Nurse practitioners are legally limited in their scope of practice in North Carolina. The state of North Carolina permits nurse practitioners to practice only when they have a partnership in place with a supervising physician.
Supervising doctors don’t have to work within the same facility as nurse practitioners, but they must be continuously available to the nurse practitioner, and the practice agreement must address that availability.
Additionally, the nurse practitioner and their supervising physician should meet regularly.
Taking all of this into account, nurse practitioners in North Carolina are regulated both by the state’s nursing board and its medical board. The effect of this is that nurse practitioners cannot practice in underserved areas without adequate supervision.
These are the exact areas where nurse practitioners are likely to have the most benefit to the community. Nurse practitioners in North Carolina can earn significantly different salaries across the state and country because of issues like this.
In this article, we examine the salaries of nurse practitioners in North Carolina. The average salary of a nurse practitioner will also be compared to other careers, as well as the salaries of nurse practitioners in various North Carolina cities.
North Carolina Nurse Practitioner Starting Salary
Starting out their careers, nurse practitioners in North Carolina can expect to earn a respectable income. The term “entry-level” generally refers to those who just received their degree and have fewer than two to three years of experience. The entry-level salary varies based on a number of factors, including specialty and city.
Entry-level nurse practitioners in North Carolina make an average salary of $85,130 per year. That comes to just over $700 per month, or about $40 each hour. These are attractive and competitive starting salaries for recent nursing graduates of educational programs.
North Carolina Nurse Practitioner Average Salary
There are many factors that can affect the starting nurse practitioner salary in North Carolina, as with any job and career. These include:
- Practice setting
- Past experience
Taking just North Carolina averages into account, a nurse practitioner earns about $108,370 per year. Based on those numbers, that works out to $9,030 per month and $52.10 per hour.
North Carolina Nurse Practitioner Years of Experience Salary
There is a general understanding that the more experience someone has in their career, the higher their earnings potential. This also holds true for nurse practitioners. With more experience, nurse practitioners can expect higher salaries. Nursing practitioners’ salaries are heavily influenced by the number of years they have worked.
Those skills a nurse practitioner acquires while working as a nurse practitioner are invaluable. As a nurse practitioner gains experience, they become more proficient in their clinical judgment and skills.
There is no substitute for the experience gained over the course of several years of working, with all the on-the-job training and hands-on experience that has developed over the years.
The more experience a nurse practitioner has, the more valuable they become, which results in a higher salary. When it comes to evaluating nurse practitioner salaries, it is important to keep in mind the level of experience a nurse practitioner has.
As previously mentioned, entry-level nurse practitioners in North Carolina earn an average salary of $85,130 per year, or $40.93 per hour. Within the first five years after becoming a nurse practitioner, the average salary increases to $106,770 per year. That’s an increase of over $21,000 in salary in a short period of time.
A nurse practitioner with ten years of experience earns an average salary of $124,680 in the mid-level experience range. It works out to $10,390 per month and $59.94 per hour.
With over twenty years of experience, nurse practitioners in North Carolina can make average earnings of $139,470 annually; that is $11,620 per month and $67.05 per hour.
|Years of Experience||Hourly||Monthly||Annual|
|1-4 Years of Experience||$44.97||$7,800||$93,540|
|5-9 Years of Experience||$51.33||$8,900||$106,770|
|10-19 Years of Experience||$59.94||$10,390||$124,680|
|20 Years or More Experience||$67.05||$11,620||$139,470|
Salary of Nurse Practitioners in North Carolina by Practice Setting
It is common to find nurse practitioners handling many of the responsibilities traditionally assigned to physicians in North Carolina’s outpatient care centers. Nurse practitioners diagnose, treat, and manage disease by performing physical exams, ordering diagnostic tests, and writing prescriptions.
For the work they do in this practice setting, they earn an average of $56.35 an hour, which works out to $117,210 a year. The highest average salary for nurse practitioners in North Carolina is for those that are working in outpatient centers.
