Doctor of Nursing Practice Salary in Colorado

Stakeholders in Colorado consider advanced practice registered nurses (ARPNs) such as nurse practitioners to play a critical role in providing high-quality health care in the state. The Colorado Health Institute’s 2014 study entitled Colorado’s Primary Care Workforce: A Study of Regional Disparities delineated the critical health care issues facing many residents in the state’s underserved rural and frontier areas.

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Nurse practitioners in Colorado do not face the onerous scope of practice laws that they do in many other states. Thus, they can practice independently of physicians and have the option to fulfill requirements to be able to prescribe medication. This situation enables Colorado’s nurse practitioners to play a critical and expanding role in providing primary healthcare in the state.

While ARPNs can obtain their license with a master’s degree, increasing number of these advanced nursing clinical practitioners are obtaining a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)—the highest level of practical training available to nurses.

The American Association of Colleges reported that 517 of Colorado’s nurses had enrolled in DNP programs as of 2015. Nearly six times as many nurses sought a DNP in Colorado rather than a PhD that year—reinforcing the value of this practice-based doctorate.

Obtaining a DNP offers an assurance of high salaries. A 2014 survey by the Advance Healthcare Network quantified the difference in salaries between nurse practitioners with and without a DNP in a 2014 national survey. DNP-educated NPs earned an average of $13,003 more than NPs who had an MSN as their highest degree.

Statewide Salary Data for DNP-Educated APRNs and More in Colorado

DNP-educated nurses in all their various roles are consistently recognized for earning top salaries (Colorado Department of Labor & Employment, 2015):

  • Nurse Anesthetists – $117,136
  • Nurse Administrators and Executives – $136,576
  • Nurse Practitioners – $117,363
  • Nurse Educators – $81,294

Shown here is the average salary for experienced professionals for each role. This best represents the average earnings for DNP-educated nurses, giving consideration to the fact that DNPs earn more than master’s-prepared nurses in the same roles.

Salaries for DNP Nurses in Colorado’s Major Cities

The Colorado Department of Labor & Employment provides salary information for DNP-educated advanced nursing professionals in the major cities of the state (2015):

Nurse Anesthetists:

  • Denver – $147,594

Nurse Administrators and Executives:

  • Boulder – $141,158
  • Colorado Springs – $136,605
  • Denver – $141,637
  • Fort Collins – $132,646
  • Pueblo – $115,498

Nurse Practitioners:

  • Boulder – $115,168
  • Colorado Springs – $101,985
  • Denver – $125,131
  • Fort Collins – $100,324
  • Pueblo – $99,017

Nurse Educators:

  • Colorado Springs – $67,548
  • Denver – $88,574
  • Pueblo – $60,400

Shown here is the average salary for experienced professionals for each role. This best represents the average earnings for DNP-educated nurses, giving consideration to the fact that DNPs earn more than master’s-prepared nurses in the same roles.

An Overview of Salaries for DNP-Educated Nurses in Colorado as Published by the US Department of Labor

The US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics provides an overview of the annual and hourly salaries for nurses in Colorado 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
62.61
130220
Nursing Instructors and Teachers Postsecondary
Not available
83090
Nurse Anesthetists
90.00*
187199*
Nurse Midwives
54.37
113080
Nurse Practitioners
55.98
116440
Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners All Other
29.96
62310

*Values are equal to or greater than $90 an hour or $187,199 a year. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide salary levels that are this high.

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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