DNP Salary Is Higher Than for Master's-Prepared NPs
The doctor of nursing practice degree is set to become the degree for entry to advanced practice nursing by 2015. While nurse practitioners debate the merits of the requirement, one suspicion that keeps arising is that employers won't pay more for the degree.
That suspicion was not borne out by the most recent National Salary and Workplace Survey of Nurse Practitioners: The nearly 2% of nurse practitioners with a DNP earned $7,688 more annually than NPs with a master's degree.
Is it possible that the DNP bump could be tied to experience and not education? Most of the DNP degrees (67%) belong to NPs with 6 to 15 years' experience, and this group tends to be at the top of the earning curve.
But nurse practitioners with DNPs earn more no matter their experience. Below the numbers in bold are 2009 annual average salaries for NPs with DNPs with specific years of experience; the regular font indicates salaries for all NPs with that level of experience:
0-2 years DNP $96,854 ($87,500 median)
0-2 years NPs $82,020 (median $80,000)
3-5 years DNP $96,572 ($93,538 median)
3-5 years NPs $88,444 (median $85,000)
6-10 years DNP $96,871 ($90,500 median)
6-10 years NPs $92,180 (median $89,000)
11-15 years DNP $97,785 ($98,000 median)
11-15 years NPs $94,142 (median $90,000)