From many things that I've read, you first need to get you BSN (Bachelors of Science in Nursing), then your Masters. After that, you will need to work 2 year minimum in a specific area (not sure what this is called). Then after that you may go to school to become a Nurse Practitioner. This is in the State of PA though. It may differ from state to state. Also, they are APN, so they may make more than other nurses (LPN,RN). A lot of times the more education the better the pay, but not always necessarily true. It just depends where you are. To be honest, if you are going into nursing. I would not look at the pay and say this is why I am doing this. You must be very motivated to do the work. Being a nurse is a highly stressful job. I am not saying that is what you're doing. But I see that's what informational sites try to do. Mention the high pay and sometimes forget to mention how stressful nursing may be. Motivation is the key!
[I do not claim to be a nurse of any kind. I am just going by information that I have read over time.]
I don't know if you was talking about the LPN or NP, since this is the LPN section and you said NP.
LPN/LVN - Are lower degreed nurses that expanded during WWII when militaries needed nurses, but it took too long to get people educated for RN. So they came up with the LPN. The average salary is about 35,000 - 40,000 (give some take some). But they can do the same thing RNs may do, with some exceptions. They do work under the RN and Dr.
NP/CRNP - Nurse Practitioners are Advanced Practice nurses. Which require many more years of education. They may act as a Doctor in communities and provide healthcare. Prescribe medication in some states, diagnose. They also can work under the direction of Drs. It's their decision. Their average salary is 92,000 USD a year throughout the U.S.
*Please correct me if any of my information is incorrect.