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I recently talked with a DNP practicing in the clinical setting amongst other MSN-prepared nurse practitioners, and she told me that her compensation is comparable, if not the same to her colleagues. I believe DNPs do not pursue their degree for compensation or the title, but DNPs pursue this track to make a difference in healthcare. However, DNPs should be competitively compensated for the degree earned. RNs with a BSN are compensated more than their colleagues with an ADN. This is because RNs with a BSN have received more rigorous educational training to prepare them for their nursing roles. Similarly, DNPs receive rigorous education and training to achieve high-level systems thinking and competencies and should be adequately compensated.
One reason that DNPs may not be compensated to the extent of their degree is due to the newness of the degree. While the DNP degree has been around for some time, patients, colleagues, and the public still do not clearly understand the DNP role. As such, DNPs may not be utilized to their full potential when hired. DNPs are responsible for educating their patients, colleagues, and the public about their credentials. DNPs practicing in the clinical setting have been trained with mastery of numerous valuable competencies: leadership, evidence-based practice, and advanced assessments. In addition, DNPs practice in various settings: academia, administration, and clinical. For years, it has been said that the DNP will be the new entry to practice for NPs, but this transition has yet to occur fully. Perhaps when this transition does fully occur, DNPs will start to be fairly compensated for the value they bring to the healthcare team. In the meantime, I encourage DNPs to advocate for their value and deserved compensation in the healthcare field.