Nurse practitioners working in hospitals earn the second-highest salary in North Carolina. Nurse practitioners working in a North Carolina hospital will earn an average of $111,870 per year, slightly less than the $114,600 average wage for hospital nurse practitioners in the United States.
Nurse practitioners working in educational settings, such as universities and colleges, earn $102,270, the lowest salary of all nurse practitioners in North Carolina. However, nurse practitioners working in educational settings may have more appealing hours than nurse practitioners working in hospitals or outpatient centers.
Not having to work weekends, nights, or holidays may be more appealing, even though the salary is less.
|Type of Practice Setting||Hourly||Annual|
|Colleges and Universities||$49.17||$102,270|
|Other Healthcare Provider Offices||$50.97||$106,030|
Salary of Nurse Practitioners by Specialty in North Carolina
The specialty of the nurse practitioner is also a major determinant of salary. Nurse practitioners in North Carolina have the option to specialize in a wide array of areas. A nurse practitioner finds that their choice of specialty is driven by their personal goals and what they find interesting.
A nurse practitioner can specialize in a variety of areas such as pediatrics, family practice, psychiatry, emergency medicine, and women’s health.
After completing a nurse practitioner program, each specialty may require a specific certification. Those certifications can vary from specialty to specialty. Some individuals become bored after working in a particular field for a while.
The benefit of being a nurse practitioner is that they can work in one specialty for a while, then move on to another specialty. It’s not unusual for nurse practitioners to practice in a few different specialties over the course of their careers.
The following is a list of a few of the specialties nurse practitioners can pursue, along with the average salary for each.
Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
Adult-gerontology nurse practitioners in North Carolina earn an average of $102,400 per year or $49.23 an hour. These nurse practitioners specialize in the care of patients over the age of 50, which is a high percentage of North Carolina’s population.
Most adult-gerontology nurse practitioners work in hospitals in big metropolitan areas in North Carolina, such as Raleigh, Greensboro, and Charlotte.
Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner
Aesthetic nurse practitioners in North Carolina earn an average of $97,010 per year or $49.23 an hour. These nurse practitioners specialize in laser procedures, injectables, and other cosmetic procedures in cosmetic surgeon practices and medical spas.
To become a North Carolina aesthetic nurse practitioner, you must pass the Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist exam (CANS).
Dermatology Nurse Practitioner
Dermatology nurse practitioners in North Carolina earn an average of $107,680 per year or $51.77 an hour. These nurse practitioners work with dermatologists, usually in the larger metropolitan areas of North Carolina, such as Raleigh, Greensboro, and Charlotte.
To become a North Carolina aesthetic nurse practitioner, you must obtain 2,000 clinical hours of experience and then take the certification exam.
Emergency Nurse Practitioner
Emergency nurse practitioners in North Carolina earn an average of $110,060 per year or $52.91 an hour. These nurse practitioners work in emergency departments in hospitals and trauma centers. Emergency nurse practitioners are one of the highest-paid specialties among nurse practitioners in North Carolina.
Family Nurse Practitioner
Family nurse practitioners in North Carolina earn an average of $107,100 per year or $51.49 an hour. These nurse practitioners are in very high demand since 80% of the counties in the state are short of primary healthcare providers. Most of the areas that are experiencing a shortage of providers are located in more rural areas of the state.
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
Neonatal nurse practitioners in North Carolina earn an average of $114,960 per year or $55.27 an hour. Neonatal nurse practitioners in this state are in high demand because almost 10% of all births occur prematurely.
Even though these providers are in such demand, they account for only 4% of all nurse practitioners within the state. The high demand for this specialized area is one reason why they have one of the most highly paid nurse practitioner salaries in the state.
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Pediatric nurse practitioners in North Carolina earn an average of $102,020 per year or $49.05 an hour. A high percentage of children in the state live in poverty or low-income households. These children generally live in the outlying or rural areas such as Robeson, Tyrell, and Hyde counties.
