Georgia nurse practitioners have one of the most restricted scopes of practice in the United States, which explains the average salary of nurse practitioners here. Among the states in the nation, Georgia is the only one that prohibits nurse practitioners from ordering tests and procedures, as an example of how restrictive its laws are.
All patients treated by nurse practitioners must have written protocols with delegating physicians, and the delegating physicians must review the records of all patients at least three or four times a year.
In all cases, the physician who delegated responsibility to the nurse practitioner in Georgia is legally liable.
Despite the current shortage of primary health care providers in Georgia, nurse practitioners cannot take up the workload due to their restricted scope of practice.
In this article, we examine the salaries of nurse practitioners in Georgia. The average salary of a nurse practitioner will also be compared to other careers, as well as the salaries of nurse practitioners in various Georgia cities.
Georgia Nurse Practitioner Salary – Starting Out
There is a significant degree of demand-driven influence on entry-level salaries. Georgia’s entry-level nurse practitioner salary averages $37.34 per hour, which breaks down to $6,470 per month, or $77,660 per year.
Compared to the average entry-level nurse practitioner salary in the U.S. ($90,925), this salary is more than 25 percent lower. Because nurse practitioners in Georgia can’t practice independently without physician oversight, their role as primary care providers is limited, and demand for their services may be lower compared to other states.
Starting nurse practitioner salaries in Georgia are also influenced by nurse practitioner specialties. For example, the average entry-level salary for neonatal nurse practitioners in Georgia is $75,658, which is 5 percent higher than the average salary for all nurse practitioners.
Georgia Nurse Practitioner Salary – Average
Nurse practitioners in Georgia earn an average salary of $109,560, or $9,130 a month or $52.67 an hour. In spite of the fact that this salary is almost 8 percent below the average nurse practitioner salary in the U.S. ($114,510), it is still 61 percent higher than the average salary for all occupations in the country ($65,906).
Georgia’s nurse practitioners have some of the highest salaries in the state. The nurse practitioner salary in Georgia is ranked 24th out of 50 states.
The cost of living in a particular area influences average salaries. Living in Georgia has the advantage of having a lower cost of living than the national average by about 1 percent. Nurse practitioners in Georgia may earn less than their national counterparts, but their incomes will stretch farther.
In Georgia, for instance, the median cost of housing is 24 percent lower than the average national cost.
Additionally, practice setting, nurse practitioner specialty, and local demand affect the average salary of a nurse practitioner in Georgia. Those who have experience earn higher salaries than those fresh out of school because education cannot replace hands-on clinical experience.
Generally, nurse practitioners earn more when they contribute more to the bottom line in settings like outpatient care clinics. Nurse practitioners also make more money in cities like Atlanta where multiple healthcare employers compete for their services.
Georgia Nurse Practitioner Salary – Years of Experience
By the time you’ve worked as a nurse practitioner for four years, you will earn approximately $96,600 annually, which is 25 percent more than the average entry-level salary for a nurse practitioner in Georgia.
When you are a nurse practitioner who has been practicing for at least two decades, you will be earning an annual salary that is nearly twice what it would be if you were an entry-level nurse practitioner.
Among nurse practitioners with ten to 19 years of experience in Georgia, you’ll earn $121,070, which is the average salary for the state. Once you’ve reached this point, your salary differential won’t increase as dramatically.
The average salary for nurse practitioners with five to nine years of experience is only 15 percent higher than that for nurse practitioners with one to four years of experience, and 18 percent higher than that of nurse practitioners with 10 to 19 years of experience.
|# of Years of Experience||Hourly||Monthly||Yearly|
|Less than 1||$37.34||$6,470||$77,660|
|20 and more||$68.21||$11,820||$141,880|
Georgia Nurse Practitioner Compensation and Benefits
Salary alone does not give a complete picture of nurse practitioner compensation in Georgia. A generous benefits package is also provided by their employers to nurse practitioners. A benefit is an additional compensation over and above a salary.
