Compensation Issues

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Advanced practice registered nurses often earn more than medical residents

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Advanced practice nursing roles pose a great career opportunity for many medical school students looking to cut education costs and earn their degree faster, reports U.S. News & World Report.

On average, physicians who took out loans and graduated from medical school in 2015 owe $171,444 for a private school and $161,646 for public school, according to data submitted through a U.S. News annual survey.

Many graduate nursing programs take only two years and cost substantially less.

"You can become a nurse practitioner for less than $100,000 for a degree — typically around $50,000 to $60,000," Ora Strickland, PhD, MSN, dean of the college of nursing and health sciences at Miami-based Florida International University, told U.S. News.

In 2016, nurse practitioners reported an average base salary offer of $117,000, with some offers peaking at $197,000, according to the physician recruiting and consulting firm Merritt Hawkins & Associates.

Certified registered nurse anesthetists make about $140,000 early in their careers, according to PayScale's recent report on the highest-paying graduate degrees. The company found medical residents earned less than many nurse specialists, like CRNAs and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners. Katie Bardaro, PayScale's vice president of data analytics, said a physician's first year residency salary ranges between $45,000 to $75,000.

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