Home Forums DNP Professional Growth The Value of the DNP; Job Market Outlook/Compensation Reply To: The Value of the DNP; Job Market Outlook/Compensation


I believe since the time that this forum topic was originally posted, the value of the DNP has increased. A DNP is the highest level of nursing education and expertise within the nursing profession. Just like APRNs, DNPs can work in nursing administration or direct patient care as an advanced practice registered nurse. DNPs are valuable because they can also implement health policy and influence healthcare outcomes as they can be utilized as health care system leaders.

With regards to advancement, A DNP is a terminal degree. This means that it is the highest degree that can be earned in that specialty. An MSN is NOT a terminal degree. Therefore, it gives a sense of value knowing that you have reached the highest level in your career. With regards to compensation, according to Payscale, nurses with a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree earned an average base salary of $107K as of June 2022. Nurses with a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree, on the other hand, earned an average salary of $98k, $9k less per year than the DNP degree.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), states that transitioning from advanced practice NP degrees to the doctoral level is a “…response to changes in health care delivery and emerging healthcare needs, additional knowledge or content areas have been identified by practicing nurses. In addition, the knowledge required to provide leadership in the discipline of nursing is so complex and rapidly changing that additional or doctoral level education is needed.” Essentially, DNP graduates are leaders in advanced nursing practice that bring evidence-based knowledge into the clinical setting to help improve healthcare outcomes and strengthen the leadership role of nurses in both the clinical and academic setting.

To conclude, yes, I do believe that with time the value of the DNP will continue to increase substantially, just as it has within these past few years as more educational institutions are offering the program and more APRNs are seeking the advanced degree.