The Delaware Health Association tracked quarterly data between 2000 and 2010 to quantify the nursing shortage in the state in its Nursing Workforce Vacancy Trend Reports. Despite an increase of 209% in the number of advanced practice nurses (APNs) over this period, the number of vacant full time equivalent positions for these advanced nurses increased 53.2% between 2000 and 2010. The shortage was particularly acute in New Castle County with a vacancy increase of 77.7% over this time period.
APNs have been obtaining the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in increasing numbers over the years, and this degree is rapidly becoming the preferred credential for these advanced nursing clinical practitioners.
The Delaware Nurses Association worked in partnership with the Delaware Board of Nursing to survey the demographics of the state’s nurses in its 2014 report Nursing Workforce in the Sate of Delaware: A Current Look. More than 4 times as many respondents reported having a nursing doctoral degree than the national average—1.67% of Delaware’s nurses claimed this status.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing reported that 47 of Delaware’s nursing students were enrolled in DNP programs as of 2014. More than nine times as many students sought a DNP rather than a PhD that year. This figure highlights the value of a practice-based doctorate which can result in significant salary benefits to the nurses that possess it.
The Advance Healthcare Network quantified the value of a DNP in its survey of nurse practitioners throughout the country in 2014. This survey identified a 13% increase in the salaries of NPs with a DNP compared to those with a master’s degree as their highest degree.
Statewide Salary Data for DNP-Educated APNs and More in Delaware
DNP-educated nurses in all their various roles are consistently recognized for earning top salaries (Delaware Department of Labor, 2015):
- Nurse Administrators and Executives – $133,806
- Nurse Practitioners – $111,155
- Nurse-Midwives – $101,150
- Nurse Educators – $97,803
Salaries for DNP Nurses Throughout Delaware
The Delaware Department of Labor provides salary information for DNP-educated advanced nursing professionals in each of the state’s counties (2015):
Nurse Administrators and Executives:
- New Castle County – $140,712
- Sussex County – $128,170
- Kent County – $99,986
- Kent County – $119,496
- Sussex County – $118,248
- New Castle County – $103,626
- Sussex County – $94,078
- New Castle County – $93,309
- New Castle County – $110,838
- Sussex County – $83,760
An Overview of Salaries for Delaware’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 annual and hourly salaries for Delaware’s nurses earning within the 75th and 90th percentiles to best represent earnings for DNP nurses (2014):
*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.