Just like the rest of the U.S., medical industry observers in Connecticut have long known that a major healthcare crisis was just on the horizon. No, not coronavirus. This crisis has a much more mundane but potentially still lethal result — a shortage of trained nursing professionals.
Despite a fast-growing job market in Connecticut for nurses, the state still was projected to have a shortage of educated, licensed nurses to fill a variety of positions. With an aging society and an aging workforce, nurses will continue to be in very high demand.
We wanted to understand just how in-demand one particular type of nursing professional is in Connecticut: those with a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). This degree serves as the educational foundation to licensure as a nurse practitioner, and opens the door to many other advanced nursing careers.
Average Doctor of Nursing Practice DNP Salaries in Connecticut
To dig into the details of DNP employment and salary expectations in Connecticut, we analyzed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on six jobs that are commonly held by people with DNP degrees. Our list, which is not meant as the final word on possible DNP careers, consisted of nurse practitioner, registered nurse, nurse anesthetist, nurse administrator, nurse midwife and postsecondary nursing instructor.
How Much Does a DNP Make in Connecticut?
Average wages in Connecticut are near or above $100,000 for five of the six DNP jobs we analyzed, with nurse anesthetists having the highest average wage by far. Not only are they the highest paid in Connecticut, but nurse anesthetists are the highest paid DNP professional in every other state as well. Registered nurses have the lowest average annual wage in Connecticut, though they can still expect to earn considerably more than the average worker, who makes about $62,000. For a few jobs, Connecticut is among the national leaders: the state ranks fifth for postsecondary nursing instructors, eighth for nurse administrators and 10th for nurse anesthetists.
Average annual Connecticut salary
|Postsecondary Nursing Instructors||$97,350.00|
Employment rates for registered nurses are the highest of the six DNP jobs we analyzed, and this is true in every other state as well, which puts Connecticut in good company. RN employment per 1,000 jobs is more than five times higher than the next-highest rate, which is for nurse administrators. BLS data was not available for employment rates in Connecticut of nurse anesthetists.
Connecticut employment per 1,000 jobs
|Postsecondary Nursing Instructors||0.383|
On a city level, the highest average across the six jobs is in the Hartford area, though the Bridgeport area isn’t far behind.
Average salary by city, top 5
|Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford||$119,191.67|
Jump to a Career
- Nurse Practitioner
- Registered Nurse
- Nurse Administrator
- Post Secondary Nurse Instructor
- Nurse Anesthetist
- Nurse Midwife
It’s no surprise that the most obvious potential career path for a DNP graduate is to become a nurse practitioner. Not only is the name of the degree right there in the job title, but NPs are able in every state to perform many of the same functions as physicians (though rules vary by state), which makes these jobs very challenging but rewarding. And for those who practice in Connecticut, they have a higher degree of practice freedom than those in most other states. Of cities and metro areas that are entirely or partially in Connecticut, the highest average wage for nurse practitioners is in the Bridgeport area, with Waterbury a close second. The metro area of Worcester, Massachusetts, which includes parts of Connecticut, isn’t far behind. All Connecticut cities with available data have average NP salaries that are higher than $100,000.
Average annual nurse practitioner wage by city/metro area
|Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford||$111,660.00|
Employment levels for NPs are highest in the Hartford and Worcester areas and lowest in the Norwich area. Waterbury, Danbury and New Haven all have employment rates for NPs that exceed the overall state rate.
Nurse practitioner employment per 1,000 jobs by city/metro area
|Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford||2.291|
Typically, jobs for registered nurses don’t require candidates to hold a DNP degree. But many people who graduate from DNP programs will take jobs as RNs, though, it must be pointed out that those who do will certainly command higher wages than the averages listed below. RNs make the most on average in Danbury, while Waterbury has the lowest average annual salary for registered nurses.
Average annual registered nurse wage by city/metro area
|Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford||$81,710.00|
Employment rates for RNs are by far the highest of any of the jobs we analyzed, and this is true in Connecticut and across the country. RN employment per 1,000 jobs is highest in New Haven and lowest in Bridgeport with both Worcester and Springfield (two metro areas mostly in Massachusetts) also having higher rates than Connecticut overall.
Registered nurse employment per 1,000 jobs by city/metro area
|Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford||20.785|
It’s perhaps most common for DNP graduates to seek jobs where they will work directly with patients, but this isn’t the only path for senior-level, advanced nurses. In many cases, a DNP degree can carve a path into the boardroom instead of the operating room. Through a job in healthcare management, such as nurse administrator, DNP graduates can help effect change and improve patient care from an executive position. With added responsibilities comes a bump in pay, and for all Connecticut cities with available data, average wages for nurse administrators are higher than $100,000. Bridgeport’s average is the highest in the state (and third-highest among all metro areas in the U.S.), while Springfield’s is the lowest, though most of the area is in Massachusetts.
Average annual nurse administrator wage by city/metro area
|Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford||$131,140.00|
Aside from RN employment levels, rates tend to be highest for nurse administrators, and this holds true across Connecticut. These jobs will be easiest to come by in Waterbury and New Haven, while Worcester, Hartford and Danbury all have employment rates higher than Connecticut’s overall rate.
Nurse administrator employment per 1,000 jobs by city/metro area
|Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford||3.986|
Attacking the nursing shortage will mean producing more nurses. This requires additional faculty, such as postsecondary nursing instructors. Jumping into academia is another popular option for DNP nursing professionals who may be looking to make a change or simply make some extra money. Average wages for these professionals are highest in New Haven, which is home to Yale University, the city’s biggest employer. Springfield’s average wage is the lowest, and by quite a bit, though it’s important to note the metro area covered is mostly in Massachusetts.
Average annual postsecondary nursing instructor wage by city/metro area
|Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford||$91,430.00|
Employment rates for postsecondary nursing instructors tend to be on the lower end of the scale, though the metro area of Springfield, Massachusetts, including portions of Connecticut, tops the list and ranks No. 8 nationally. Jobs are most difficult to come by in the Norwich and Bridgeport areas.
Postsecondary nursing instructor employment per 1,000 jobs by city/metro area
|Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford||0.487|
As we’ve mentioned, nurse anesthetists are the best-paid of the DNP jobs we studied, both in Connecticut and across the U.S. Geographic data was limited, though the average wage for nurse anesthetists in Hartford is about $193,000, which puts the city in the top 30% compared to all cities and metro areas with available data.
Nurse midwifery, or assisting pregnant women through birth and during and after labor, is an increasingly popular specialty area in DNP programs. Data was unavailable for most Connecticut cities, but the average nurse midwife in Hartford can expect to earn just over $106,000.
Only time will tell the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the healthcare community, and nurse staffing in particular. But given that the state of things already was shaky before the crisis, there’s no doubt that states would be well-advised to invest in nurse education, particularly DNP programs.
Our analysis of BLS data covered a total of six jobs that are commonly available with a DNP degree, though that’s not meant as a complete listing of all possible jobs. We used the May 2019 data, which was published by the BLS in April 2020.