The Career Of Nurse Practitioner Is Breaking Down Salary Barriers For Women

For many women out there, the fact that statistics show there is a very real wage gap between men’s and women’s salaries in the country isn’t surprising. This is a fact that has been going on for decades upon decades, with women constantly trying to equal the playing field and close that gap. With that said, there are some industries and careers where it is just more obvious and a bigger gap than others. So, where should women focus their efforts if they want to make a decent, and even high-paying salary?

One area that can be well worth investigating is the medical industry, in particular the career of nurse practitioner. Nursing has predominantly been a field that women dominate in, so it’s seen as a very welcoming field for them. But the role of nurse practitioner takes things to the next level not just in terms of salary, but also in education, training, and responsibilities. 

So, let’s take a closer look at what it means to be a nurse practitioner and how it is helping to break down some of those salary barriers and gaps facing women.

What is a Nurse Practitioner?

While you are probably very familiar with the career of a nurse, a nurse practitioner may be one you haven’t heard about. A nurse practitioner is a person who is a registered nurse and who has also been formally trained to deal with more in-depth diagnosis. They are trained to take into account a person’s total body health and wellness. 

As a nurse practitioner, you’ll be able to identify and diagnose chronic and acute illnesses and ailments, order diagnostic tests and lab work, analyze the results, and prescribe medication to your patients. 

Today they are being seen as a way to fill a widening gap in the healthcare industry. There is currently a severe shortage of doctors, and yet the population of aging adults is getting bigger each year. As a nurse practitioner, you can fit into that primary care slot and actually go about many of the same duties that a primary care doctor would take on.

This has become even more important during the worldwide pandemic of COVID-19 that continues to rage across the world today. The country’s health care system is being stretched to its limits in many states and countries, and nurse practitioners are playing a vital role in keeping things running and ensuring patients get the care they need.

What Kind of Salary Can You Expect?

As for the salary for nurse practitioners, this is where it becomes really great for those women looking to break through barriers where pay is concerned. 

Statistics show that 72% of people employed as a nurse practitioner take home a salary, with 26% making an hourly wage. That salary is more often than not in the six figures. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average salary for a nurse practitioner is $110,030, which is much higher than the typical salary in the country. For those who may be working on an hourly basis, the BLS has posted an average hourly wage of $52.90.

Wondering why you are able to make such a high salary? You can chalk it up to the fact you had to invest in your education to get to this point, and that you are a very highly trained individual. There are various registrations and certifications needed, and the requirements also vary by state. The pay is also a reflection of your specific duties, which tend to be grouped by specialty.

Take for example the average nurse salary in Texas – it sits at $75,510 according to Health Care Occupation. That is well off the salary of a nurse practitioner. Obviously that can change depending on your state, region, city/town, but in general you can count on a large jump once you enter into the role of a nurse practitioner.

Some of the highest paying states for this particular job are California, Alaska, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Hawaii.

It’s also important to point out that this is a field that is very much in demand with plenty of job growth, and with that growth comes the higher salary.

A Field Worth Researching

So, while there are still far too many industries where the wage gap between men and women is vast, in terms of the medical field, the career of nurse practitioner could give women a chance to break down those barriers.