As medical and surgical care grows ever more complex, the need for nurses with an advanced skillset is growing rapidly. MSN-educated nurses such as advanced practice nurses are part of nursing’s elite and provide high-quality medical care. The number of nursing students obtaining master’s degrees increased by about 60% nationally between 2007 and 2011 according to a report published by the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Nurses with this advanced education are highly compensated for their level of knowledge. For example, in 2014 APRNs in Wyoming earned between 1.53 and 2.4 times more per year than staff nurses according to the state’s Department of Workforce Services.
Salaries for MSN-Educated Nurses in Wyoming
Most staff nurses have BSNs or ADNs as their highest degree, and the high earning potential of MSN-educated nurses is apparent from a salary analysis from the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services in 2014. It compares the salaries of staff nurses to those of APRN specialists in the 75th percentile:
Further evidence for this salary differential is provided by the 2012 survey by the Advance Healthcare Network for Nurses for nurses practicing in Wyoming and other parts of the Western US. MSN-educated nurses in this region earned 15.7% more than those with BSNs:
- MSN – $87,933
- BSN – $75,973
Despite the critical need for APRNs, only 14.4% of the respondents to a nursing survey from 2013 reported having master’s degrees according to the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services. There were 27 students enrolled in MSN programs in Wyoming that year according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).
In 2013, there were 580 APRNs practicing in Wyoming according to the AACN. Most of them were nurse practitioners, while the remaining 30% included nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and clinical nurse specialists.
Nurse Practitioner Salaries in Key Regions of Wyoming
The salaries of nurse practitioners in Wyoming varied substantially between different regions of Wyoming according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2013, such professionals in the northeastern nonmetropolitan part of Wyoming earned 12.8% more than those in Casper: