Nursing MSN & DNP

| 5 September 2019

The data in this blog is for general informational purposes only and information presented was accurate as of the publication date.

Master of Science in Nursing Salary Ranges + Highest Paid Jobs

doctor with an MSN degree

There are many reasons RNs choose to go back to school and receive their Master of Science in Nursing. However, one of the most attractive reasons—the salary. Nurses with an MSN degree are able to further their education, career opportunities, impact as well as increase their paycheck.

Getting an MSN degree opens up several career paths for registered nurses. Let’s take a look at the master of science in nursing salary broken down by specialty, state and highest paid jobs.

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Salaries

The MSN nurses’ salary can range anywhere from $60,000 to $180,000, with an average of $92,000. However, your actual salary will depend on your experience and the specialty you decide to go into. Below are the average salaries for advanced practice registered nurses, nurse administrators and nurse instructors. 

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) Salaries

Advanced practice nurses hold a master’s degree or doctoral degree in a focus area. Some of the most popular types of advanced practice nurses include, certified nurse practitioner, certified registered nurse anesthetist, certified nurse midwife, family nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for nurse practitioners in 2018 was $107,030. However, your actual salary will depend on the nursing career path you take. When looking at current salaries on Payscale, we were able to compare the salary ranges and average annual salary for over 25 of the top APRN jobs in the country.

Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) $99,000 – $193,000 $146,354
Psychiatric Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) $82,000 – $139,000 $104,553
Hospitalist Nurse Practitioner (NP) $84,000 – $124,000 $100,336
Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP) $84,000 – $124,000 $100,041
Cardiovascular Surgery Nurse Practitioner (NP) $85,000 – $121,000 $99,616
Hospitalist Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) $85,000 – $119,000 $98,922
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NP) $79,000 – $123,000 $98,825
Cardiovascular Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) $83,000 – $123,000 $97,811
Adult Nurse Practitioner (ANP $82,000-$121,000 $97,392
Urgent Care Nurse Practitioner (NP) $82,000-$123,000 $95,883
Internal Medicine Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) $79,000-$118,000 $95,291
Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) $77,000-$119,000 $95,078
Dermatology Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) $76,000-$123,000 $94,340
Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) $78,000-$117,000 $94,276
Nurse Practitioner (NP) $75,000-$118,000 $92,940
Family Nurse Practitioner (NP) $77,000-$114,000 $92,548
Certified Nurse Midwife $76,000-$115,000 $92,427
Laser Dermatology Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) $87,000-$119,000 $92,086
Gastroenterology Nurse Practitioner (NP) $79,000-$110,000 $91,390
Pediatrics Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) $72,000-$118,000 $91,041
Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (CRNP) $70,000-$115,000 $90,302
Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (NP) $71,000-$109,000 $89,597
Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP) $71,000-$110,000 $89,291
Clinical Nurse Specialist $66,000-$116,000 $88,328
Pediatrics Nurse Practitioner (NP) $71,000-$110,000 $88,167
Informatics Nurse $58,000-$98,000 $77,414
Critical Care Nurse $41,000-$97,000 $67,006

Nurse Administrator Salaries 

If you’re looking for more of a leadership role, you can become a nurse administrator. Nurse administrators need an advanced degree along with business leadership skills. Some popular nurse executive roles include clinical nurse leader, manager, chief nursing officer and more. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical and health service managers make a median salary of $99,730. However, the more experience you have, the more money you will make. Below are some of the top nurse administrator roles ranked from highest to lowest pay.

Chief Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) $133,000-$224,000 $176,686
Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) $91,000-$199,000 $127,268
Clinical Informatics Manager $62,000-$128,000 $90,261
Nursing Director $64,000-$129,000 $89,413
Director, Clinical Services $60,000-$133,000 $86,843
Nursing Manager $63,000-$116,000 $84,710
Clinical Nurse Manager $61,000-$112,000 $81,507
Clinical Nurse Leader $53,000-$107,000 $77,826
Legal Nurse Consultant $55,000-$101,000 $76,556
Registered Nurse (RN) Supervisor $54,000-$97,000 $72,808
Nurse Case Manager $56,000-$89,000 $70,888
Clinical Manager $47,000-$100,000 $70,449
Assistant Director of Nursing (ADON) $54,000-$89,000 $69,413

Nurse Instructor Salaries

If you don’t want to work in a hospital, consider a career as a nurse educator. Just like the other MSN fields, nurse educators require an advanced degree and get paid relatively well. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing instructors and teachers make a median annual wage of $73,490. Your salary will depend a lot on your experience, location, field and school you teach at. Below are some of the most popular nurse instructor jobs and their average annual salary.

