The DC.gov Department of Employment Services ranked nurse practitioners as the 7th fastest growing occupation between 2016 and 2026. Their projections also reveal that other advanced nursing positions will also show a high level of growth compared to the state average for all occupations during this period:
- Nurse Educators – 4 times the average
- Nurse Administrators and Executives – 2.3 times the average
Between medical practices, academic institutions, and the large number of pharmaceutical and biotech companies, the DC area offers a number of opportunities for highly educated nurses, such as those with a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). This degree is rapidly becoming the preferred credential for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) and other advanced nursing professions.
APRNs are in particular demand in areas that lack adequate primary care physicians. In fact, DC had nine designated Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) as of 2019, according to the District’s Department of Health. The primary care HPSAs in DC are shown below:
- Brentwood—Low Income
- Columbia Heights/Ft. Totten/Takoma—Low Income
- Downtown Washington—Homeless
- East Capitol Southeast
- South Capitol
The District is also home to excellent professional opportunities for high-level nurse administrators because of the many nursing institutions that are headquartered there:
- American Association of College of Nursing
- American Nurses Association
- Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health
With the DC area offering numerous opportunities for DNP-educated nurses, a number of the District’s nurses are seeking this educational option. Obtaining a DNP offers an assurance of high salaries as shown by the Advance Healthcare Network, which surveyed nurse practitioners throughout the country in 2018. This survey identified a 7% increase in the average salary of NPs with a DNP compared to those who had an MSN as their highest degree.
Salaries for DNP Nurses in the District of Columbia
As predicted by the DC.gov Department of Employment Services, there is no shortage of nurse practitioner positions available in the District. For instance, a quick search of the Nurse Practitioner Association of the District of Columbia’s job portal found 17 open positions for NPs in and around the Washington D.C. area on December 28, 2019.
DNP-educated nurses in all their various roles are consistently recognized for earning top salaries (DC.gov Department of Employment Services, 2018):
- Nurse Practitioner – $124,090-$18,190
- Nurse-Midwife – $108,520-$136,620
- Nurse Educators: $187,520+
- Nurse Administrators and Executives: $164,210+
An Overview of Hourly Wages for DNP-Educated Nurses in DC
A 2019 Medscape Compensation Report found that 78% of APRNs are paid overtime for their work. It is often helpful to view hourly wages for DNP nurses because overtime for these professionals can account for a significant part of their annual income.
The DC.gov Department of Employment Services provides hourly wages for DPN-educated nursing professionals, as of 2018:
- Nurse-Midwives: $52.17-$65.68
- Nurse Practitioners: $59.66-$66.44
- Nurse Administrators and Executives: $78.95+
Salary and employment data compiled by the DC.gov Department of Employment Services in May of 2018 – (https://does.dc.gov/node/184812). Salary data represents state and MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) average and median earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries. Employment conditions in your area may vary.
All salary and job growth data accessed in December 2019.
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.