Salaries for MSN-Educated Nurses in Pennsylvania

Master’s-prepared nurses, including those licensed as nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists, are considered to be a critical component of modern health care. Nearly 12,500 of these professionals practiced in Pennsylvania during the 2010-11fiscal year, according to a survey conducted by the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Bureau of Health Planning.

MSN-educated nurses are highly compensated for their increased competency. In 2013, experienced APRNs in Pennsylvania earned 1.24 to 2.6 times as much as staff nurses according to the state’s Department of Labor & Industry.

Many nurses in Pennsylvania are availing themselves of the opportunity to improve their skillset and earnings by obtaining an MSN. A significant number of RNs went back to school to further their education through RN to MSN programs, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s 2010-11 RN survey. Post-licensure degrees are becoming increasingly popular among RNs, as 29% of those with a diploma and 23% of those with an ADN went on to earn a master’ degree according to the survey.

In addition to advanced practice roles, nurses with MSNs help to fill the critical shortage of nurse educators, and also have the option of becoming administrators, clinical leaders, informaticists or researchers.

An Analysis of Nurse Salaries in Pennsylvania Based on Education

An analysis of the salaries of practicing nurses in Pennsylvania demonstrates the increased earning power of an MSN. Since staff nurses typically have ADNs or BSNs, comparing their salaries to of advanced clinical specialists reveals this salary differential. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry provides such salary information for 2013:

MSN Career
Average Annual Salary
Average Hourly Wage
Nurse anesthetist
$173580
$83.45
Nurse practitioner
$85150
$40.94
Nurse midwife
$79730
$38.33
RN
$66010
$31.74

A salary analysis performed by the Advance Healthcare Network for Nurses provides further evidence for the increased salaries conferred by an MSN. Its salary survey of nurses in the Mid-Atlantic and lower great lakes region indicates that MSN-educated RNs earned an average of $9,454 a year more than staff nurses:

  • MSN – $92,757
  • BSN – $83,303

Extensive Analysis of Nurse Practitioner Salaries in Pennsylvania

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides information on the salaries of nurse practitioners in many of Pennsylvania’s cities and its nonmetropolitan areas. These results indicated that the median salaries for these professionals were highest when they practiced in the Newark-Union area in 2013. Nurse practitioners in the 90th percentile had the highest salaries when they were located in the York area:

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton PA-NJ
170
82430
Erie PA
70
91430
Harrisburg-Carlisle PA
170
81940
Lancaster PA
120
86180
Newark-Union NJ-PA Metropolitan Division
690
102490
Philadelphia PA Metropolitan Division
1380
85450
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington PA-NJ-DE-MD
2240
89110
Pittsburgh PA
590
83820
Reading PA
140
86240
Scranton--Wilkes-Barre PA
150
95730
State College PA
40
84750
Williamsport PA
40
86750
York-Hanover PA
50
100100
Youngstown-Warren-Boardman OH-PA
90
80290
Far Western Pennsylvania nonmetropolitan area
90
88370
West Central Pennsylvania nonmetropolitan area
100
81490
Northeastern Pennsylvania nonmetropolitan area
130
80610
East Central Pennsylvania nonmetropolitan area
90
81690

Nurse Anesthetist Salaries Throughout Pennsylvania

According to salary information from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse anesthetists had the highest median salaries when they practiced in Philadelphia (2013):

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton PA-NJ
Estimate not released
133190
Newark-Union NJ-PA Metropolitan Division
Estimate not released
116320
Philadelphia PA Metropolitan Division
530
199720
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington PA-NJ-DE-MD
Estimate not released
195200
Pittsburgh PA
510
173650
Scranton--Wilkes-Barre PA
40
180050
York-Hanover PA
Estimate not released
169400
Far Western Pennsylvania nonmetropolitan area
40
172580
West Central Pennsylvania nonmetropolitan area
30
172490
East Central Pennsylvania nonmetropolitan area
70
181270

*These figures represent hourly wages that are at least $90.00 per hour or annual salaries that are at least $187,199 per year. These are the maximum salaries reported by the US Bureau of Labor for Pennsylvania.

Salaries for Nurse Midwives in the Newark-Union and Philadelphia Areas

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics compared the salaries of nurse midwives in the Philadelphia and Newark-Union areas for 2013. These professionals earned similar salaries, but earned slightly more when they were located in the Newark-Union area:

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Newark-Union NJ-PA Metropolitan Division
Estimate not released
96540
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington PA-NJ-DE-MD
90
90050

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