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Posted on
August 11, 2023

A Comprehensive Guide to Locum Tenens Nurse Practitioner Salary

Locum tenens Nurse Practitioners are often used to cover staffing shortages or meet increased demand during peak seasons. While locum tenens work presents many benefits, such as flexibility, travel opportunities, and diverse work experiences, one crucial factor that locum Nurse Practitioners should consider is salary. This guide aims to provide essential information about the earnings of locum Nurse Practitioners, including typical rates, factors that affect salary figures, and tips on negotiating for better compensation.

How Nurse Practitioners Use Locum Tenens to Make Money

A locum tenens career can be highly advantageous for Nurse Practitioners seeking lucrative opportunities to diversify their experiences. This section will discuss how Nurse Practitioners can leverage a locum tenens job to make money and advance their careers.

Finding Lucrative Assignments

Nurse Practitioners can significantly increase their earning potential by selecting assignments in high-demand areas with critical shortages of healthcare professionals. Healthcare facilities usually offer higher compensation rates to locum tenens providers to procure adequate staffing and maintain high-quality patient care. Nurse Practitioners can search for high-paying assignments by partnering with a reputable locum tenens agency.

Negotiating Compensation Rates

Locum tenens providers are typically paid hourly, which can vary based on location, facility size, and demand for their specialty. While hourly rates can be relatively fixed for certain assignments, there is often room for negotiation. By researching and understanding their market value, Nurse Practitioners can confidently negotiate higher rates and ensure they are fairly compensated.

Building a Network

Working in various healthcare facilities exposes locum Nurse Practitioners to diverse professional settings and allows them to build valuable connections with a wide range of healthcare professionals. This growing network can lead to more lucrative job opportunities, as employers and colleagues might recommend you for a new locum tenens job or permanent placement.

Factors That Affect Salary

Many elements can influence the salary of locum providers, including location, experience, specialty, and assignment duration. This section explores some of these factors and how they can impact a Nurse Practitioner's earning potential during a locum tenens job.

Geographic Location

The area where a provider takes a locum tenens job can significantly impact their pay. Typically, assignments in urban areas with higher living costs will offer higher hourly rates for Nurse Practitioners, but there may be considerable variations based on regional demands for healthcare professionals. Providers who are flexible and open to assignments in different locations might have more opportunities for securing higher-paying roles.

Experience and Education Level

More experienced Nurse Practitioners and those with advanced certifications or degrees generally see higher pay rates. It's essential to continually pursue professional development and stay updated on the latest medical advancements to maintain a competitive edge in the locum tenens market. Specializing in an in-demand niche, such as anesthesia or cardiology, can also increase a Nurse Practitioner's earning potential.

Assignment Duration

While locum tenens assignments are typically short-term, a longer assignment or multiple back-to-back jobs may provide the potential for higher overall compensation. Nurse Practitioners who can commit to extended assignments or make themselves available for recurring shifts at a specific facility might be more likely to secure consistent locum tenens work and see their earnings increase over time.

Working Overtime

Locum tenens providers willing to work overtime, extra shifts, or on holidays might have the opportunity to earn higher hourly rates or additional shift premiums, as healthcare facilities often struggle to find staff willing to cover these times. While it's essential not to overwork oneself, strategically accepting overtime or additional assignments when feasible can positively impact a Nurse Practitioner's overall compensation.

Average Locum Tenens Nurse Practitioner Salary

Salaries may vary depending on experience, education, and regional differences. The average annual salary of a locum NP in the United States is approximately $142,000, or $68 per hour.

It is important to consider that locum Nurse Practitioner jobs do not generally provide the same benefits as full-time, permanent employment. For example, they may not be eligible for health insurance or retirement contributions. However, the higher pay rates often compensate for this lack of benefits, and many locum professionals find this to be an attractive career option due to the flexibility it provides.

Best States for Locum Tenens Nurse Practitioners

Several factors contribute to a state's attractiveness for locum Nurse Practitioners, including demand for services, the scope of practice, and regional pay differentials. The following states stand out as prime locations for those pursuing a locum Nurse Practitioner career:

  1. California: California offers Nurse Practitioners the opportunity to earn higher-than-average salaries. The state's ongoing nursing shortage and large population create a consistent demand for locum tenens NPs, particularly in rural areas.
  2. Texas: With a low cost of living and competitive locum tenens pay for NPs, Texas is an attractive destination. The state is experiencing a significant nursing shortage, which means there is ample opportunity for locum professionals to find work, especially in underserved areas.
  3. New York: New York offers locum tenens NPs salaries above the national average. With a diverse population and numerous healthcare facilities, locum professionals have ample opportunities to find work throughout the state.
  4. Alaska: Alaska presents unique challenges for healthcare providers, with its remote location and limited resources. Nurse Practitioners in Alaska can expect annual locum tenens pay to be at or above the national average. The state's significant reliance on traveling healthcare providers makes it an attractive destination for those seeking a rewarding and adventurous career.
  5. Oregon: Locum tenens NPs in Oregon typically earn just above the national average. The state has a growing need for healthcare providers due to its aging population, creating opportunities for locum professionals. Oregon also offers a high quality of life, with its beautiful natural surroundings and strong community support for healthcare providers.

