NP makes less than RN

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    I am an experienced nurse practitioner for 18 years and now I am practicing in Northern California. I was distressed to find out that some of the hospitals pay an RN at $75 per hour whereas an NP will only get $50 per hour. I was told that the RN has union and that's why a RN salary is higher than a NP. Please comment.

    Dear NP,

    Yes, northern CA RNs are well paid. The northern California RN pay rates are a function of long standing unions and also high cost of living areas. The bay area, San Jose, and Sacramento areas pay very well for RNs. By contrast, California RNs in the central and inland areas are making much less per hour.

    The average NP salary in California is 120K according to $50 per hour converts to around 104K, so what you are seeing is below average. Employers typically pay what the market will sustain. Is the market flooded with NPs in your area?

    If you are able to re-locate, you will find higher pay. In some areas of California, experienced NPs earn up to 170K. You should be able to find a higher salary, especially as you are experienced.

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth

    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,482; Likes: 4,368


  3. by   riggy3
    The hourly rate difference between RNs and NP makes me wonder if Nurse Practitioners have saturated the available positions? My observation is many students are going into the Nursing field graduating.... maybe working a year or two then move on obtaining the DNP. If you have too many NPs in the job market the high volume may drive down the wage. Supply over demand lowers the price. Are bedside nurses a shortage in this California region?