Nursing programs that provide master’s degrees are in particular demand according to the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers. MSN-educated professionals such as advanced practice nurses provide high-quality care and help to offset the current nursing shortage in North Carolina. In addition, they are badly needed to serve as educators in the state’s nursing schools.
Such professionals are highly compensated for their education. APRNs in North Carolina earned salaries that were between 1.47 and 1.56 times higher than that of staff nurses who typically have BSNs or ADNs, according to the state’s Department of Commerce. In addition to providing critical care, advanced practice nurses frequently rise to leadership positions or engage in research.
There is a critical shortage of APRNs such as nurse practitioners in parts of North Carolina according to data provided by the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research. While there were 4,244 of these professionals in the state in 2012, nearly one third of them were in Mecklenburg, Wake, and Durham counties. Four of North Carolina’s counties did not have any nurse practitioners that year – Montgomery, Perquimans, Camden, and Currituck counties.
Numerous nurses in North Carolina are taking advantage of the opportunity to obtain graduate-level education through specialized RN-MSN programs, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. It reported that 2,240 students were enrolled in master’s programs in 2013 to help offset the shortage of advanced practice nurses, and to move into areas such as education, administration and informatics.
Comparing Salaries for APRN and Staff Nurses in North Carolina
Two salary analyses demonstrate the significant increase in earning power that is conferred by obtaining an MSN. One such analysis is that of the North Carolina Department of Commerce, which provides the 2014 salaries for MSN-educated APRN specialists and staff nurses who typically have undergraduate degrees or diplomas:
Another analysis is that of the Advance Healthcare Network for Nurses. It surveyed the salaries of nurses in the South in 2013 and found that those with MSNs earned 22.3% more a year than such professionals with BSNs:
- MSN – $74,539
- BSN – $60,969
The findings of this survey also revealed that MSN-educated nurses in North Carolina earned more on average than those located in the rest of the southern states.
Comprehensive Analysis of Nurse Practitioner Salaries in North Carolina
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a detailed analysis of the salaries of nurse practitioners in South Carolina for 2013. These professionals earned substantially higher salaries when they were located in Jacksonville:
Nurse Anesthetist Salaries Throughout North Carolina
Salary data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2013 demonstrates the high salaries that nurse anesthetists earn in North Carolina. While the median salaries were over $121,000 in all of the cities examined, this value was exceptionally high in the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton area:
*These figures represent hourly wages that are at least $90.00 per hour or annual salaries that are at least $187,199. These are the maximum salaries reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics for North Carolina.