Nurse educators and nurse practitioners both made the top 15 list of high-growth occupations in Wisconsin for the period between 2012 and 2022. The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development predicts increased job growth of 30.6% for nurse educators and 28.1% for nurse practitioners over the ten-year period of their projections.
Both of these professions contain a significant number of nurses who possess a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). Employers increasingly prefer that their nurses possess this credential. The Wisconsin Center for Nursing stated that some employers in the state offered tuition reimbursement to their nurses who sought advanced education in exchange for a commitment to continue working at their organization for a defined period of time in its analysis entitled the Wisconsin 2014 Registered Nursing Survey Report.
Thus, the number of nurses obtaining a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Wisconsin increased dramatically in recent years. The percentage of advanced practice nurses (APNs) with a DNP in the state doubled between 2012 and 2014, while enrollment in DNP programs increased by 1.6-fold during this period. The number of nurses enrolled in PhD programs stayed constant during this timeframe.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing reported that 556 of Wisconsin’s nurses were enrolled in DNP programs as of the fall of 2015—nearly four times as many nurses who sought PhDs that year. These figures highlight the value of the practice-based doctorate in the workplace.
Earning a DNP offers an assurance of high salaries. The Advance Healthcare Network quantified the significant economic benefits offered by a DNP in its survey of nurse practitioners throughout the country in 2014. This survey identified an average of a 13% increase in salary for nurse practitioners who had a DNP compared to those with an MSN as their highest degree.
Salaries for DNP Nurses in Wisconsin’s Major Cities
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development provides salary information for DNP-educated advanced nursing professionals in the major cities of the state (2014):
- Lake County-Kenosha County: $175,648 – $184,940
- Milwaukee: $183,436 – $194,223
Nurse Administrators and Executives:
- Appleton: $105,135 – $137,311
- Green Bay: $95,241 – $116,752
- Lake County-Kenosha County: $119,529 – $139,116
- Madison: $112,764 – $137,308
- Milwaukee: $109,880 – $137,546
- Oshkosh: $95,034 – $115,655
- Racine: $101,707 – $123,356
- Appleton: $105,128 – $117,278
- Green Bay: $111,538 – $122,473
- Lake County-Kenosha County: $96,757 – $111,645
- Madison: $102,515 – $115,380
- Milwaukee: $103,885 – $119,513
- Oshkosh: $104,117 – $116,686
- Racine: $110,792 – $118,469
- Milwaukee: $112,646 – $122,152
Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners:
- Lake County-Kenosha County: $76,168 – $92,604
- Madison: $89,659 – $107,436
- Milwaukee: $197,964 – $199,003
- Madison: $79,234 – $94,335
- Milwaukee: $80,482 – $94,633
Shown here are the average ranges for salaries that fall between the 75th and 90th percentiles for each role. This best represents the average earnings for DNP-educated nurses, giving consideration to the fact that DNPs earn more than master’s-prepared nurses in the same roles.
An Overview of Salaries for DNP-Educated Nurses in Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin 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.