Despite a 2.17 fold increase in the number of advanced practice nurses (APNs) in Nevada between 2002 and 2012, the state faces a critical shortage of these highly paid professionals according to a healthcare workforce study conducted by the University of Nevada School of Medicine (UNSOM).
APNs typically have master’s degrees and earn anywhere between 1.17 and 2.8 times more than staff nurses in Nevada according to the state’s Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation.
Thirty-six percent of Nevada’s population lived in an area that had a critical shortage of primary care physicians in 2012 according to the UNSOM study. Research has shown that APNs provide high-quality care comparable to that of physicians, but the number of APNs in Nevada is too low to provide an adequate amount of supplemental care:
Rank Among US States
- Nurse Practitioners – 41st
- Nurse Midwives – 44th
- Nurse Anesthetists – 51st
While the number of nurses who completed MSN programs in Nevada increased 40.8% between 2006 and 2012, this expansion may be too small to provide the number of highly educated nurses necessary to meet the expected demand in the coming years. In 2013, there were 140 students enrolled in MSN programs in Nevada according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
In addition to the shortage of APNs, Nevada has a serious shortage of nursing school faculty. MSN-educated nurses are qualified to take such positions. In addition, they can serve as researchers, informaticists or administrators.
Salary Analysis of APNs Versus RNs in Nevada
A comparison of the salaries of ARPN specialists versus that of RNs who typically have ADN or BSN degrees reveals the significant earning power conferred by an MSN. The Nevada Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation provides the salaries of these professionals in 2014:
Another analysis that demonstrates the contribution of an MSN to a nurse’s earning potential is that of the Advance Healthcare Network for Nurses. In 2012, it conducted a survey of nursing salaries in Nevada and other areas of the west that showed that APNs in this region earned 23.1% more on average than staff nurses:
- APN – $90,975
- Staff nurse – $70,467
Nurse Practitioner Salaries in Las Vegas and Reno
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a detailed analysis of the salaries of nurse practitioners in the Las Vegas and Reno areas. It revealed that such professionals in the Reno area earned over $138,900 a year in the 90th percentile salary bracket during 2013:
Salaries of Nurse Anesthetists in Las Vegas
US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary data from 2013 indicated that nurse anesthetists in the Las Vegas area earned an average of $238,350 a year:
*These figures represent hourly wages that are at least $90.00 per hour or annual salaries that are at least $187,199 per year.