Nurse practitioners in Alabama are subject to some of the most restrictive laws in the country when it comes to their scope of practice. As a result, the salaries of nurse practitioners in Alabama are affected by this. Nurse practitioners are not recognized as primary care providers by the state of Alabama.
This means that nurse practitioners must have a partnership agreement with a primary care physician in place before practicing. These factors do have some effect on salary, but it’s important to look at the cost of living and various other factors when looking at the full picture.
This article explores the salaries of nurse practitioners in Alabama. We will also look at nurse practitioners’ salaries in the various cities within Alabama, experience-based salaries, and the average salary of a nurse practitioner in comparison with other careers.
Alabama Nurse Practitioner Starting Salary
Nurse practitioners in Alabama, who are just starting their careers, can expect to earn an entry-level salary of $71,700 per year. That breaks down to $5,980 a month or $34.47 an hour. The first year of working as a nurse practitioner is usually considered entry-level.
Starting salary ranges for nurse practitioners vary by state. The starting salary also differs between cities within each state. Both the cost of living and the size of the city play a role in these varying differences. We will explore nurse practitioner salaries by city in more detail later in this article.
The cost of living is a major factor affecting starting salaries as a nurse practitioner in Alabama. Alabama ranks seventh on the list of the lowest cost of living states in the United States. In other words, your net income will be greater than if you live and work in a state with a higher cost of living.
Your nurse practitioner specialty and the practice setting you will be working in are also factors that influence your starting salary.
Alabama Nurse Practitioner Average Salary
As with any other career, a nurse practitioner’s salary in Alabama depends on a variety of factors. In addition to location, specialty, and type of practice, many other factors affect nurse practitioner wages, including years of experience, shift differentials, and certification and degrees.
On average, nurse practitioners make $99,790 per year in Alabama. This equates to $8,320 per month and $47.98 per hour.
Alabama Nurse Practitioner Years of Experience Salary
In Alabama, the starting salary for a nurse practitioner is $71,700 per year, which breaks down to $5,980 a month or $34.47 per hour. The greater the experience, the greater the salary. The skills that a nurse practitioner gains over the years of working are priceless. As a nurse practitioner becomes more experienced, they become more efficient in their clinical skills and judgment.
Experience gained through years of on-the-job skills and decision-making cannot be taught. In other words, nurse practitioners with more experience are worth more, which in turn increases their salary. The level of experience is an important factor to consider when evaluating nurse practitioner salaries.
Alabama nurse practitioners that have been working for one to four years can expect their salaries to increase by 19% to $85,640 per year. This breaks down to $7,140 per month and $41.17 per hour. Once they have been working as a nurse practitioner for five to nine years, they can expect their pay to increase by almost 14%, to $97,610 per year.
That works out to $8,130 per month and $46.93 per hour. After twenty years of working as a nurse practitioner in Alabama, they can expect to earn $129,810 annually, which works out to $10,820 per month and $62.41 per hour—an increase of over 80% from their starting salary.
|# of Years of Experience||Hourly||Monthly||Yearly|
|Less than 1||$34.47||$5,980||$71,700|
Alabama Nurse Practitioner Practice Setting Salary
The practice setting is another factor that affects nurse practitioner salaries. There are various reasons for this difference, including work hours, operational costs, and the risks associated with the different settings. For instance, jobs in hospitals typically come with fewer attractive shifts (required to work holidays, nights, weekends, etc.).
Therefore, nurse practitioners in hospitals will generally be paid more since the shifts aren’t as appealing as an office job where you don’t have to work holidays. In Alabama, nurse practitioners working in hospitals make an average of $103,010 per year, or $49.53 per hour. However, nurse practitioners who work in an area with more appealing hours will earn about $94,170 a year, or $45.28 per hour.
|Practice Type Setting||Hourly||Yearly|
|Other Healthcare Provider Offices||$46.94||$97,640|
|Colleges and Universities||$45.28||$94,170|
Alabama Nurse Practitioner Speciality Salary
Adult Gerontology-Acute Care
- These nurse practitioners have extensive training and expertise in caring for the elderly
- Trained to work with patients over the age of 13, but specialize in the elderly
- Almost 30% of Alabama’s population is over 62 years, therefore the demand is high for this speciality
- Work primarily in hospitals, but also in urgent care facilities, and skilled nursing care centers
- The average Alabama adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner makes $100,530 per year or $48.33 an hour.
