The number of RNs in Iowa who reported a doctorate in nursing as their highest degree increased by 51.8% between 2013 and 2014 according to the Nursing Trends Iowa report released by the Iowa Center for Nursing Workforce in 2015.
Of those surveyed for the report, the highest percentage of doctorate-prepared nurses reported having a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) as opposed to a PhD. This type of nursing doctorate provides the highest level of practical nursing training available, and employers are increasingly seeking nurses with this level of education.
Iowa’s nursing schools responded to this demand by dramatically increasing the number of DNP programs. The first DNP program in Iowa started accepting students in 2007, and by 2014, the total number of DNP programs in the state had climbed to 6.
The number of DNP students in Iowa increased concurrently from 21 to 280 between 2008 and 2014. The number of graduates from Iowa’s DNP programs increased 8.1-fold between 2012 and 2014, while the number of PhD nursing graduates dropped by 30% during this time frame.
The significant increase in the number of DNP-educated nurses in Iowa highlights the value of this practice-based degree which offers significant economic benefits. The Advance Healthcare Network quantified the increase in salary conferred by a DNP by surveying nurse practitioners throughout the country in 2014. The Network identified a 13% increase in salary among NPs with a DNP compared to those with a master’s degree as their highest degree.
Statewide Salary Data for DNP-Educated ARPNs and More in Iowa
DNP-educated nurses in all their various roles are consistently recognized for earning top salaries (Iowa Workforce Development, 2015):
- Nurse Anesthetists: $190,649 – $198,027
- Nurse-Midwives: $124,567 – $208,000
- Nurse Practitioners: $100,511 – $117,761
- Nurse Administrators and Executives: $92,000 – $115,613
- Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners: $85,384 – $123,458
- Nurse Educators: $74,459 – $95,599
Salaries for DNP Nurses in Iowa’s Major Cities
Iowa Workforce Development provides salary information for DNP-educated advanced nursing professionals in the most populated cities in the state (2015):
- Des Moines: $191,125 – $201,175
Nurse Administrators and Executives:
- Ames: $117,187 – $132,601
- Cedar Rapids: $88,284 – $104,683
- Davenport: $96,656 – $134,229
- Des Moines: $94,908 – $121,580
- Dubuque: $94,956 – $106,585
- Iowa City: $107,607 – $128,842
- Sioux City: $96,065 – $175,936
- Waterloo: $94,625 – $119,069
- Ames: $131,338 – $150,584
- Cedar Rapids: $95,678 – $109,191
- Davenport: $101,300 – $114,919
- Des Moines: $99,594 – $120,540
- Dubuque: $94,686 – $107,472
- Iowa City: $102,339 – $166,207
- Sioux City: $97,005 – $118,222
- Waterloo: $100,062 – $113,972
Other Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners:
- Cedar Rapids: $76,625 – $93,091
- Des Moines: $137,864 – $208,000
- Cedar Rapids: $77,733 – $98,087
- Des Moines: $71,394 – $79,921
An Overview of Salaries for Iowa’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 Iowa’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.