Nurse Practitioner Salary in Tennessee: Explained City by City

Tennessee Nurse practitioner filling injection

The limitations placed on nurse practitioner scope of practice in Tennessee have a significant impact on nurse practitioner compensation. NPs serve as mid-level primary care professionals who require careful supervision from supervising physicians, although Tennessee’s Administrative Code recognizes them.

In Tennessee, nurse practitioners can only practice if they have a collaboration agreement with a physician. At least once every 30 days, the collaborating physician must pay a visit to the NP’s office. In addition, the collaborating physician is legally responsible for all drug prescriptions written by the NP.

In Tennessee, how much do nurse practitioners earn? This article will provide you with all the information you require on nurse practitioner salaries in Tennessee for the year 2022.

What is the Starting Salary of a Nurse Practitioner in Tennessee?

In Tennessee, the starting income for a nurse practitioner is $33.25 per hour, or $5,760 per month or $69,160 per year. This is 16% more than the starting wage for registered nurses without graduate degrees in Tennessee ($58,433), it is still 31% less than the national average entry-level salary for nurse practitioners ($90,925).

The cost of living has a significant impact on entry-level pay. Tennessee has the sixth-lowest cost of living in the United States. The Volunteer State’s typical housing price is 40% lower than the national average, and grocery, utility, and transportation costs are all lower. This means that your money will stretch further, even if your starting salary as a nurse practitioner in Tennessee is low.


What is the Average Salary of a Nurse Practitioner in Tennessee?

A nurse practitioner’s average hourly wage in Tennessee is $47.77, which equates to $8,280 per month or $99,370 per year. Except for Alabama, Tennessee NPs have the lowest salaries of any state’s NPs. Even yet, they’re compensated compared to other Tennessee workers, who earn an average of $42,553 per year, less than half of an NP’s compensation.

Compensation varies a lot from one part of Tennessee to the next. Nurse practitioners earn an average yearly salary of $103,606, which is 4% higher than the state average. Franklin is in affluent Williamson County. Johnson City, in eastern Tennessee near the Virginia border, pays their NPs $79,803 a year, which is 20% less than the state average.

Nurse practitioners in Tennessee are paid according to their experience, practice setting, and specialty. The average pay benchmark for Nurse Practitioners in Tennessee is typically reached during their ninth and tenth year of employment. Nurse practitioners earn the highest salary in Tennessee’s outpatient care centers because they are the focal point for administering care to multiple patients, adding to the outpatient care centers’ bottom line.

Newborn nurse practitioners are the highest-paid nurse practitioners in Tennessee (as they are in other states), but adult-gerontology-acute care NPs, pediatric-acute care NPs, and psychiatric-mental health NPs also make more than the average income for all NPs in Tennessee.


Nurse Practitioner Salary in Tennessee by Years of Experience

Nurse practitioners in Tennessee earn the most after one to four years of experience. An NP with one to four years of experience in the Volunteer State earns $85,960 per year, which is 24% more than his or her starting wage ($69,160).

The pay gap between a Tennessee NP with one to four years of experience and one with five to nine years of experience is only 16 percent: $85,960 vs. $99,300. Following that, every ten years, NP salaries increase by about 15%.

Nurse practitioners cannot serve as adequate substitutes for primary care physicians in the Volunteer State because they lack complete practicing authority. As a result, the healthcare organizations that employ them have less incentive to use financial incentives to keep NPs with greater experience.

Years of ExperienceHourlyMonthlyAnnual
Starting (Entry-Level)$33.25$5,760$69,160
1-4 Years of Experience$41.33$7,160$85,960
5-9 Years of Experience$47.74$8,280$99,300
10-19 Years of Experience$54.96$9,530$114,310
20 Years or More Experience$63.26$10,970$131,590

Total Annual Nurse Practitioner Compensation and Benefits in Tennessee

Nurse practitioners in Tennessee get benefits in addition to their wages. Benefits are the term used to describe these rewards. Every employee in the United States is entitled to some form of compensation. These benefits can range from required ones like unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation to more desirable ones, like medical insurance, paid time off, and retirement contributions.

Aside from these standard benefits, nurses usually receive professional liability insurance and reimbursement for licensing and certification expenses.

Tennessee nurse practitioners in the private sector get an average cash value of $42,019 per year, bringing their total compensation to $141,479 per year, or 42 percent more than their basic income of $99,460. Tennessee nurse practitioners working in state and local governments earn an average cash value of benefits of $60,528 per year, bringing their total pay to $158,869 per year, or 62 percent more than their base income of $98,340.

This example explains why you should never base your decision on salary alone. Benefits play a significant role in the decision-making process.

ComponentPrivate IndustryState and Local Government
Paid Leave$10,469$12,074
Supplemental Pay$4,952$1,589
Retirement and Savings$4,810$19,700
Legally Required$10,752$8,738
Total Benefits$42,019$60,529
Average Annual Salary$99,460$98,340
Total Compensation$141,479$158,869

Nurse Practitioner Salary in Tennessee by Practice Setting

Patients go to outpatient care centers within a medical system for treatments and procedures that do not cause an overnight stay. Outpatient care centers currently account for half of all hospital income. Their capacity to move patients through the therapy pipeline is critical to their financial success.

