Oklahoma recently made headlines when Northwestern Oklahoma State University (NWOSU) unveiled plans to open its first Doctor of Nursing Practicing (DNP) program in the fall of 2017. According to an article published by The Oklahoman in January 2016, the DNP program is specifically designed to allow BSN student to more seamlessly become nurse practitioners.
By offering this new DNP program, the NWOSU hopes to help alleviate the state’s massive shortage of primary care givers, particularly in rural areas. As an added benefit, this paramount effort to offer more DNP degree programs in Oklahoma could mean better employment and salary options for DNP-educated nurses working here.
In 2014, the United States Department of Labor reported that Oklahoma provided many admirable salary and employment conditions for DNP-prepared advanced clinical practitioners. For example:
- Nurse anesthetists were the ninth most highly paid professionals in Oklahoma. On average, employers throughout the state awarded nurse anesthetists an annual salary of more than $185,000.
- Oklahoma held the second highest concentration of medical and health services manager jobs in the country. Medical and health services managers filled 5,330 positions statewide, earning an average annual salary of over $95,000.
- Nurse practitioners were among the top forty highest paying occupations in Oklahoma. On average, nurse practitioners employed here were given salary of more than $100,000 annually.
- The Northwestern Oklahoma nonmetropolitan region was the fourth highest paying nonmetropolitan area for postsecondary nursing instructors and teachers in the country. Postsecondary nursing and instructors and teachers working here collected an average annual salary of over $85,000.
Employers Advertising for DNP-Educated Nurses in Oklahoma
In February 2016, employers in both the public and private sectors published online job advertisements for nurses equipped with doctoral degrees using the job aggregation site indeed.com. These job postings featured access to clinical and nonclinical positions, which indicate how DNP degrees facilitate diverse employment opportunities in Oklahoma. Examples of these local employers included:
- Oklahoma State Department of Health
- Ancora Education
- Northwestern Oklahoma State University
- Soliant Health
DNP-Educated Nurses Earn Higher Salaries in the Field
Nurses with DNP degrees routinely become some of the highest paid workers in their chosen occupation, consistently earning within the 75th and 90th salary percentile ranges. In 2015, the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission released the following salary ranges as representative of what DNP-educated nurses can expect to earn:
- Oklahoma City: $187,199*
- Tulsa: $187,199*
Nurse Administrators and Executives:
- Fort Smith: $94,440 – $120,870
- Lawton: $96,610 – $126,040
- Oklahoma City: $101,310 – $136,570
- Tulsa: $94,140 – $115,580
- Oklahoma City: $99,880 – $119,320
- Tulsa: $103,750 – $137,520
- Oklahoma City: $73,210 – $92,100
- Tulsa: $63,090 – $74,900
Salaries for DNP-Educated Nurses in Oklahoma According to Role
The United States Department of Labor published the following data table showing salary statistics for DNP-prepared nurses in various roles throughout Oklahoma. Only 75th and 90th salary percentiles are presented, as these percentiles most precisely reflect the high-end salaries typically afforded DNP-educated nurses in Oklahoma:
*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 data higher than thes values.