Adult Gerontology-Primary Care
- These nurse practitioners have extensive training and expertise in preventative care and promoting wellness
- Trained to work with patients over the age of 13, but specialize in caring for the elderly and the health challenges they face
- Work in home health, doctor’s offices, outpatient clinics, and nursing homes
- The average Alabama adult gerontology-primary care nurse practitioner makes $95,070 per year or $45.71 an hour
- These nurse practitioners work with cosmetic surgeons in some of the biggest cities in Alabama
- They also work in surgical settings assisting with skin cancer treatments, offices specializing in cosmetic procedures, and dermatology offices
- The average Alabama dermatology nurse practitioner makes $99,150 per year or $47.67 an hour
- These nurse practitioners are experts in diagnosing and treating a wide variety of health conditions throughout all stages of life
- Work in hospitals and clinics
- The average Alabama family nurse practitioner makes $98,620 per year or $47.41 an hour
- These nurse practitioners work with high risk and critically ill infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in a hospital
- Work closely with the neonatologist
- These nurse practitioners are in high demand because Alabama has one of the highest percentages of preterm births in the United States
- The average Alabama neonatal nurse practitioner makes $105,860 per year or $50.89 an hour
- These nurse practitioners have specialized training and expertise in identifying and treating a range of severe acute illnesses in patients under the age of 18
- Work in pediatric intensive care units (PICU) and trauma centers in specialized children’s hospitals
- The average Alabama pediatric-acute care nurse practitioner makes $103,160 per year or $49.60 an hour
- These nurse practitioners provide primary healthcare for children, including wellness exams, vaccinations, and diagnosing and treating illnesses
- Care for patients under the age of 18
- Work in pediatric offices, hospitals, urgent care clinics, and schools
- The average Alabama pediatric-primary care nurse practitioner makes $95,520 per year or $45.92 an hour
- These nurse practitioners have extensive training and expertise in assessing, diagnosing, managing, and treating patients impacted by mental health conditions or drug and alcohol abuse
- With the restrictions set on their scope of practice by the state of Alabama, these nurse practitioners are limited in what they can do, even with the knowledge and training they have; they must work alongside a physician in their area of practice
- Work in outpatient centers, doctor’s offices, inpatient hospitals, drug rehabilitation centers, and residential facilities
- The average Alabama psychiatric nurse practitioner makes $103,860 per year or $49.93 an hour
- These nurse practitioners specialize in the healthcare needs of women throughout their lives
- Work OB/GYN offices, prenatal clinics, local clinics, hospitals, private practices, and women’s correctional facilities
- The average Alabama women’s health nurse practitioner makes $95,520 per year or $45.92 an hour
Alabama Nurse Practitioner Salary By City
It’s important to keep in mind the type of area when evaluating salaries. Take into consideration whether it’s a metropolitan area, a small town, a suburb, or something in a more rural area. Depending on the supply of nurse practitioners in a particular area, pay varies from location to location as well.
In general, if there is a high demand for nurse practitioners in a specific area, the pay and benefits are more competitive.
Below we examine some of the major cities in Alabama and the average pay for each.
