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Which Pays More: Inpatient or Outpatient NP and PA Jobs?

Posted on May 21, 2019   |   by   |   Advanced Practice Structure, Job Seekers, New Grads, Salary for APRNs and PAs

When it comes to your NP or PA work environment, are you more of an “innie” or an “outie?” Your answer affects your pay and your lifestyle.

The differences between working in an Inpatient or Outpatient practice attract people with different life goals. And there’s nothing wrong with that!

If you choose inpatient, you probably have Acute Care certification and longer and less predictable schedules. On the upside, you have more opportunity for advancement and more earning potential over the course of your career.

Why NPs and PAs Earn More in Inpatient Jobs

Our Melnic Advanced Practice Salary Guide indicates that salaries are higher in inpatient settings over outpatient settings. Interestingly, this factor compounds over time. New grads can anticipate earning about 2% more in an inpatient setting. With two years of experience, he or she might earn about 3% more, and then after five years, about 9% more than in an outpatient setting.

So what causes this effect? We believe that new hires in outpatient settings do a good job of negotiating their starting salaries, but then miss out on subsequent annual increases. APPs in inpatient settings usually have annual increases built into their contracts.

When it comes time to change jobs, inpatient APPs are ahead of the game because they get to start negotiating from a higher current salary. The two setting variations offer many pros and cons that should be carefully considered. If you prefer to work in an outpatient setting, however, do your research and make negotiating a priority.

Give us five minutes. Get salary data from thousands of your peers.

Each year, we publish the Melnic Advanced Practice Salary Guide with the help of Advanced Practice contributors like you. It only takes a few minutes to complete our anonymous survey. When you do, we’ll immediately send you the most recent 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.

Melnic is a nationwide search firm focused on Advanced Practice placements for APRNs and PAs. To take advantage of our specialized job matching services review our current job opportunities and join the Melnic network. The best part? There is never a fee for candidates to work with us!

Note: This post originally published in November 2018. It has been updated with new content for 2019. 

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