How to Get the Highest Salary as a Locum Tenens Nurse Practitioner

As a locum Nurse Practitioner, it's crucial to understand how to maximize your salary and achieve your career goals. We'll provide helpful tips and expert advice on securing the highest possible wage in your field.

  1. Gain experience and specialization: The more experience you have as a Nurse Practitioner, the better your chances of earning a higher salary. Additionally, consider specializing in a specific area, such as cardiac surgery, critical care, emergency medicine, or pediatrics. Specialties will make you more attractive to healthcare facilities and increase your earning potential.
  2. Improve your credentials: Pursuing additional certifications and maintaining up-to-date licensure is essential in the healthcare industry. Some healthcare facilities may require specific certifications, such as Basic Life Support (BLS) or Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS). By achieving these certifications, you'll be better positioned to negotiate a higher salary.
  3. Flexibility in scheduling: Locum tenens providers with flexible schedules are a valuable asset to healthcare facilities. This flexibility may include working nights and weekends or being open to traveling to different locations. In turn, this can lead to higher compensation rates.

Importance of Working with a Locum Tenens Agency

When you work locum tenens, connecting with a dedicated locum tenens agency adds significant value to your career. These agencies have expert healthcare staffing resources and solutions to help you maximize your earning potential and find the best opportunities in the healthcare industry.

  • Expertise and experience: Locum tenens agencies have the necessary knowledge and experience in the healthcare industry. They understand the specific requirements of Nurse Practitioner roles, allowing them to find the most suitable positions that align with your specialty and skills.
  • Salary negotiation: Agencies have the expertise and industry connections to negotiate better salary packages on your behalf. They can help you obtain a higher pay rate and better working conditions.
  • Time-saving: Searching for locum jobs can be difficult and time-consuming. Locum tenens agencies simplify the process by screening opportunities for you, ensuring you only consider positions matching your skills, experience, and preferences. This saves you time and energy, allowing you to focus on delivering quality patient care.
  • Credentialing and licensing assistance: Locum tenens agencies often provide support with credentialing and licensing requirements. They can help you navigate the complex process of obtaining and maintaining your licenses, ensuring you stay compliant and maintain your eligibility for locum work.
  • Professional growth: Locum tenens agencies can help you access continuous learning opportunities, such as professional development events, conferences, and training sessions. These resources can help you stay up-to-date on industry advancements and hone your skills, making you more valuable to healthcare facilities and ultimately increasing your earning potential.

See How Caliber Can Help Your Healthcare Career

Caliber has a mission to improve lives and make healthcare work better by connecting healthcare facilities with top-notch providers. Here's how we can enrich your healthcare career, from advancing your knowledge and skills to offering great benefits and support throughout your professional journey.

Comprehensive Support and Specialty Teams

Caliber offers full support and valuable resources to help you excel in your locum tenens career. Our teams understand your specialty and can address your needs and concerns effectively. We stay on top of every detail, from onboarding to travel arrangements, so that you can focus on patient care.

Expanding Your Professional Network

Building a strong professional network is vital in the healthcare industry, as it offers learning, collaboration, and job opportunities. Caliber connects you to an extensive network of healthcare professionals and facilities across the United States. Through our networking events and online resources, you can expand your connections and stay up-to-date with the latest trends and practices in healthcare.

Exclusive Job Listings and Competitive Pay Packages

Caliber partners with top healthcare facilities to display exclusive job listings that may not be available through other job search platforms. This gives you a competitive edge when searching and applying for desirable positions in your field. Additionally, they work to negotiate competitive pay packages for their healthcare professionals, ensuring that you are well-compensated for your skills and experience.

Smooth Credentialing and Licensing Assistance

Obtaining and maintaining your healthcare licenses and credentials can be a daunting and time-consuming process. Caliber offers comprehensive assistance with credentialing and licensing, ensuring that you remain compliant and can focus on providing quality patient care. Their licensing experts offer guidance and support throughout the application process, making it easier and more efficient.


What is the highest-paid Nurse Practitioner salary?

The highest-paid full-time Nurse Practitioner salary is estimated to be over $200,000 annually, which is almost twice the national average. Actual salary figures can vary depending on location, specialty, experience, and type of employer.

Do locum tenens make more money?

Locum jobs can make more money than full-time positions. Locum providers often get higher hourly or daily rates, receive generous compensation packages, and have more control over their work schedules.

What NP is highest in demand?

The demand for different NP specialties may differ based on factors like location and population growth. If you are a Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Primary and Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, or Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, your specialty is in high demand.

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