The Average Salary for a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner


A psychiatric nurse practitioner is an advanced practice nurse who works with a physician to provide direct patient care. An advanced practice nurse requires a Master of Science degree in nursing and experience as a registered nurse to qualify. According to PayScale, the average salary for a psychiatric nurse practitioner is between $73,101 and $97,452, as of December 2010.

Type of Employer

A psychiatric nurse practitioner can work for a government agency, private practice, hospital or a nonprofit organization. The salary the nurse earns can depend on the type of employer. A psychiatric nurse practitioner working in a hospital, for example, earns an average salary range of $69,063 to $88,829, while those working for the federal government earn a range of $89,121 to $108,959.


The salary of a psychiatric nurse practitioner increases with experience. For nurses with 10 to 19 years of experience, the average salary range is between $73,008 and $99,131 while those practicing for less than a year earn a salary range of $70,017 to $82,298, according to PayScale.

Geographic Location

The location the psychiatric nurse practices in can affect the salary she earns. Psychiatric nurse practitioners in California earn a salary range of $82,892 to $118,202 while those working in Tennessee earn a range of $66,132 to $78,096, according to PayScale. The cost of living in different locations may explain the differences in salaries in geographic locations. Demand for psychiatric nurse practitioners may explain the differences in salary ranges as well.


Psychiatric nurse practitioners may receive benefits from an employer, which add to the value of the nurse’s compensation. Benefits received by psychiatric nurse practitioners include 401k plans, paid vacations, paid sick time, malpractice insurance and education assistance.

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