In assessing and responding to health issues related to poverty, pediatric nurse practitioners play a critical role.
Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners in North Carolina earn an average of $112,790 per year or $54.23 an hour. There is an immense shortage of psychiatrists and other mental healthcare providers in the state, which leaves the residents with limited access to mental healthcare. These nurse practitioners can help fill the gaps in the shortage of providers.
Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
Women’s health nurse practitioners in North Carolina earn an average of $103,730 per year or $49.87 an hour. Women’s health nurse practitioners are trained to provide care to women ranging from adolescence through menopause, with a focus on reproductive and gynecological health.
North Carolina Nurse Practitioner Salary By City
Location is another major factor when looking at how much a nurse practitioner makes. It is essential to consider location when determining the range of salaries for nurse practitioners in North Carolina. While comparing salaries, you should take into account the type of location.
Consider whether the area is a metropolitan area, a suburb, a small town, or something in a more rural area. Pay also varies from location to location, depending on the availability of nurse practitioners in an area. Pay and benefits are generally more competitive if there is a high demand for nurse practitioners in a particular area.
Listed here are a few of the main cities in North Carolina.
- Average nurse practitioner salary: $108,280 per year
- Most populous city in the state
- The third-fastest growing city in the United States
- Home to CaroMont Regional Medical Center and Carolinas Medical Center
- Average nurse practitioner salary: $110,760
- Home to Duke University and North Carolina Central University
- Nicknamed “Medical City”
- Average nurse practitioner salary: $110,400 per year
- Home to Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
- Sporting venues make it famously known as “tournament town”
- Average nurse practitioner salary: $111,260 per year
- Capital city of North Carolina
- State’s second-most populous city
- Home to Duke University
- World-renowned hospitals include the University of North Carolina Hospital System and Duke University Hospital
- Average nurse practitioner salary: $104,440 per year
- Known to have the worst air pollution in the state
- More residents with health problems linked to bad air pollution
North Carolina Nurse Practitioner Compensation and Benefits
Salaries are undoubtedly among the most important factors when deciding where to practice or how to pursue a career. Another major factor to consider is the compensation and benefits. A nurse practitioner can also negotiate their benefits and compensation, just as they can negotiate their salary.
As well as earning an average yearly salary of $108,370, nurse practitioners in North Carolina can earn an additional $45,000 to $66,000 in benefits and compensation. This range varies based on whether they work in the private sector or for the federal, state, or local government.
Among the benefits and compensation options that are popular and appealing to nurse practitioners are paid time off, health insurance, liability insurance, retirement and pension plan, and continuing education allowance.
|Benefit/Compensation||Private Sector||Federal, State, and Local Government|
|Paid Time Off (PTO)||$11,418||$13,167|
|Insurance (Health, Dental, Vision, Life)||$12,035||$20,270|
|Pension and Retirement||$5,246||$21,483|
|Required By Law||$11,726||$9,529|
|Average Yearly Salary||$108,470||$107,240|
North Carolina Nurse Practitioner Salary Compared to Other Nursing Careers
In North Carolina, registered nurses earn an average of $68,950 a year, while nurse practitioners earn an average of $108,370 a year. The average salary of nurse practitioners in North Carolina is nearly 57% higher than that of registered nurses.
Among nursing professionals, nurse anesthetists earn the most. In North Carolina, nurse anesthetists make almost $200,000 on average. That’s almost double the salary of a nurse practitioner.
North Carolina Nurse Practitioner Salary Compared to Other Healthcare Careers
When it comes to comparing nurse practitioner salaries in North Carolina with other healthcare professionals, nurse practitioners fall directly in the middle. At the bottom end of the spectrum, speech-language pathologists have an average salary of $73,400 per year.
