Doctor of Nursing Practice Salary in Washington

The Washington State Employment Security Department reported that the number of vacancy announcements for nurse administrator and executive jobs in the state ranked 15th among all job postings advertised online in December 2015.

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As the educational standards for nurses increase, growing numbers of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) and nurse administrators and executives are choosing to obtain a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) rather than settling for an MSN as their highest degree.

The number of Washington’s DNP graduates increased by 45% between 2013 and 2014 according to the State of Washington Department of Health’s 2015 Nursing Education Programs 2013-2014 Annual School Report. However, the number of nursing PhD students stayed about the same during the period, reinforcing the value of the practice-based doctorate.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing reported that 545 of Washington’s nurses were enrolled in DNP programs in the state in 2015—nearly six times more than those who sought a PhD that year.

Survey data from the Advance Healthcare Network for 2014 demonstrated how obtaining a DNP offers an assurance of high salaries. The results of this survey indicated that nurse practitioners with a DNP earned an average salary of 13% more than NPs who possessed a master’s as their highest degree.

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

DNP-educated nurses in all their various roles are consistently recognized for earning top salaries (Washington Employment Security Department, 2015):

  • Nurse Anesthetists – $187,199*
  • Nurse Administrators and Executives – $132,330
  • Nurse Practitioners – $117,541
  • Nurse-Midwives – $117,541
  • Other Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners – $96,179

Salaries for DNP Nurses in Washington’s Major Cities

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

Nurse Anesthetists:

  • Seattle-Bellevue-Everett – $179,795
  • Tacoma – $179,774
  • Spokane – $178,672

Nurse Administrators and Executives:

  • Yakima – $151,466
  • Seattle-Bellevue-Everett – $143,104
  • Olympia – $129,542
  • Spokane – $123,864
  • Tacoma – $118,435
  • Bellingham – $114,774

Nurse Practitioners:

  • Bremerton-Silverdale – $120,016
  • Seattle-Bellevue-Everett – $118,248
  • Tacoma – $117,957
  • Olympia – $117,250
  • Bellingham – $114,774
  • Yakima – $108,950
  • Spokane – $105,310

Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners:

  • Bremerton-Silverdale – $106,974
  • Seattle-Bellevue-Everett – $95,368
  • Yakima – $90,709
  • Spokane – $86,293
  • Bellingham – $78,998
  • Olympia – $76,731
  • Tacoma – $61,714

An Overview of Salaries for DNP-Educated Nurses in Washington 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 Washington earning within the 75th and 90th percentiles to best represent earnings for DNP nurses (2014):


Hourly 75th percentile wage
Annual 75th percentile wage
Medical and Health Services Managers
Nursing Instructors and Teachers Postsecondary
Not available
Nurse Anesthetists
Nurse Midwives
Nurse Practitioners
Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners All Other

*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.

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