Who has more authority, a Nurse Practitioner or a Registered Nurse?

Due to their more extensive educational background, a nurse practitioner (NP) has more authority than a registered nurse (RN). Also, NPs have broader experience, training, and knowledge in nursing than RNs.

For instance, the minimum requirement to become an RN is earning an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN), which takes two to four years. You can get an ADN by enrolling in community colleges or trade schools. In contrast, you’ll need a master’s degree to become an NP. You can get a Master of Science in Nursing through university graduate programs.

Many RNs transition to NPs to achieve a higher professional status. Becoming a nurse practitioner offers a higher salary and greater career opportunities. However, NPs also take on more responsibilities than RNs. Here are some differences between the two career paths:


On average, the salary for RNs is about $55,545 per year and around $11,250 per year with overtime. In contrast, NPs earn approximately $116,597 and $17,500 per year with overtime. 


The primary responsibilities of an RN are ordering diagnostic tests, monitoring patients, creating and updating patient records, supervising CNAs and LPNs, providing patient education, and examining and providing treatment to patients under the physician’s orders. 

NPs are in charge of prescribing medications, monitoring patients’ responses to medications, providing diagnoses and custom treatment plans, communicating with patients to help them achieve a healthy lifestyle, and diagnosing and monitoring acute and chronic illnesses. 

Career Opportunities

NPs and RNs also differ in career opportunities and work settings. Registered nurses mostly work in hospital settings. Other places RNs work include schools, home care, nursing care facilities, and surgical settings. Nurse practitioners have the option to work in private practices, hospitals, universities, community clinics, and managed care facilities.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for nurse practitioners is expected to grow by 19%. Meanwhile, the demand for registered nurses is expected to increase by 7% from 2019 to 2029. 

If you are an RN and looking to advance in your nursing career, please reach out to CynaMed Healthcare Staffing Solutions. We are here to help!

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