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Average Salary for DNPs

Large amounts of people are majoring in nursing degrees, which is prompting many to start pursuing advanced degrees, not only for more money, but to better differentiate themselves from others. Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) educational programs are becoming more and more popular in the nursing industry, especially since many states are now requiring advanced practice nurses to have a doctorate degree (in the past only a master’s degree was required). A DNP is a clinical doctorate degree, which means that you’ll work in the nursing field, rather than working in a research or educational position. After earning this degree, you’ll be eligible for some of the most advanced positions in this field, which come attached to top salary rates. Earning this higher salary is one of the main reasons many nurses go back to school to earn a DNP. Understanding what options are available after earning a DNP is important as well.

DNP Salary by Specialty

Adva. Here’s a rundown of the average salaries in these specialties:

  • Nurse Practitioner: $92,100
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist: $80,975
  • Nurse Anesthetist: $154,188
  • Nurse Midwife: $90,119

“Specialty” can also refer to the type of medicine that you focus on learning. Nurse anesthetists of course focus on anesthesia and nurse midwives work with expecting mothers, but as a nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist, you can choose to focus in one area of medicine, such as pediatrics or mental health. The highest paying specialties are emergency nursing, case management, geriatrics, and intensive care. As a nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist, while it is important to outline the highest paying specialties, it’s important to pursue the specific field which will keep you the most engaged. While all specializations within the profession are relatively high-paying, choose the field which you believe you can affect the most change and be happiest.

Salary by Location

Nurses at all levels are in high demand across the country, which means it is a very accessible job for a high starting wage. In some states, however, you can expect to make more than in other states. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest paid nurses are in California, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Alaska, and Maryland. In general, you’ll earn more working in city than in a more rural area; the top-paying DNP jobs are found in cities in California, including San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco, Salinas, Napa, Santa Cruz, and Vallejo.
While these are the highest paid cities in the country, many of them are also the most expensive places to live. San Jose, Oakland, and San Francisco regularly top the most expensive places in the United States. Depending on what exactly you’re looking to gain out of an advanced nursing degree, a number of other cities may present themselves as viable options, while still lacking the high cost-of-living expenses.

Travel Nursing

As a nurse, you can also earn more money if you work as a travel nurse. In this role, you’ll go where you’re most needed within a network of healthcare facilities, often for a period of as little as eight weeks, and you’ll earn a higher pay rate since you’ll be moving where demand is highest. Travel nursing is regarded as a relatively engaging facet of nursing to be a part of. Between lucrative pay and the ability to travel almost anywhere, even internationally, the job lends itself to be perfect many times for freshly recently graduated nurses. The ability to explore different areas and hospitals will give a more objective view of well-run hospitals, as well as where you would prefer to live if you prefer to settle down after engaging in time as a travel nurse.

D.N.P. Degrees for Aspiring Nurse Practitioners

Kaplan University
Doctor of Nursing Practice
The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at the Kaplan University is committed to providing you the skills and knowledge to become a leader in the nursing field. This program is ahead of others, with a dynamic, comprehensive clinical design and advanced practice approach. Courses teach how to evaluate and apply research and reduce barriers to care.
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Walden University
Doctor of Nursing Practice
The Doctor of Nursing Practice from Walden University combines the best in curriculum and faculty for a truly rewarding educational experience. Courses strengthen and build on your knowledge as an advanced nurse to enable you to provide the very best care to your patients. Topics include health care policy, quality improvement, and information systems.
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American Sentinel University
DNP: Executive Leadership
The Doctor of Nursing Practice Executive Leadership program at American Sentinel University prepares nurses with master's degrees for leadership roles in the 21st century healthcare system. This program explores five key topics, including leadership, business intelligence, finance, health policy, and health services research. Courses also examine legislative policy and economics.
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Capella University
PhD in Nursing Education
Capella's Doctor of Nursing Education program prepares nurses for a life of nursing education. According to researchers, thousands of students are unable to pursue a career in nursing due to a shortage of qualified nursing educators. Capella's program meets this demand by exploring topics in advanced nursing theory and concepts, curriculum design and evaluation, and teaching strategies.
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