In Georgia’s private healthcare sector, nurse practitioners receive an average annual cash benefit of $46,324, equal to 42 percent of their average salary. The average annual benefits for nurse practitioners working for state and local governments in Georgia are $66,758, which is equivalent to 62 percent of their average annual salary.
Across all occupations in the United States, benefits are worth 32 percent of an employee’s total compensation. There are two types of nurse practitioner compensation: those that are legally mandated and those that are discretionary.
As examples of the former category, workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance are available; as examples of the latter category, medical insurance, retirement contributions, and paid time off are available as well as perks such as liability insurance and professional leave are available.
It’s always a good idea to consider the benefits that come along with a salary offer. The salary of $108,460 per year at a municipal community clinic may not seem as good a financial investment as the salary of $109,650 per year at a hospital.
After you take into account the benefits associated with each job, the government job pays $175,218 per year, while the private job pays $155,974.
|Benefit/Compensation||Private Sector||Federal, State, and Local Government|
|Paid Time Off||$11,542||$13,317|
|Insurance (Health, Dental, Vision, Life)||$12,166||$20,501|
|Retirement and Pension||$5,303||$21,727|
|Required By Law||$11,854||$9,637|
|Average Yearly Salary||$109,650||$108,460|
Georgia Nurse Practitioner Practice Setting Salary
Among the practice settings in Georgia, outpatient care centers pay the highest average salary for nurse practitioners. A walk-in clinic, an outpatient clinic inside a hospital, and an urgent care clinic are all examples of outpatient care centers.
Currently, they generate the largest amount of revenue in the healthcare industry, and nurse practitioners working for them are well compensated.
On average, these Georgia nurse practitioners make $119,910 per year. Compared with their counterparts who work in outpatient care settings, hospital-based nurse practitioners in Georgia earn $54.87 an hour or $114,130 a year.
Due to Georgia’s restrictive nurse practitioner statutes, most nurse practitioners in this state work in doctors’ offices. Compared to nurse practitioners in hospitals, these nurse practitioners make $51.26 an hour, or $106,620 annually.
Despite nurse practitioners working in educational settings having lower salaries, they likely enjoy more generous benefits, so their total compensation packages are quite competitive. Therefore, nurse practitioners associated with physicians’ offices may be the lowest compensated nurse practitioners in Georgia.
|Practice Type Setting||Hourly||Yearly|
|Colleges and Universities||$49.48||$102,910|
|Other Healthcare Provider Offices||$48.59||$101,070|
Georgia Nurse Practitioner Speciality Salary
Adult Gerontology-Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Adult gerontology-acute care nurse practitioners are involved in the care of patients requiring hospitalization for critical illnesses or injuries. Adult gerontology-acute care nurse practitioners in Georgia have plenty of job opportunities since Georgia’s residents utilize hospital services heavily and one in ten adults has diabetes.
Georgia also has the 14th highest cardiovascular mortality rate in the country. Nurse practitioners in adult-gerontology acute care in Georgia earn an average hourly wage of $53.04 or an annual salary of $110,310.
Adult Gerontology-Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
Nurse practitioners working in adult-gerontology primary care in Georgia make an average of $50.15 an hour or $104,310 per year. There is an urgent shortage of primary care providers in Georgia, especially in rural areas. More than 80% of Georgia counties are estimated to have no primary health care provider.
In spite of their training and skills, adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioners cannot effectively bridge that healthcare gap until the state gives them more practice authority.
Dermatology Nurse Practitioner
Nurse practitioners in dermatology practices throughout the greater Atlanta metropolitan area make up most of Georgia’s dermatology nurse practitioners. A dermatology nurse practitioner in Georgia earns an average salary of $52.30 an hour or $108,790 a year.
Throughout their careers, dermatology nurse practitioners earn relatively high salaries because they attract patients of their own within the dermatology practices they are associated with. Due to the role they play in generating revenue for the practice, they are highly compensated.
Family Nurse Practitioner
Georgia’s family nurse practitioners specialize in frontline health care services such as disease prevention, health education, and health maintenance. As a group, these types of care are referred to as “primary care.” Nurse practitioners are trained to treat patients throughout their lives, from infants to seniors.
