NNPs and AC-PNPs have similar job responsibilities. So why are their salaries so different?
Many people have asked us why Acute Care PNPs make more on average than Neonatal Nurse Practitioners (NNP) when these roles perform similar duties. Based on our 2019 Melnic Advanced Practice Salary Survey, the salary range for an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner is between $96,500 and $129,270. For Neonatal Nurse Practitioners, this range is $93,333 to $129,222.
You can see these results in the graphs below.
Two Reasons NNP and AC-PNP Salaries Might Vary
Both Acute Care PNP and NNP roles are in high demand right now with the demand for talented providers outpacing the supply of each. However, there are a couple of differences in the role that might account for a variation in salary.
1) Differences in Work Environment
The majority of AC-PNPs are employed by children’s hospitals. Only a fraction of NNPs works in children’s hospitals. Most NNPs work in large delivery centers and smaller community hospitals. Children’s hospitals are competing nationally for talent, and as a result, they need to pay more competitive salaries to attract candidates in a tight job market.
At large delivery centers, salaries may be somewhat competitive with higher salary ranges, but smaller community hospitals generally cannot compete. These institutions generally benefit from NNPs who are seeking employment locally and are invested in the community and are therefore willing to accept lower salaries.
2) Differences in Work Schedules
Another reason for a difference in NNP and AC-PNP salaries is the job schedule. NNPs in lower acuity community hospitals can work 24-hour shifts, so they may be more likely to work two jobs to increase their overall income.
The willingness of NNPs to work more than one job may also be the reason salaries are similar between AC PNPs and NNPs over time. Working a second job is more likely to occur after an NNP has experience. As a result, the overall income of an NNP may be competitive but comes as a result of working more hours at a lower rate than their AC-PNP colleagues
Focus on the Big Picture, Not Just the Difference Between NNP and AC-PNP Salaries
When looking at job opportunities, salary is one component. It is also important to look at the role itself. AC PNP and NNP roles vary substantially from institution to institution. Beyond salary and compensation, other factors to consider are work schedule, environment, team dynamics, and the Scope of Practice of the role within a hospital system.
We share this information to shed light on some of the ways salaries are structured for different roles. However, it is entirely possible to negotiate a very competitive salary regardless of your role. So, how do you negotiate? You need to be willing to ask, have a plan, and do your research.
The answers to these questions and more are waiting for you in our free resource, the Melnic Advanced Practice Salary Guide.
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Job Satisfaction is More than Just a Great Salary
When looking for a new job, financial rewards are important. But, a truly satisfying job will also support your career development, allow you to practice to the full extent of your capabilities, and help you achieve your desired quality-of-life.
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Jill Gilliland is President of Melnic an APRN and PA national recruiting company. Jill is a speaker and publicist on areas such as job strategies, branding and marketing, pediatric critical care needs, and additional topics relevant to pediatric nursing and the recruitment business. She has over 12 years of experience in the recruiting industry coupled with a strong sales, healthcare, and technology background. Jill holds a BS degree in Business from the University of Southern California and an MBA from The University of Virginia, Darden Business School. Connect with Jill Gilliland on LinkedIn.