Nurse practitioners are critical to the efficiency of outpatient care centers. Thus, it’s no surprise that NPs in Tennessee’s outpatient care settings are well compensated.

Educators, researchers, and clinical practitioners who work at the Volunteer State’s colleges, universities, and professional schools are on the other end of the pay scale. On paper, their pay ($93,770) is 13% lower than that of nurse practitioners working in Tennessee’s outpatient care centers ($107,480). Salary figures, however, do not convey the whole story about NP salary. NPs who work in school settings are likely to get benefits that increase the cash value of their compensation package.

Type of Practice SettingHourlyAnnual
Outpatient Care Centers$51.68$107,480
Offices of Other Health Practitioners$46.75$97,230
Offices of Physicians$46.44$96,590

Nurse Practitioner Salary in Tennessee by Specialty

– Adult Gerontology-Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Adult gerontology-acute care nurse practitioners work in hospitals with individuals who have developed unexpected diseases. Hospitals and medical centers hire AG-ACNPs in most cases. In Tennessee, the average income for an adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner is $48.13 per hour, or $100,110 per year.

Although AG-ACNPs are trained to care for patients of all ages (18 and up), they specialize in the treatment of senior citizens, who account for over 40% of hospitalized patients in the United States.


– Adult Gerontology-Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

Primary care services are in short supply, especially in rural and urban areas of the Volunteer State. Adult gerontology-primary care nurse practitioners in Tennessee have the education and clinical abilities to satisfy these demands, Tennessee’s Administrative Code does not grant NPS full practicing authorization.

Although NPs are recognized as primary care providers in Tennessee, they may not practice independently, which means they are unable to assist elderly Tennessee residents who live in areas without a supervising physician. In Tennessee, the average compensation for an adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner is $45.51 per hour, or $94,670 per year.


– Dermatology Nurse Practitioner

In Tennessee, dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons employ dermatology nurse practitioners. Dermatology clinics in major cities such as Nashville, Memphis, and Knoxville sometimes provide their services. An NP specializing in dermatology earns an average of $47.47 per hour in Tennessee, or $98.730 a year.


– Family Nurse Practitioner

The family nurse practitioner program at Vanderbilt University in Nashville is regarded as one of the best nurse practitioner programs in Tennessee and the country, which is ironic given that family nurse practitioners who graduate from this program face limitations in practicing to the full extent of their education. This shows that after completing their school, Tennessee-educated FNPs may be enticed to go to a state with higher salary and greater practice freedom.

Nurse practitioners practice in a wide variety of clinical settings in Tennessee, including medical centers, physician offices, community health clinics, urgent care centers, and schools. Family nurse practitioners in Tennessee earn an average of $47.21 per hour, or $98,200 per year.

Despite being the most versatile of all nurse practitioner specialties, family nurse practitioners are not allowed to practice independently in Tennessee, and their wages are typically 2 to 3 percent lower than those of those in acute care.


– Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

In Tennessee, neonatal nurse practitioners earn the most money. NNPs work in neonatal intensive care nurseries, which are specialized intensive care units for babies. Neonatal nurse practitioners are in great demand in Tennessee, where 11.2 percent of all live births are premature, and 9.2 percent of all babies have a low birth rate. In Tennessee, the average compensation for a neonatal nurse practitioner is $50.68 per hour, or $105,420 per year.


– Pediatric-Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

In Tennessee hospitals, children and adolescents receive pediatric-acute care nurse practitioner services. They may also occasionally monitor people who have chronic health problems that began when they were children. Many of them work at specialist children’s hospitals around Tennessee, such as Monroe Carell Jr.

Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. In Tennessee, the average pediatric-acute care nurse practitioner pay is $49.39 per hour, or $102,730 per year.


– Pediatric-Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

In Tennessee, children’s primary care nurses address some common diseases and injuries, but they mostly promote wellbeing, educating children, and preventing disease. They frequently linked pediatricians and family practitioners with them. They are used in community clinics and schools.

Clinical skills, as well as developmental psychology, have been incorporated into their training. In Tennessee, the average pediatric-primary care nurse practitioner pay is $45.73 per hour, or $95,120 per year.


– Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Tennessee has the highest rate of depression of any of the 50 states, according to the results of a national survey conducted jointly by the US Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics in the autumn of 2020. More than 28% of Tennessee residents said they were depressed or nervous, compared to 24.5 percent nationally. The suicide rate in the state has increased by 24 percent in the last six years. Every day, five Tennesseans die from drug overdoses.

Tennessee is one of the five poorest states in the country for mental health treatment, according to the federally funded advocacy group Mental Health America. The COVID-19 epidemic aggravated pre-existing mental health problems.

Psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners in Tennessee provide patient-centered care with a focus on mental health and drug misuse disorders. In Tennessee, the typical mental nurse practitioner compensation is just under $50 per hour, or $103,420 per year.


– Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner

These nurses provide gynecological therapy and wellness care to women and girls throughout their lives. Family physicians and community health agencies in Tennessee’s larger cities, such as Nashville, Memphis, and Knoxville, make up most of their clients. In Tennessee, the average wage for a women’s health nurse practitioner is $45.73 per hour, or $95,110 per year.


Nurse Practitioner Salary in Tennessee by City

– Nashville

Several publicly-traded healthcare companies are headquartered in Nashville, and the healthcare industry supports over 270,000 jobs in the greater Nashville area. The fact that healthcare workers are attracted to Nashville because it offers many job opportunities may explain why nurse practitioner salaries in Nashville are lower than in other parts of the state. Across Nashville, the average nurse practitioner salary is 47.40 dollars an hour, or $98,590 a year.


– Memphis

Memphis and Shelby County are estimated to have more than a third of their adult population clinically obese. The prevalence of obesity-related diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease is high here. Primary care providers can provide clinical management that helps prevent flare up of these conditions, such as nurse practitioners.

Despite being comparable in size to Nashville, only 18 percent of the state’s nurse practitioners are employed in Memphis. Nurse practitioners here may command higher salaries because of the relative scarcity of NPs. Nurse practitioners in Memphis, Tennessee, earn $52.62 an hour or $109,440 a year on average.


– Knoxville

Obesity is a big issue for Knoxville citizens, as it is for many other Tennessee cities, and it impacts health issues such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Over 15% of the Nurse Practitioners in the Volunteer State work in the greater Knoxville area. A nurse practitioner in Knoxville earns over $100,000 a year, or $47.56 per hour.


– Chattanooga

Chattanooga’s healthcare system is challenged by obesity as well. A full 31% of adults are clinically obese in the city and nearby Hamilton County, resulting in higher than average rates of diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Nurse practitioners are trained to provide the types of preventative interventions that can reduce the incidence of these conditions, but they aren’t allowed to practice to the full extent of their education in Chattanooga or elsewhere in Tennessee. In Chattanooga, TN, the average NP salary is $48.69 per hour, or $101,280 per year.


– Clarksville

Despite being classified as a “Healthier Tennessee Community,” Clarksville continues to battle with the high obesity rates that plague so many sections of the Volunteer State. Clinical obesity affects over one-third of the city’s adult residents.

The city is working on many wellness promotion programs with the Montgomery County Health Department and the public school system to address this health issue. In Clarksville, TN, the typical nurse practitioner pay is under $50 per hour, or $103,820 per year.


NP Pay in Tennessee VS. Other Nursing Careers

Tennessee’s nurse practitioners are among the highest-paid nursing professionals in the state. The average yearly pay for registered nurses in Tennessee is $99,370, which is 55 percent higher than the national average.

Many Tennessee-educated NPs may be enticed to leave the state because of the wage disparity. If such a significant departure occurs, Tennessee will face a health crisis, as the state currently has a substantial deficit of healthcare providers.

OccupationAverage Annual Salary
Nurse Anesthetist$171,020
Nurse Practitioner$99,370
Nurse Midwife$93,690
Nursing Instructor and Teacher, Postsecondary$73,750
Registered Nurse$64,120
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurse$42,330
Nursing Assistant$27,940

NP Pay in Tennessee VS. Other Healthcare Careers

Nurse practitioners in Tennessee earn $99,370 per year, which is 41% less than dentists ($167,460) or podiatrists ($135,280). After earning a Master’s in Nursing Science degree, most nurse practitioners enter the job. By 2025, all entry-level nurse practitioner education programs will have transitioned from MSN to DNP.

OccupationAverage Annual Salary
Physician Assistant$101,640
Nurse Practitioner$99,370
Physical Therapist$86,090
Occupational Therapist$85,220

Why is the Outlook Bright for Nurse Practitioner Salary in Tennessee?

Tennessee lawmakers are debating legislation that would empower nurse practitioners to diagnose, treat, and manage patients to the full extent of their training. The bill is unpopular among Tennessee physicians, who are hesitant to relinquish control over medical decision-making.

Previously, similar legislation was introduced and failed on multiple occasions. Because of a shortage of skilled medical workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, many nurse practitioners had to practice alone.


When assessing the benefits and drawbacks of a job offer, the average income of a nurse practitioner in Tennessee for 2022 should be taken into account.

The overall compensation package, which includes income, medical and dental benefits, insurance coverage, and retirement plans, should be considered. You always have the option of seeking further certifications that will boost your earning potential within your speciality once you’ve found work that’s a suitable fit for your skillset.

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Written by Sara Rembert

Sara has a background in health care and case management, working for several years as a home help aid. Having always loved writing, but unsure of how to put her expertise to use, she brought together these two passions by becoming a freelance writer, specializing in medical and nursing writing.

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