In more than 13 Georgia counties, there is either one primary care physician or no primary care physician, and 129 out of Georgia’s 159 counties are considered shortage areas for primary care health professionals. Georgia nurse practitioners, therefore, cannot enter into protocol agreements with physicians in these areas.
Despite their extensive training and skills, Georgia’s nurse practitioners are unable to provide essential healthcare services to its residents. The average family nurse practitioner salary in Georgia is $108,210 a year or $52.03 an hour.
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
The neonatal nurse practitioner provides medically fragile newborns with nursing care in neonatal intensive care units in hospitals. In Georgia, neonatal nurse practitioners earn an average of $55.84 per hour or $116,150 per year, making them the highest-paid nurse practitioners in the state.
Georgia continues to see an increase in preterm births. The number of premature births in Georgia increased from 10.7 percent in 2013 to 11.7 percent in 2019. The high demand for neonatal nurse practitioners in Georgia results in high salaries.
Pediatric-Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Nurse practitioners who specialize in pediatric acute care work in intensive care hospitals with critically ill children and teens. As many of them are experienced in working with neonates in intensive care nurseries, they can be effective substitutes for neonatal nurse practitioners.
Health systems in Atlanta, Augusta, Savannah, and Macon employ most pediatric-acute care nurse practitioners in Georgia. The average pediatric-acute care nurse practitioner salary in Georgia is $54.42 an hour or $113,200 per year.
Pediatric-Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
A pediatric-primary care nurse practitioner provides children and teenagers with frontline health services such as disease prevention and health maintenance. Healthcare access is a real challenge for many children outside the Atlanta metro area in Georgia.
These children would be able to receive the care they need if pediatric-primary care nurse practitioners were allowed to practice independently of physician oversight. In Georgia, the average pediatric-primary care nurse practitioner salary is $50.39 per hour or $104,800 per year.
Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMH nurse practitioner)
Mental healthcare providers are in short supply in Georgia, with no psychiatrists practicing in 78 counties. As far as accessibility to mental healthcare providers is concerned, the state ranks 47th.
Additionally, it ranks among the top 11 states for prescription opioid deaths. A mental health crisis is occurring in Georgia that psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners are qualified to handle since these professionals work with patients who are dealing with mental health problems or substance abuse issues.
The restrictions placed on psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners in Georgia, however, greatly hinder their effectiveness, as they are with other nurse practitioner specialties. A psychiatric nurse practitioner in Georgia earns $54.79 an hour or $113,960 per year on average.
Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
The role of women’s health nurse practitioners is to provide gynecological care and wellness to women. In metro Atlanta and its suburbs, the majority of women’s health nurse practitioners work in OB-GYN practices, women’s clinics, and community clinics. Women’s health nurse practitioners in Georgia earn $50.39 per hour, or $104,800 per year, on average.
Georgia Nurse Practitioner Salary By City
Poverty levels are closely associated with issues such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes in the greater Atlanta metropolitan area, which suggests low-income residents have less access to primary healthcare.
There are many first-class medical centers in Atlanta, including Emory University Hospital, Emory St. Joseph’s Hospital, and Piedmont Atlanta Hospital.
The fierce competition among these healthcare providers for qualified nurse practitioners drives up Atlanta’s average nurse practitioner salary. Atlanta nurse practitioners earn $54.53 per hour or $113,410 per year.
Obesity, diabetes, and cardio/cerebrovascular disease are among the health issues impacting Augusta and surrounding parts of Richmond County. There is also a growing problem with opioid and methamphetamine abuse in the city.
Aiken Regional Medical Centers, University Hospital-Augusta, and Augusta University Medical Center are among Augusta’s top hospitals. The average salary of a nurse practitioner in Augusta is $105,490 a year and $50.72 an hour.
The Fort Benning military base dominates Columbus, which is an army town. More than 21 percent of its residents live below the poverty line, and its median income is 22 percent lower than the state’s median income.