Nurse Researcher $63,000-$147,000 $81,500
Clinical Educator $55,000-$100,000 $74,962
Nurse Educator $54,000-$99,000 $74,535
Clinical Research Nurse $54,000-$92,000 $70,488
Nursing Instructor $45,000-$82,000 $61,109

Master of Science in Nursing Degree Salaries by State

MSN Degree Salary by State

Just like any profession, the state you choose to work in, will play a factor in what salary you will make. Generally, states with a higher cost of living will pay higher wages but supply and demand can also play a role. Arizona is considered the best state for nurses based on their average salary, projected job growth and cost of living index.

Below are all 50 states ranked from highest master of science in nursing pay to lowest. The states with the highest MSN pay are Wyoming, California and Montana.

Wyoming $136,770
California $135,920
Montana $132,800
Minnesota $128,700
Hawaii $126,720
Alaska $124,620
Massachusetts $122,600
Iowa $120,780
Oregon $120,560
New York $118,810
North Dakota $118,800
Nevada $117,250
Connecticut $115,680
Washington $115,490
Wisconsin $114,040
Virginia $112,580
West Virginia $112,140
District of Columbia $111,710
South Dakota $111,080
Michigan $109,660
Delaware $108,780
Mississippi $108,440
Maryland $107,520
New Hampshire $107,410
Kentucky $106,730
North Carolina $106,690
Indiana $105,740
Florida $105,230
Utah $105,100
Pennsylvania $103,550
Alabama $103,370
Arizona $102,260
Texas $101,870
Colorado $101,620
Kansas $101,590
New Jersey $101,560
Ohio $101,490
Georgia $101,470
New Mexico $101,470
Nebraska $101,280
Illinois $101,180
Idaho $100,690
Louisiana $100,460
Oklahoma $100,300
Maine $98,720
South Carolina $98,700
Arkansas $98,540
Missouri $93,550
Tennessee $92,920
Rhode Island $85,550
Vermont $83,670

Source: NursingProcess

Top 5 Highest Paying MSN Jobs

1. Chief Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) 

A chief nurse anesthetist oversees, manages and schedules a lot of the work done by nurse anesthetists. To become a CRNA, you must be legally licensed in your state. This means first achieving your BSN and then acquiring a master’s degree. Most roles require 3+ years of managerial experience. 

Average annual salary: $176,686

2. Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) 

A nurse anesthetist has the same level of education as a chief nurse anesthetist, but has less experience. They work under the chief nurse anesthetist and are responsible for administering anesthesia to patients undergoing obstetrical, surgical and trauma care procedures. 

Average annual salary: $146,354

3. Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) 

Chief nursing officer is the highest-ranking nurse administrative position. They are responsible for all nursing managers and directors and oversee daily activities within a hospital. Along with a BSN and graduate degree, CNOs must have at least five years of experience in a nurse leadership role.

Average annual salary: $127,268

4. Psychiatric Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) 

A psychiatric advanced registered nurse practitioner treats patients with diagnosed disorders and patients with a family history of mental illness such as depression, bipolar disorder. To become an ARNP, you must have a Master of Science in Nursing degree specializing in psychiatric care. You must also have an RN license and certification from the American Nurses Credential Center. 

Average annual salary: $104,553

5. Hospitalist Nurse Practitioner (NP) 

A hospitalist nurse practitioner provides direct nursing care for patients in a hospital. They are responsible for checking health status, outlining medical history and diagnosing any potential issues. To become a hospitalist nurse practitioner you must hold a master’s degree and pass a national certification exam.

Average annual salary: $100,336

Get Your Master of Science in Nursing Degree Today

Receiving your Master of Science in Nursing degree is one of the best things you can do for yourself as an RN. Your opportunities will widen and your impact will double. Not to mention the increase in your paycheck.

At the School of Nursing at the University of St. Augustine Health Sciences, we are building future leaders and advanced health care practitioners. Our Master of Science in Nursing program offers both online and on-campus options including the available nursing specialty like family nurse practitioner, nurse executive, nursing informaticist and nurse educator.

If you are interested in earning your MSN or another advanced degree, contact the USAHS admissions office today. 

PayScale. “Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Degree.” Accessed: January 26, 2022 “Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Salary – 2021.” Accessed: January 26, 2022


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