Doctor of Nursing Practice Salary in California

The Survey of Nurse Employers in California, Fall 2013 undertaken by UCSF reported that about 41% of the hospitals that responded to its survey reported moderate to high demand for RNs relative to supply. In 2014, CaliforniaHealthLine.org described how “it has become increasingly difficult to fill positions for more experienced nurses,” particularly those with a a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).

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The number of students seeking a DNP in California increased more than 11% between 2014 and 2015 according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). The most recent data from the AACN (2015) indicated that 692 students were enrolled in DNP programs in California.

More than twice as many students enrolled in DNP programs than in PhD programs in 2015. Graduates of DNP programs typically earn salaries that are higher than those of their master’s-prepared peers in similar roles.

Statewide Salary Data for DNP-Educated APNs and More in California

DNP-educated nurses in all their various roles are consistently recognized for earning top salaries (California Employment Development Department, 2015):

  • Nurse Anesthetists – $187,200*
  • Nurse-Midwives – $154,710
  • Nurse Administrators and Executives – $150,696
  • Nurse Practitioners – $138,174

Salaries for DNP-Educated Nurses in the Major Counties of California

The California Employment Development Department provides salary information for DNP-educated advanced nursing professionals in the state’s most populated counties (2015):

Nurse Anesthetists:

  • Los Angeles – $187,200*
  • San Francisco – $187,200*
  • San Benito – $187,200*
  • Santa Clara – $187,200*
  • San Diego – $181,334
  • Riverside – $177,632
  • San Bernardino – $177,632

Nurse-Midwives:

  • San Diego – $174,408
  • San Benito – $174,117
  • Santa Clara – $174,117
  • Los Angeles – $158,246
  • Riverside – $147,992
  • San Bernardino – $147,992
  • San Francisco – $143,562

Nurse Administrators and Executives:

  • San Benito – $186,410
  • Santa Clara – $186,410
  • San Francisco – $171,891
  • Sacramento – $151,840
  • Los Angeles – $147,867
  • Fresno – $142,750
  • Riverside – $142,230
  • San Bernardino – $142,230
  • San Diego – $138,861
  • Orange – $129,251

Nurse Practitioners:

  • San Benito – $176,696
  • Santa Clara – $176,696
  • San Francisco – $160,139
  • Los Angeles – $139,914
  • Sacramento – $139,734
  • San Diego – $136,282
  • Fresno – $127,109
  • Orange – $126,838
  • Riverside – $124,218
  • San Bernardino – $124,218

An Overview of Salaries for California’s DNP-Educated Nurses as Published by the US Department of Labor

The US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics provides an overview of the salaries for California’s nurses earning within the 75th and 90th percentiles to best represent earnings for DNP nurses (2014):

 

Occupation
Hourly 75th percentile wage
Annual 75th percentile wage
Medical and Health Services Managers
71.45
148620
Nursing Instructors and Teachers Postsecondary
Not available
109460
Nurse Anesthetists
90.00*
187199*
Nurse Midwives
73.10
152060
Nurse Practitioners
65.51
136270
Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners All Other
44.21
91960

*These values are equal to or greater than $90 an hour and $187,199 per year. The US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics does not report salary data higher than these values.

This page includes salaries that fall within the 75th and 90th percentiles for each nursing role to account for the fact that DNP-educated nurses are recognized as earning more than master’s-prepared nurses in the same roles.

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