- County seat for the largest metropolitan area in Alabama
- Nationally ranked hospitals include Ascension St. Vincent’s Blount Hospital, University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital, and Ascension St. Vincent’s Birmingham Hospital
- The average nurse practitioner in Birmingham makes $98,930 per year or $47.56 an hour
- Home to Huntsville hospital, a nationally renowned spine and cardiac surgery medical center
- Almost one third of Huntsville residents are obese, leading to an increased rate of cardiac disease, diabetes, and hypertension
- The average nurse practitioner in Birmingham makes $99,850 per year or $48 an hour
- Capital city of Alabama
- The medical centers and offices in Montgomery provide healthcare services for the entire central Alabama region
- Hospitals in Montgomery include Baptist Medical Center South, Baptist Medical Center East, and Jackson Hospital
- The average nurse practitioner in Montgomery makes $107,380 per year or $51.63 an hour
- Over 22% of Mobile residents live in poverty, which affects their health and access to healthcare
- Home to Mobile Infirmary Medical Center, which is the largest nonprofit hospital in Alabama
- The average nurse practitioner in Mobile makes $90,380 per year or $43.45 an hour
- About third of Tuscaloosa residents are obese, leading to an increased rate of cardiac disease, diabetes, and hypertension
- Almost 25% of Tuscaloosa residents live in poverty, which affects their health and access to healthcare
- Medical centers include Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center, University Medical Center, and DCH Regional Medical Center
- The average nurse practitioner in Tuscaloosa makes $99,180 per year or $47.68 an hour
Alabama Nurse Practitioner Compensation and Benefits
There is no doubt that pay plays an important role in choosing a career path and where to work. Benefits and other compensation will likely be on the list of considerations as well. As with salary, benefits and compensation may also be negotiated. It’s another factor to keep in mind when comparing advantages of where to work as well. Looking for competitive benefits packages is something worth considering.
Employee benefits are a form of non-salaried compensation. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, benefits make up 30 percent of total compensation. Benefits in Alabama include medical insurance, vacation time, paid holidays, and retirement contributions.
In Alabama, nurse practitioners can expect to earn an additional $42,000 to 60,000 in benefits and compensation, in addition to their average salary of $99,790. The range is wide because it depends on whether the nurse practitioner is working for a government agency or for the private sector. Nurse practitioners in the private sector can expect compensation of over $42,000 and those employed by the government can be compensated by over $60,000.
|Benefit/Compensation||Private Sector||Federal, State, and Local Government|
|Paid Time Off||$10,514||$12,124|
|Insurance (Health, Dental, Vision, Life)||$11,082||$18,665|
|Retirement and Pension||$4,831||$19,782|
|Required By Law||$10,798||$8,774|
|Average Yearly Salary||$99,880||$98,750|
Alabama Nurse Practitioner Salary Compared To Other Nursing Careers
In spite of making less than nurse practitioners in other states, nurse practitioners still command one of the highest salaries in Alabama among nursing professionals. A nurse practitioner in Alabama has a salary almost double that of a registered nurse, on average.
In the nursing profession, salaries vary quite a bit. Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) make $25,600 per year, which is at the lower end. Nursing professionals making the highest pay are nurse anesthetists. In Alabama, nurse anesthetists make an average of 170,560 per year.
This is well over the annual salary of a nurse practitioner, which is $99,790. When you consider the amount of time and money they spend on their schooling, you can see that they are paid considerably more for their time and effort.
|Occupation||Average Yearly Salary|
|Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)||$170,560|
|Nurse Practitioner (NP)||$99,790|
|Nursing School Professor/Educator||$71,950|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||$60,230|
|Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)/Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)||$40,680|
|Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)||$25,600|
Alabama Nurse Practitioner Salary Compared To Other Healthcare Careers
In Alabama, nurse practitioners make an average of $99,790 a year, which is considerably less than professionals at the doctorate level like pharmacists, podiatrists, and dentists. The restrictive scope of practice regulations in Alabama likely contributed to this result. The pay will likely remain this way until nurse practitioners in Alabama can gain a fuller scope of practice and autonomy.
Dentists are at the higher end of the healthcare professionals at $172,050 per year on average. At the lower end of the spectrum among healthcare professionals in Alabama, speech therapists make $66,400 per year on average. We can see that nurse practitioners are basically above the middle of healthcare professionals, with a yearly salary average of $99,790.
|Occupation||Average Annual Salary|
|Nurse Practitioner (NP)||$99,790|
|Physical Therapist (PT)||$93,310|
|Physician’s Assistant (PA)||$88,500|
|Occupational Therapist (OT)||$85,740|
Number of Nurse Practitioners in Alabama
Currently, Alabama is home to about 3,939 nurse practitioners.
