Home Health Care Nurse Practitioners’ Starting Salaries Are Rising Faster Than Those of Primary Care...

Nurse Practitioners’ Starting Salaries Are Rising Faster Than Those of Primary Care Physicians


As retail disruptors like CVS, Walgreens and Amazon buy more and more provider groups, the healthcare industry is seeing an increased demand for physicians and advanced practitioners. In the case of advanced practitioners, this rise in demand is also boosting their salaries, according to a recent report from AMN Healthcare, one of the largest healthcare staffing companies in the U.S. 

For the third year in a row, nurse practitioners were the most in-demand provider on AMN’s search platform. The surge in demand for nurse practitioners can be attributed to the rise in “convenient care” providers, which usually employ a large number of these professionals, the report said. These include retail clinics, urgent care centers and telehealth providers.

AMN’s report tracked starting salaries and other recruiting incentives for the country’s physicians and advanced practitioners. Rather than tracking total annual compensation, the report instead focused on the monetary incentives attracting physicians and other providers to new practice settings.

The high demand for nurse practitioners was underscored by the 9% year-over-year increase in their average salary — nurse practitioners were offered an average salary of $158,000 this year, up from $138,000 in 2022.

AMN noted that it now conducts more searches for advanced practitioners — such as nurse practitioners, physician assistants and certified registered nurse anesthetists — than it does for primary care physicians. This trend is a result of patients moving away from traditional primary care practices and toward convenient care providers, the report said. This year, 19% of AMN’s search engagements were for advanced practitioners, and 17% were for primary care physicians. 

Average starting salary offers for primary care physicians remained relatively flat when compared to last year. For example, the average salary offered to internal medicine physicians remained unchanged at $255,000, and pediatricians saw a less than 1% increase in their starting salaries — up from $232,000 last year to $233,000 this year.

However, physicians’ average signing bonus grew year–over-year. It’s now $37,473 compared to $31,000 last year. As for nurse practitioners and physician assistants, their average signing bonus fell slightly from $9,000 in 2022 to $8,355 in 2023.

AMN emphasized that the trends detailed in its report are reflective of large retailers’ recent efforts to claim their piece of the primary care pie. For example, this year Amazon finalized its $3.9 billion acquisition of One Medical, and CVS closed its $10.6 billion purchase of Oak Street Health. Additionally, Walgreens bought medical practice Summit Health — including the urgent care clinic chain CityMD — for $8.9 billion in January.

These massive investments from retailers appear to be changing the way patients access care, the report declared. In 2021, 23.8% of the country’s population received in-person care at a retail health clinic. That percentage grew to 30.3% last year and is anticipated to rise to 32.8% in 2024. 

On the other hand, 59.3% of the U.S. population had at least one in-person visit at a primary care practice in 2021. That percentage dropped to 58.9% last year, and it is projected to fall to 57.9% this year and to 56.9% in 2024.

A Bain & Company analysis from last year predicted that retail disruptors could own as much as 30% of the $260 billion primary care market by 2030.

Photo: Warchi, Getty Images

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