DNP VS. Ph.D. – Salaries

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (Ph.D.) are the two highest achievements.

Both titles are worth respect, but some students may pick salary as deciding factor in which path to take.

In general, the salaries of a DNP and Ph.D. in nursing are minimal.

The difference is around $4.000 per year.

But, there is more to it.

The location and the facility in which you work determines the salary for both degree types.


A DNP nurse employed within the highest level of clinical practice.

The average yearly salary of DNP is $100.000 per year.

However, there are significant differences, for example, between educator and person working in a clinic.

A person who works in a clinic earns more than an educator on a clinical training program.

Advanced Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners earn averagely $110,000 per year.

It is why most RN students choose clinical practice as a career.

If you own a DNP degree, you can work as an Advanced Practitioner, Quality Improvement Manager, Healthcare Informaticist, Clinical Educator, Policy Maker, and more.


Nurses involved in the Ph.D. programs are more focused on research and science.

These students often pursue an academic career as a professor or educator.

The data from Payscale report that a Ph.D. nurse earns on average on $96.000 per year.

As you can see, it is similar to DNP-prepared nurses.

Again, the institution and state are factors that can affect the salary.

Research nurses can earn approximately $95.000 per year.

If you hold a Ph.D. in nursing, you can work as a Nurse Researcher, Nurse Scientist, Policy Maker, Academic Professor, Author, etc.

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