Alabama Nurse Practitioner Salary Compared Nationwide
Nurse practitioners in Alabama make an average of $99,790 a year. Nurse practitioners in the United States have an average salary of $114,510 per year. Compared to the rest of the United States, nurse practitioners in Alabama make, on average, $14,720 less per year. This is almost 15% less than the average nurse practitioner salary across the United States.
Top Five Paid Alabama Nurse Practitioners
Nursing professionals who specialize in neonatal care earn the highest average salary in Alabama. Neonatal nurse practitioners in Alabama make an average of $105,860 per year. Nurse practitioners in dermatology round out the top five at the bottom, making an average of $99,150 per year.
|Rank||Nurse Practitioner Specialty||Yearly|
|1||Neonatal Nurse Practitioner||$105,860|
|2||Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner||$103,860|
|3||Pediatric Nurse Practitioner||$103,160|
|4||Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner||$100,530|
|5||Dermatology Nurse Practitioner||$99,150|
Top Five Paid Cities For Alabama Nurse Practitioners
Pay differences can be influenced significantly by location, as we have seen. A nurse practitioner working in the great Anniston metropolitan area will earn an average of $136,540 per year. That is 37% higher than the average nurse practitioner salary in Alabama.
Nurse practitioners working in the greater Daphne metropolitan area, Huntsville, and Montogmery also earn a salary higher than the average for Alabama, as can be seen in the table below.
|Rank||City||Average Yearly Salary|
Alabama Nurse Practitioner Salaries By Metro Area
Another factor to consider when examining nurse practitioner salaries in Alabama is looking at the salaries for different metropolitan areas. Metropolitan areas include major cities and their suburbs, as well as towns and cities in the surrounding region.
The table below shows the annual salary for nurse practitioners in each metro area as well as how many are employed. For example, in the great Gadsden metro area, there are 40 nurse practitioners employed within that area and they make an average of $81,390 per year.
On the other hand, the Birmingham metro area employs 270, which is almost seven times the number in Gadsden. The average salary of nurse practitioners is $98,930 a year in that metro area. As you can see, there is a wide range in the number of nurse practitioners along with their average salary among the different metro areas in Alabama.
|Metro Area||#of Employees||Hourly||Yearly|
Alabama Nurse Practitioner Future
Even though the state of Alabama has been reluctant to change the restrictions on the nurse practitioner scope of practice, full practice authority for nurse practitioners is in the future for nurse practitioners in Alabama. Currently, 14 states grant nurse practitioners full practice authority as soon as they are licensed. Another 14 states grant nurse practitioners the ability to earn full practice authority after practicing with doctor supervision for a certain number of hours.
Several states, including Alabama, waived portions of their strict nurse practitioner restrictions during the COVID19 pandemic. It is highly likely that those practice requirements will be reevaluated as a result of this change. The average nurse practitioner salary in Alabama is expected to rise as the practice requirements are relaxed.
As we have examined in this article, a variety of factors need to be taken into account when considering the salary of a nurse practitioner. Alabama offers nurse practitioners a variety of opportunities to make this beautiful state their home to practice. It may be worth considering Alabama as a potential location when considering where to work as a nurse practitioner.
Recommended similar articles:
- Nurse Practitioner Salary in Maryland
- Nurse Practitioner Salary in Michigan Guide
- Nurse Practitioner Salary in Manitoba
- Nurse Practitioner Salary in Alberta
- Nurse Practitioner Salary in Toronto
Written by Joanne Potter
Joanne, BSN and RN, is a writer that specializes in health and wellness. She has fifteen years of experience as a Registered Nurse in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). Her years working at the bedside and extensive neonatal knowledge enable her to write with a deep understanding of what patients and families want from their communities. Visit her LinkedIn page.