The Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree allows registered nurses to move into advanced practice nursing positions with higher pay and more opportunity for career growth. MSN programs offer nurses the option of several different career pathways, including roles as nurse practitioners, nurse executives, and nurse educators. Along with increased job responsibilities, these positions also come with higher average salaries.

Salary Comparison Tool

This tool will allow you to easily search and compare the average salaries of nurses for many cities and locations across the U.S. You can search by city and state. Salary data is provided through the BLS.

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How Much Do MSN Nurses Make?

The current mean annual salary for MSN-educated nurses nationwide is $93,000, according to data provided by However, individual salary levels can vary based on a number of factors, including:

Geographic Location

Geographic location and local cost of living is a primary factor influencing salary levels. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), California and Alaska offer the highest annual salaries to nurse practitioners of any state, and Tennessee and Alabama offer the lowest annual salaries.

Nurse Practitioner Salary Table

LocationTotal EmploymentAnnual Salary
United States258,230$121,610
District of Columbia730$125,370
New Hampshire1,510$125,450
New Jersey6,640$136,480
New Mexico1,650$125,190
New York17,670*
North Carolina8,040$111,140
North Dakota570$107,680
Rhode Island1,390$121,310
South Carolina3,960$103,950
South Dakota810$108,250
West Virginia1,640$104,290

Table data taken from 2022 BLS (

Type of Employer

Advanced practice nurses with their MSN degrees can work in a number of settings, including hospitals, in-patient and outpatient care facilities, private practices and the offices of other physicians and government and non-profit organizations. According to the BLS, nurse practitioners who work in state, local and private hospitals earn higher salaries than those who work in other settings.

Nursing Specialty

Another factor influencing individual salary level is the specialty area of nursing chosen. MSN nurses can enter a variety of careers within the nursing field, including as nurse practitioners, educators, executives, managers, and anesthetists. According to BLS data, nurse practitioners earned an average of $107,030 per year in May 2018, and nurse anesthetists earned an average of $167,960 per year.

MSN Salary Per Hour

You may be wondering what the average MSN-educated nurse can expect to make on an hourly basis. While salary can vary based on the factors previously mentioned, according to the mean hourly wage for MSN nurses is $42.70.

Salaries of MSN Specialties

An MSN degree opens the door to a wide range of career possibilities, including advanced practice roles as nurse practitioners and clinical nurse leaders, leadership positions as nurse managers and administrators and educational roles training future generations of nurses. A few of the career options open to MSN-educated nurses include:

Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioners (NPs) can specialize in a number of practice areas, including pediatrics, family health, women's health, psych/mental health, adult/gerontology and acute care. NPs are trained to diagnose and treat patient's chronic or acute diseases and injuries, order diagnostic tests, provide preventative healthcare and prescribe medications. NPs earn an average salary of $107,030 according to the BLS.

Find out more about Nurse Practitioner Programs

Clinical Nurse Leader

Clinical nurse leaders (CNLs) are advanced practice nurses who provide care coordination for patients as well as evidence-based quality improvement strategies for improving patient outcomes and standards of care. The average salary for CNLs is 77.637 according to, with a range of $54,000 to $107,000 per year.

Find out more about Clinical Nurse Leader Programs

Nurse Administrator

Nurse administrators work in a number of healthcare settings to fill managerial and leadership roles, managing nursing staff, training new employees, overseeing budgets and developing policies and procedures. According to, nurse administrators earn an average salary of $86,877 per year with a range of $61,000 to $130,000.

Find out more about the Master’s in Nursing Administration

Nurse Educator

Nurse educators train the next generation of nurses, working in colleges and universities as well as vocational schools and healthcare facilities. Nurse educators develop and teach nursing curriculum, provide mentorship to aspiring nurses and may also conduct or assist with research projects. The average salary for nurse educators is around $75,000 with a range of $54,000 to $100,000 according to PayScale.

Find out more about Nurse Educator Programs

Nurse Midwife

Nurse midwives, also referred to as Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) provide routine gynecological exams and family planning services to women, assist in the childbirth process and provide primary care to post-natal mothers and newborn babies. According to the BLS, nurse midwives earn annual salaries of $103,770.

Find out more about Nurse Midwifery Programs

Research Nurse

Nurse researchers conduct research projects that improve patient outcomes, develop new therapies and medications and create life-saving medical advancements. Research nurses design and develop research projects, find and evaluate patient participants, gather patient data and record results. Research nurses can expect an average salary of around $70,000 per year according to PayScale, which a range of $55,000 to $92,000.