In 2012, the Alabama Department of Labor identified the profession of nurse practitioner as being the 5th most high demand occupation in the state, and expects this to be the case for its entire ten-year projection period through 2022.
The Department based this designation on several factors. One was a projected increase of nearly 32% in the number of jobs for nurse practitioners in the state during this ten-year period. Another factor was the high number of jobs that will be generated with this growth; an average of 90 jobs each year are expected to become available to qualified nurse practitioners during this ten-year projection period.
In addition, MSN-prepared postsecondary nurse educators ranked as the 14th most high demand occupation in the state, with a growth rate of more than 33% expected during this period.
Obtaining an MSN in Alabama Can Increase Salaries by 37-111%
A national survey of nurse practitioners conducted by the Advance Healthcare Network found that nearly 86% of its respondents had a master’s degree, while the remainder had an even higher level of education and training.
A comparison of the median salary among nurse practitioners and RNs shows the striking effect that obtaining an MSN can have. The median salary among nurse practitioners in Gadsden was more than double that of RNs in this city. Even the smallest salary differential shown below represented a 37% increase for nurses with an MSN (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014):
A comparison of salaries among MSN-educated nurses in Alabama that year revealed the following:
The Numbers of APRNs is Increasing Dramatically in Alabama
The 2015 Environmental Scan of the Journal of Nursing Regulation provided data that showcased a dramatic increase in the number of MSN-educated nurses in Alabama. The number of APRNs in the state increased by 790 between 2009 and 2013. The article indicated that 4,143 MSN-educated nurses were licensed in Alabama in 2013, while this number increased to 4,411 by 2015 according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).
The AACN indicated that more than 62% of the MSN-educated nurses in Alabama were nurse practitioners, while 35.2% of the ARPNs in Alabama were nurse anesthetists. The remaining 2.6% of these advanced practice nurses included clinical nurse specialists and nurse midwives.
Location Dramatically Affects the Salaries of MSN-Educated Nurses in Alabama
Salary data for 2014 provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the salaries of MSN-educated nurses in Alabama varied dramatically by location. For instance, the average salary of postsecondary nurse educators in Tuscaloosa was 30.5% higher than the state’s average for nursing instructors.
Nurse anesthetists in Huntsville had the highest average salary of any APRN reported in Alabama, while nurse practitioners in Gadsden earned the highest average salary among nurse practitioners in the state. NPs in Gadsden earned an average salary that was more than 23% higher than the average salary for nurse practitioners throughout Alabama.
Alabama is a particularly good place to find a job as a nurse anesthetist. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that Alabama had the 5th highest concentration of jobs for nurse anesthetists in the country. In particular, Montgomery had the 3rd highest concentration of nurse anesthetists of any metropolitan area in the US.
Nurse Practitioner Salaries Throughout Alabama
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides salary data for nurse practitioners in Alabama’s major metropolitan and nonmetropolitan area as of 2014:
Salaries for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists in Alabama
Shown below are the salaries for nurse anesthetists in Alabama’s major cities as of 2014. Nurse anesthetists in Birmingham-Hoover, Huntsville, and Mobile who were in the top 10% earned average salaries so high that they exceeded those reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:
*Salaries are equal to or greater than $90/hour or $187,199/year. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics does not publish salary data beyond these values.