Doctors of Nursing Practice (DNP) Salary

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) – An Overview

Before you know about the average DNP salary, it is important that you understand who are these medical professionals. The doctor of nursing practice (DNP) is the highest professional degree in nursing. According to the recommendation of American Association of College of Nursing (AACN), all the entry level nurse-practitioner programs of MSN (master of science in nursing) are transitioned to DNP degree by the year 2015.

A DNP can work in different settings like public health offices, research facilities, independent practices, general medical and surgical hospitals, physician’s offices, etc., and can promote healthy life and wellness. The nurses who have earned a doctorate degree have higher demands and have a better pay scale in the industry.

With the increasing number of health issues and aging population, there is a growing need of highly-trained nurses. Hence, if you own a DNP degree, you are automatically more marketable.

DNP Salary

National Estimate For This Occupation

The national estimate of employment generated according to the  Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) May 2017 survey  is 203,800 and the mean hourly and annual wage is $51.68/hr and $107,480 per year respectively.

Percentile Wage Estimate

Annual Salary On Different Percentile Brackets

  • The annual salary of 90% of the DNPs was less than $145,630 while the remaining 10% managed to get more than $145,630.
  • For the same year (i.e. 2017), 75% of the employees earned less than $123,070, and the rest were paid above $123,070.
  • 50% of the doctors of NP earned below $103,880 while another 50% remunerated more than $103,880.
  • 25% of the employees were salaried lower than $88,810 and the rest 75% obtained more than $88,810.
  • 10% of the DNPs were paid less than $74,840 and the rest 90% were compensated more than $74,840.

Information Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (as of May 2017)
Hourly DNP Salary on Different Percentile Brackets

  • 90% of the DNPs got less than $70.01 and the rest 10% were paid more than $70.01.
  • 75% of the workers earned less than $59.17 while 25% of them managed to earn more than $59.17.
  • The hourly salary of 50% of the employees was below $49.94 while the other 50% were reimbursed with more than $49.94.
  • 25% of the DNPs were paid below $42.70 while the 75% of the DNPs get more than $42.70
  • The emoluments of 10% of the people were lower than $35.98; and for the rest 90% of the DNPs, it was higher than $35.98

Information Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (as of May 2017)

Highest Paying Locations

StatesHourly Mean WagesAnnual Mean Wages

Information Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (as of May 2017)

The state that paid the highest is California with $60.95 mean hourly and $126,770 mean annual wages. The lowest paying state among these is Oregon with $56.97 as mean hourly wage and $118,500 as annual wage in May 2017.

States with the Highest Employment

California is on the first position with 13,570 employment in this occupation while Ohio has the lowest employment with 7,460 people employed in the year 2016.


Information Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (as of May 2017)

California tops the list with maximum number of employment opportunities i.e. 13,570 and Ohio generated the lowest number of employment opportunities; that is 7,460.

Average Salary of a DNP

The average salary of a DNP is $101,255 in USD, as of July 28, 2018; according to the data provided by

Average Salary of Jobs With Related Titles

RN Faculty Member$ 64000
Dean Of Nursing$107,000
Physician Gynecology$219,000
Assistant Clinical Professor$62,000
Geriatric Family$99,000
Assistant Professor Of Nursing$60,000
NP PA Cardiology$150,000
Nurse Practitioner FNP$101,255
HC Services Associate Director$73,000
Psychiatric NP$102,000
Faculty Posting$53,000

Information Source: (as of May 13, 2016 in USD)

The lowest salary slab is of Faculty Posting which is $53,000 and the highest is of a Physician Gynecologist which is $219,000.

Job Benefits

Apart from the base salary and bonuses, the DNPs are entitled to get many perks and assistance like:

  • Pension
  • Paid-Time Off
  • Life Insurance
  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Health Insurance
  • Social Security Benefits
  • Disability Benefits
  • Adoption Assistance or Child Care
  • Tax Saving Plans

Factors Affecting a DNP Salary

Not every doctor of nursing practice gets the same salary. The payroll depends on several factors and in order to determine the exact salary, these factors must be considered.

Experience and Skills

The direct factor that will affect your salary is your experience. DNPs having more experience are eligible for higher pay and vice versa. Similarly, the more skilled you are, the more is your worth.

Geography Factors

Another important factor that determines the salary is the location. The wages will be higher in the areas where there are less number of DNPs and more demand. But, with the increasing illness, there is an increase in the demand of nursing professionals in every area, throughout the country.


The specialization you chose for your degree program is the most important factor that determines the salary of DNP nurse. There are many areas where you can pursue specialization, like Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP), Community/Public Health Nursing (CPHN), Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist (AGCNS), etc.. Therefore, you must choose the nursing track carefully in your early years of nursing careers.

Possible Career Options for DNPs

The nursing profession needs top-quality professionals. Once you acquire DNP degree, there are many more career options and positions where you can work and can use your valuable knowledge of health care to groom and shape your career.

  • Chief Nursing Officer (CNO)
  • Clinical Research Director
  • Nurse Administrator
  • Risk Management: RN Ethics and Compliance Officers
  • Safety Officers, Directors, Managers
  • Manager of Informatics
  • Nursing Policy Positions: Director of Government Policy
  • RN Directors and Managers in all specialties
  • Clinical Teaching Positions
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