Looking at the other end of the scale, podiatrists make $186,100 per year on average. As we see, nurse practitioners are basically right in the middle at $108,370.
|Occupation||Average Yearly Salary|
|Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)||$192,830|
|Nurse Practitioner (NP)||$108,370|
|Nursing School Educator/Professor||$73,320|
|Registered Nurse (RN)||$68,950|
|Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)/Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)||$47,120|
|Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)||$27,800|
Also have a look at difference between RN and LPN in terms of pay, job duties and schooling.
Number of Nurse Practitioners in North Carolina
The state of North Carolina has about 6,400 nurse practitioners currently practicing in the state.
North Carolina Nurse Practitioner Salary Compared Nationwide
In North Carolina, nurse practitioners earn an average of about $108,370 per year. In the United States, nurse practitioners earn an average salary of $114,510. As you can see, nurse practitioners in North Carolina make, on average, $6,140 (or about 5.67%) less per year than their counterparts elsewhere in the country.
Top Five North Carolina Nurse Practitioner Salaries
Neonatal nurse practitioners are the highest-paid nurses in North Carolina. The average salary for a neonatal nurse practitioner in North Carolina is $114,960. A family nurse practitioner earns $107,100 per year, the lowest salary of nurse practitioners on the top five list.
It should be noted that those with the highest pay usually work weekends, holidays, and nights. Consider your own personal career goals, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of working in a certain area, choosing a specialty that interests you, and determining what you wish to accomplish.
|Rank||Nurse Practitioner Specialty||Yearly|
|1||Neonatal Nurse Practitioner||$114,960|
|2||Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner||$112,790|
|3||Emergency Nurse Practitioner||$110,060|
|4||Dermatology Nurse Practitioner||$107,680|
|5||Family Nurse Practitioner||$107,100|
Top Five Paid Cities for North Carolina Nurse Practitioners
Location is clearly an important factor when it comes to pay differences. Among the top-paying cities in North Carolina for nurse practitioners are Durham, Goldsboro, Greenville, Greensboro, and Fayetteville.
North Carolina Nurse Practitioner Salaries By Metro Area
When considering nurse practitioner salaries in North Carolina, it is important to know the salary ranges for different metropolitan areas. In addition to the major cities and their suburbs, metropolitan areas may include smaller towns and cities near them. Several metro areas are located in North Carolina.
The following table indicates that nurse practitioners’ salaries vary by metro area, as well as the number of nurse practitioners working within that metro area.
|Metro||# of NPs||Hourly||Yearly|
Setting Type the Majority of North Carolina Nurse Practitioners Work
Many nurse practitioners practice in a variety of settings. In North Carolina, almost 3,000 nurse practitioners work in doctor’s offices. Only half of that number work in hospitals. In outpatient centers, there are over 500 nurse practitioners. The total number of health care professionals working in universities, colleges, and clinics is less than 400.
|Practice Setting Type||# of Nurse Practitioners|
|Colleges and Universities||200|
|Other Healthcare Provider Offices||180|
Annual Job Openings for North Carolina Nurse Practitioners
There are almost 150 new job openings for nurse practitioners in North Carolina, along with almost 300 replacement jobs. Overall, there are over 400 job openings for nurse practitioners in North Carolina every year. With aging nurse practitioners, healthcare advancements, and the increasing lifespan, this number increases every year.
The Future for Nurse Practitioners in North Carolina
North Carolina, as well as the rest of the country, has bright prospects for nurse practitioners in general. People need more healthcare as they age due to increasing lifespans and improving healthcare. Furthermore, a number of nurse practitioners are about to retire or are retiring soon, so it is important to fill positions in various fields and specialties.
There are a variety of factors to consider when a nurse practitioner chooses where to work. Nurse practitioners considering moving to North Carolina can take advantage of a variety of attractive incentives. The salary is not only competitive with that of the rest of the United States, but the benefits and compensation offered to employees are also very attractive.
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.
Sources (April 2022):
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
U.S. Department of Labor