Hospital with a large cross on it against a cloudy sky background
Hospital with a large cross on it against a cloudy sky background

Nationwide Demand: 10 Best Places to Work As a Nurse Practitioner

They're in demand nationwide, but where are the best places to work as a nurse practitioner (NP)?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. will add over 53,000 NP jobs by 2028.

Many of these positions will be in hospitals and outpatient clinics where the demand for primary care continues to grow.

Completing a Master of Science in Nursing – FNP online program will enable you to provide holistic primary care in NP positions across the country.

Read on to explore the FNP role and its growing demand, and then find out which 10 states have the best outlooks for employment and salary.


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What's the Role of an FNP?

A family nurse practitioner (FNP) is a type of advanced practice registered nurse

An FNP cares for individuals across the lifespan and can offer many of the same services as a primary care doctor. As a result, the role comes with significant autonomy.

FNPs practice in numerous settings, including private practice, outpatient clinics and hospitals.

Read more about the FNP role here.


Why Are FNPs in Demand?

There is a tremendous demand for FNPs because the need for primary care services is growing in the U.S due to these factors:

  • The increased prevalence of chronic disease
  • An expanding aging population
  • Wider availability of health coverage

The country's supply of primary care physicians does not meet the demand. By 2032, the shortage will exceed 55,000.

FNPs, however, are equipped to fill the gap. They can provide high-quality and holistic primary care, like their physician counterparts.

Close-up of nurse practitioners hands and patient's hands resting on top of a desk with computer and clipboard on it

What are the 10 Best Places to Work as a Nurse Practitioner?

1. New York

New York is one of three states on the East Coast where FNPs can expect fantastic employment opportunities. Demand for NPs is growing here partly because many NPs are approaching retirement.

By 2026, New York is projected to add 6,070 NP jobs. That's an increase of 41.6%. New York will also have 1,450 annual job openings, the highest number of all 50 states.

Salary is another reason why the Empire State is one of the best places to work as a nurse practitioner. It's among the top five highest-paying states for NPs.

On average, NPs earn $120,970 per year in New York.

The typical salary range is $91,240-$138,990, according to the New York State Education Department.

2. California

The California Health Care Foundation reported that the supply of physicians will meet less than half of the demand for primary care by 2030.

This presents an extraordinary opportunity for FNPs in the Golden State. California will add an estimated 4,600 NP jobs by 2026, making it the second-best place to work as a nurse practitioner.

California is the highest-paying state for NPs.

FNPs can expect to earn an impressive salary. The average annual income is $133,780.

It's also home to two of the top 10 highest-paying metropolitan areas:

  • San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward – No. 2: $150,790 average salary
  • Vallejo-Fairfield – No. 5: $145,400 average salary

3. Florida

Florida will have thousands of FNP jobs to fill because half of the state's physicians will reach retirement age over the next decade.

By 2026, NP employment in Florida will grow by approximately 4,090 positions for an increase of 44.7%, the fourth-highest of all 50 states. On average, NPs earn $101,100 in the Sunshine State.

Florida also has one of the highest-paying metropolitan areas.

Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, where the average salary is $141,800, ranks ninth in the country.

4. Texas

Texas joins Florida as another Southern state among the best places to work as a nurse practitioner.

It will add an estimated 3,970 jobs by 2026, resulting in 43.8% growth. This is the fifth-highest employment growth rate in the nation, following Florida’s.

Salary is another benefit of working as an FNP in Texas.

The average annual wage for NPs ranges from $106,290 to $111,060. You can earn more than that in some regions of the Lone Star State.

The Big Thicket and Coastal Plains regions are among the highest-paying nonmetropolitan areas for NPs in the country:

  • Big Thicket – No. 1: $143,480 average salary
  • Coastal Plains – No. 4: $127,370 average salary

5. Illinois

Illinois is the first Midwestern state on this list. By 2026, it will have an estimated 3,030 new NP jobs for a growth rate of 38.3%.

NPs in Illinois can expect to earn an average salary between $103,200 and $106,200.

Another benefit of working in Illinois is that the state officially recognizes NPs as primary care providers.

6. Tennessee

Tennessee has the eighth-highest growth rate for NP employment in the U.S. It is projected to add 2,120 jobs by 2026, an increase of 40.2%.

Tennessee ranks second nationwide for the highest concentration of NP jobs.

Approximately 2.37 NPs are employed per thousand jobs.

If you're headed to the Volunteer State, you'll earn an average income of $95,990 per year.

7. Virginia

Virginia is another Eastern state where the career outlook is bright for NPs.

By 2026, Virginia will add approximately 2,050 NP jobs.

The Mother of States has the sixth-highest growth rate for NP employment at 43.7%. The average salary ranges from $103,200 to $106,200.

8. Ohio

Ohio is the only other Midwestern state among the 10 best places to work as a nurse practitioner.

The state will need around 2,010 NP jobs by 2026, resulting in 29.7% employment growth for the profession.

The Buckeye State has the fifth highest NP employment level in the U.S.

As of May 2018, it had 7,510 NP jobs. It's also home to the nonmetropolitan area with the second highest employment – North Northeastern Ohio.

The annual mean wage for NPs in Ohio is $101,970.

9. Arizona

Arizona is undoubtedly one of the best places to work as a nurse practitioner. According to a Career Builder report, NP is the highest-paying and most in-demand role in Arizona.

The Grand Canyon State will add approximately 1,790 NP jobs by 2026. It has the highest growth rate for NP employment out of all 50 states at 57.5%.

The average salary statewide is $110,750.

In Yuma, Arizona, the No. 7 top-paying metropolitan area for NPs, nurse practitioners earn an average of $142,650.

Arizona is also the only state on this list that offers NPs a full-practice environment. That means NPs can carry out the full scope of their responsibilities.

10. Massachusetts

Massachusetts rounds out the list of best places to work as a nurse practitioner.

The Bay State is projected to add roughly 1,730 jobs by 2026 for a growth rate of 27.5%.

You'll find most jobs in the Boston-Cambridge-Nashua region, which ranks second for the highest NP employment level out of all U.S. metropolitan areas.

Massachusetts is the third top-paying state with an average salary of $122,740.

It’s home to two metropolitan areas with the highest NP salaries:

  • New Bedford – No. 1: $156,980 average salary
  • Leominster-Gardner – No. 6: $145,020 average salary


*The employment data in this article is from Projections Central, which develops projections based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Salary data is from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


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How Can I Get Started?

Texas Woman's University offers an accredited, highly ranked and affordable online Master of Science in Nursing – FNP program for those who want to advance their career in nursing.

The program is available to candidates in 34 states, including six of the best places to work as a nurse practitioner.

Our program prepares candidates to fulfill the significant demand for FNPs. Graduates of Texas Woman's have a 99% pass rate on FNP licensure exams.

Are you ready to start your journey to becoming a holistic primary care provider?

Learn more about Texas Woman's online Master of Science in Nursing -FNP program today.


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