The salary of a nurse practitioner in Columbus, however, is the highest in the state at $51.42 an hour, or $106,950 annually. This might be due to the fact that many of its nurse practitioners work for the Veterans Administration, which operates under federal guidelines.
In the federal government, nurse practitioners have full autonomy and independence in their practice.
According to recent reports, Macon and surrounding Bibb County are among Georgia’s unhealthiest areas. More than 30 percent of Macon’s residents live below the poverty line.
There is a high prevalence of smoking, obesity, and alcohol abuse, as well as diseases associated with these behaviors. A nurse practitioner in Macon earns an average salary of $50.07 an hour or $104,150 a year.
People living in Savannah are at a greater risk of developing diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and strokes than people living elsewhere.
The poverty rate in the city is 24 percent. Savannah residents lack access to primary healthcare services because they cannot afford health insurance. Nurse practitioners earn an average salary of $104,820 per year or $50.40 per hour in Savannah.
Georgia Nurse Practitioner Salaries By Metro Area
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell nurse practitioners earn an average of $113,410 a year, which is the highest average salary in Georgia. In Albany, nurse practitioners earn an average salary of $96,950 per year. In Columbus, nurse practitioners earn a salary 65 percent higher.
|Metro||# of NPs||Hourly||Yearly|
Top Five Paid Cities for North Carolina Nurse Practitioners
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell nurse practitioners earn $113,410 a year, which is 12 percent more than Georgia’s average salary for nurse practitioners. On the other hand, nurse practitioners based in Athens-Clarke County earn $106,750 annually, which is four percent less than the state average nurse practitioner salary.
|Rank||City||Yearly Salary Average|
Georgia Nurse Practitioner Salary Compared To Other Nursing Careers
It is worthwhile to pursue a nurse practitioner degree at one of Georgia’s top programs. A nurse practitioner in Georgia typically earns nearly 50 percent more than a registered nurse. In Georgia, the average nurse practitioner salary is $109,560, while the average RN salary is $75,380.
|Occupation||Average Yearly Salary|
|Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)||$177,960|
|Nurse Practitioner (NP)||$109,560|
|Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)||$99,140|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||$75,380|
|Nursing School Professor/Nurse Educator||$59,730|
|Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)/Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)||$47,370|
|Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)||$30,600|
Georgia Nurse Practitioner Salary Compared To Other Healthcare Careers
Compared to dentists, podiatrists, pharmacists, and optometrists, nurse practitioners earn significantly less in Georgia. It is partially due to the fact that most nurse practitioners hold master’s degrees, while dentists, podiatrists, pharmacists, and optometrists hold doctoral degrees.
As the educational benchmark for all advanced practice nurses, including nursing practitioners, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing recommended substituting a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree for the Master of Nursing Science degree in 2004.
This recommendation could lead to higher nurse practitioner pay in Georgia when implemented fully.
|Occupation||Average Yearly Salary|
|Nurse Practitioner (NP)||$109,560|
|Physical Therapist (PT)||$93,980|
|Occupational Therapist (OT)||$87,250|
Outlook for Nurse Practitioner Salary in Georgia
With a 53 percent growth rate, the Georgia Department of Labor projected that nurse practitioners would be one of the fastest-growing occupations in the state over the next decade. Rural areas of the state are especially in need of primary care providers.
House Bill 1092, currently in front of the Georgia legislature, does not address nurse practitioners’ full practice authority in the state, but if passed, it will enhance their ability to practice to the best of their abilities. As a result of all these factors, the average salary of a nurse practitioner in Georgia looks like it will continue to increase.
A nurse practitioner in Georgia will earn an average salary of $109,560 by 2022, but the salary will vary greatly based on the location where you work and how long you have worked in your field. To increase your salary as a nurse practitioner, consider pursuing specific certifications within your area of specialization.
Joanne Potter, BSN, 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 on the frontlines at the bedside enable her to write with a deep understanding of what patients and healthcare workers want from their communities.
Sources (July 2022):
American Association of Colleges of Nursing
Georgia Department of Labor
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
U.S. Department of Labor
Written by Joanne PotterJoanne, 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.