Following recommendations for increased education levels by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the Institute of Medicine, more advance practice registered nurses (APRNs) are heading back to school to further their education by earning a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree.
After investing time and energy into a professional, terminal degree such as a DNP, the goal is to be rewarded, professionally and personally. A DNP can bring increased professional credibility, along with the personal satisfaction of a wider body of knowledge to improve one’s clinical practice and contribute to the betterment of healthcare as a whole. Most individuals seeking a higher education also aspire to a higher salary.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2014 data, the mean national salary is $97,990 for nurse practitioners, $158, 900 for nurse anesthetists and $96, 970 for nurse midwives. These salaries vary by region and specialization and include those APRNs with both master’s and doctoral degrees. However, a 2014 survey by Advance Healthcare Network found that those nurse practitioners who had a DNP received higher compensation than their MSN-educated peers, and had an average salary of $113,500.
Positive job outlook ahead
The job outlook for APRNs is excellent. Based on projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife and nurse practitioner jobs will increase approximately 31percent between 2012 and 2022, which is faster than the national average for occupational growth. Much of this growth is attributed to the need for more primary care providers that will be needed in response to the implementation of healthcare legislation. As demand increases, it is expected that salaries for APRNs will continue to rise.
There has never been a better time for APRNs to consider earning a DNP. The doctoral degree is already slated to become the minimum education requirement for new certified registered nurse anesthetists starting in 2025, and it is expected that other APRN roles will soon follow suit.
Although there are many avenues for obtaining you DNP, an online DNP nursing program should be considered. An online DNP nursing program allows APRNs to continue their clinical practice while still reaping all of the educational benefits of a brick and mortar program.
Have a question or concern about this article? Please contact us.