($107,220)||Wyoming ($197,310)|
|4||Hawaii ($106,770)||Massachusetts ($106,780)||Maryland ($196,690)|
|5||Massachusetts ($105,010)||Oregon ($105,500)||District of Columbia ($187,200)|
Career Outlook for Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics clams that the number of people working as nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners is expected to increase 31% from 2012 to 2022. The growth is affected by aging baby boomer population, growing rates of chronic conditions, preventive healthcare, healthcare regulations etc. Overall nursing career has seen a steady rise in salary rates and this trend is expected to continue along with the strong demand for staff. Therefore, even if you begin your nursing career holding an ADN or a diploma, there is more than enough opportunities to grow into more financially stable profession by investing your time, money into Masters in Nursing (MN) or Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Degree.