Geriatric, or to be accurate, gerontological nurse practitioners are registered nurses who specialize in caring for the aging and elderly. GNPs have an advanced degree with special training on the medical, social, pharmacological and mental health aspects of caring for older patients. GNPs are certified by one of two national boards, and are licensed at the state level.
Average Annual Salary
Gerontological nursing is one of the top 10 highest paying NP specialties, according to both ADVANCE and Scrubs magazines.
ADVANCE magazine's 2010 salary survey said the average salary of NPs in a geriatric work setting was $93,668.
According to PayScale, the salary range for certified GNPs runs from $80,473 to $95,592 per year.
And, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners 2009/10 Income & Benefits Survey found that gerontological NPs earned an average salary of $92,170 and total average annual compensation of $98,630 per year.
Salary by Experience
On average, GNPs with 1 to 4 years’ experience can expect to earn $78,553 a year, while their colleagues with have 5 to 9 years’ experience earn an average of $78,497 annually.
GNPs with 10 to 19 years’ experience earn the most, averaging $94,615 per year, while GNPs with 20+ years of experience earn less on average, at $84,500 yearly.
By Number of Hospital Beds
When viewed by facility size, GNPs working in medium-sized facilities earned the most, by a margin of over $6,000. In facilities with less than 50 beds, GNPs earn an average of $75,000; in 50 to 99 bed settings, earnings were $89,671; in settings with 300 to 499 beds, GNPs earn an average of $96,373 annually, while those in larger facilities have average salaries of $89,439.
According to the 24 certified GNPs who their earnings to PayScale, the best salaries by far are found in California at $91,368, with Georgia at $76,471, Florida at $72,000 and Iowa at $70,000 trailing a long way behind.
With 78 million Baby Boomers hitting retirement age between 2011 and 2031, it’s safe to say that the demand for gerontological nurse practitioners should remain strong for the foreseeable future. According to the US Census Bureau, about 58 percent of Boomers live in the South and Midwestern states. Barring significant population shifts, it’s reasonable to expect that these regions will produce the most demand for GNPs over the same period of time.