Even before the coronavirus pandemic plunged the nation into a healthcare crisis, predictions in the state of Florida were dire: A shortage of qualified nursing staff will cripple the healthcare system by 2025.
No doubt the situation is even worse today in the midst of the pandemic, and it’s likely the aftermath will continue long after the virus has been eradicated. Perhaps more than ever before, the need for highly trained and skilled nurses in Florida is extreme.
So it’s no wonder that many students considering nursing education may be targeting Florida as the state in which they intend to practice. We wanted to examine the salary potential for nursing professionals who have attained a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, or DNP. This advanced degree allows a nurse or nursing professional to work in a huge range of positions, from registered nurse to nurse administrator.
Average Doctor of Nursing Practice DNP Salaries in Florida
We calculated an average salary for each state and about 400 cities in the United States across a total of six DNP occupations — nurse practitioner, registered nurse, nurse anesthetist, nurse administrator, nurse midwife and postsecondary nursing professor.
Four of the six jobs have six-figure average salary amounts in Florida, making the state one of the best-paying overall. Nurse anesthetists have the highest salary figure in Florida, and this is largely the case across the country. Nursing professors are second in Florida, and Florida is second in the country when it comes to average salaries for these professionals. RNs have the lowest average salary figure among the six occupations, though RNs can still expect to earn far more than the average worker in Florida, who makes about $48,000.
How Much Does a DNP Make in Florida?
The average salary ranges from $67,610 to $160,030 in Florida.
Average annual Florida salary
|Postsecondary Nursing Instructors||$122,050.00|
Jobs for registered nurses are the most plentiful in Florida, with RN roles being exponentially more common than any other type of DNP job in the state. In every other state, RN jobs are the most common as well, so Florida is representative of the nation in that regard.
Florida employment per 1,000 jobs
|Postsecondary Nursing Instructors||0.353|
Looking at the city and metro level in Florida, DNP salaries are highest in the Deltona-Daytona Beach metro area, where they top $114,000. Gainesville isn’t far behind at just over $113,000, with Lakeland, Naples and Jacksonville rounding out the top five.
Average salary by city, top 5
|Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach||$114,435.00|
Jump to a Career
- Nurse Practitioner
- Registered Nurse
- Nurse Administrator
- Post Secondary Nurse Instructor
- Nurse Anesthetist
- Nurse Midwife
Florida has one of the most restrictive environments for nurse practitioners, but despite this, the job remains very popular in the state. In several major cities, NPs can expect to make over six figures, with salaries in the Palm Bay metro area reaching upwards of $125,000, the highest for any city or metro area for which data is available.
Average annual nurse practitioner wage by city/metro area, top 10
|Port St. Lucie||$104,230.00|
|Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach||$103,960.00|
|Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach||$102,830.00|
In the state as a whole, NP jobs are the second most common, and several cities have employment rates that surpass the overall Florida level for NP employment. Homosassa Springs has the highest rate of NP employment, followed by Punta Gorda and the Deltona metro area.
Nurse practitioner employment per 1,000 jobs by city/metro area, top 10
|Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach||2.053|
|Port St. Lucie||1.968|
Among the six nursing jobs we analyzed, registered nurse employment was most common, though it’s important to note that for many RN jobs, a DNP is not required. So RNs who do have DNP degrees will likely be able to command even higher salaries than what’s listed below. In a handful of cities and metro areas, average RN wages are even higher than for the state as a whole, including the Naples metro area as well as Gainesville and Punta Gorda.
Average annual registered nurse wage by city/metro area, top 10
|Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach||$69,920.00|
|Cape Coral-Fort Myers||$69,830.00|
|Port St. Lucie||$68,070.00|
As referenced, RN positions are the most common of the six types of nursing jobs we studied, both in Florida and around the United States. All 10 of the cities listed below have RN employment rates even higher than the state’s overall, with Gainesville’s RN employment rate nearing double Florida’s rate.
Registered nurse employment per 1,000 jobs by city/metro area, top 10
|Port St. Lucie||29.631|
|Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach||25.722|
Medical and healthcare managers, including nurse administrators, are professionals responsible for leading departments or healthcare organizations, and this is a common role for senior nurses, including those with DNP degrees. Given their high level of responsibility, individuals in these roles can generally expect to earn high wages, and several cities are home to average wages that are higher than the state’s nurse administrator average.
Average annual nurse administrator wage by city/metro area, top 10
|Cape Coral-Fort Myers||$114,530.00|
|Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach||$114,190.00|
In the state as a whole, nurse administrator employment levels are quite low, and several locales across Florida have far higher concentrations of employment for these professionals. Gainesville has the highest employment level for nurse administrators, followed by The Villages.
Nurse administrator employment per 1,000 jobs by city/metro area, top 10
|Port St. Lucie||2.848|
|Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach||2.812|
The aforementioned nursing shortage will require a huge increase in nursing education, and bridging the gap means hiring many more nursing instructors, particularly at higher levels. Data was not available for as many cities as with some of the other jobs, but among cities and metro areas, salaries are highest in the Tampa metro area.
Average annual postsecondary nursing instructor wage by city/metro area
Jobs for this role are currently probably hard to come by across the state. The Miami and Cape Coral metro areas both offer instructor employment rates that are higher than throughout the entire state of Florida.
Postsecondary nursing instructor employment per 1,000 jobs by city/metro area
|Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach||0.665|
|Cape Coral-Fort Myers||0.439|
Nurse anesthetists have the highest average salaries across the six DNP jobs, and this is true both in the state of Florida and across the United States. Wages in the Deltona metro area are higher than the overall average for the state, as are rates in Gainesville, Miami and Jacksonville. Not every city has more generous wages for this role than the state, however, and these jobs in the North Port metro area have a considerably lower wage rate.
Average annual nurse anesthetist wage by city/metro area
|Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach||$202,800.00|
|Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach||$171,820.00|
As with some other DNP jobs, nurse anesthetists roles in Florida aren’t terribly easy to come by. But a handful of cities and metro areas have employment rates for the job that are higher than the overall state rate, with the Pensacola metro area having the highest rate.
Nurse anesthetist employment per 1,000 jobs by city/metro area
|Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach||0.509|
In addition to coursework and experience related to becoming a nurse practitioner, many DNP programs have a second primary academic offering — midwifery. These jobs tend to be difficult to find, but they can be very lucrative. In the Orlando metro area, the average salary is near $100,000 and considerably higher than the overall state salary level of just over $84,000.
Average annual nurse midwife wage by city/metro area
|Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach||$72,860.00|
Only two cities have available data for nurse midwife jobs, which reflects the relative scarcity of this type of job, though the future could hold more promise as more people become aware of the benefits of midwifery.
Nurse midwife employment per 1,000 jobs by city/metro area
|Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach||0.043|
Florida is getting older, and even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the state’s healthcare system was facing a looming crisis. With relatively high wages, those who make the commitment to earn a DNP and become highly skilled nurses could be well-rewarded for helping improve the lives of people across Florida.
Our analysis of BLS data covered a total of six jobs that are commonly available after earning a DNP degree. We used the May 2019 data, which was published in April 2020.