Predictions published for New Jersey in 2019 were dire: The state would experience a deep nursing shortage by 2030. And that was before anybody ever heard of COVID-19. Like most other states, New Jersey lacks an adequate supply of nursing professionals to keep up with an aging population, and the situation will only get worse.
That’s why many nursing students and professionals are considering how they can best impact this looming emergency. For some, that will mean pursuing a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, which will give them the educational foundation to seek authority to provide many of the same functions that physicians provide.
Average Doctor of Nursing Practice DNP Salaries in New Jersey
We wanted to understand how healthy the market is in New Jersey for these types of nursing professionals, so we studied data published in 2020 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for a total of six example jobs that are commonly held by those with DNP degrees. The list of jobs consisted of nurse practitioner, registered nurse, nurse anesthetist, nurse administrator, nurse midwife and postsecondary nursing instructor, which isn’t meant to be all-encompassing of every possible job title that becomes available after earning this degree.
Four of the six jobs feature annual wages in New Jersey of at least $100,000, and the other two roles are somewhere in that ballpark. In every state, nurse anesthetists are the highest-paid DNP professionals of the six jobs we analyzed, while postsecondary nursing instructors and registered nurses are generally at the lower end of the spectrum, and this tracks with our findings in New Jersey. The state ranks No. 4 nationally for nurse practitioner salaries and No. 7 when it comes to nurse midwife salaries. And despite their presence at the bottom of the scale in New Jersey, the state’s average wages for nursing instructors and RNs are both among the top 10 in the country.
How Much Does a DNP Make in New Jersey?
The average salary ranges from $84,280 to $193,900 in New Jersey.
Average annual New Jersey salary
|Postsecondary Nursing Instructors||$87,120.00|
RN jobs are by far the most plentiful of the six DNP jobs, both in New Jersey and across the country. In no state does the concentration of any other nursing job even come close, and, indeed, the second-closest DNP job in New Jersey by employment per 1,000 jobs (nurse administrator) has a fraction of the employment level of RNs.
New Jersey employment per 1,000 jobs
|Postsecondary Nursing Instructors||0.51|
Several major metro areas and cities that are entirely or partially in New Jersey are home to average DNP salaries (taking all six jobs into account) that are upwards of $100,000, with the New York metro area, including Newark and Jersey City, boasting the highest average of any city or metro area in New Jersey.
Average salary by city, top 5
|New York-Newark-Jersey City||$132,108.33|
Jump to a Career
- Nurse Practitioner
- Registered Nurse
- Nurse Administrator
- Post Secondary Nurse Instructor
- Nurse Anesthetist
- Nurse Midwife
The most obvious career path for those who have earned a DNP degree is to become a nurse practitioner. After all, the job title is referenced in the degree itself. Whether they work in general practice or with a specific population group, nurse practitioners (NPs) are empowered to provide many of the same functions as a physician, though rules vary across the country and NP practice freedom is somewhat limited in the state. Still, in most cities and metro areas of the state, NPs can expect to earn at least $100,000. The Atlantic City and Vineland metro areas have the two highest average salaries, followed by New York.
Average annual nurse practitioner wage by city/metro area
|New York-Newark-Jersey City||$128,720.00|
Most New Jersey communities have NP employment rates that are lower than the overall rate for the state. But the Philadelphia metro area, which includes the New Jersey city of Camden, has a slightly higher rate.
Nurse practitioner employment per 1,000 jobs by city/metro area
|New York-Newark-Jersey City||1.441|
Most RNs aren’t required to complete a DNP degree, but it’s not uncommon for nursing professionals to remain in RN-titled jobs after they complete their education. None of the New Jersey cities for which data was available have average RN wages that are over $100,000, though it’s important to note that RNs who have completed a DNP will certainly command higher salaries than the typical RN. Still, wages in the New York metro area are near $100,000 and both the Atlantic City and Vineland areas have average RN wages that are near the overall state average.
Average annual registered nurse wage by city/metro area
|New York-Newark-Jersey City||$93,280.00|
Of the six DNP jobs we analyzed, RN employment is by far the highest, and several cities and metro areas that are entirely or partially in New Jersey seem to be hotspots of RN jobs. The Allentown area of Pennsylvania, which includes areas of New Jersey, has the highest rate, followed closely by Atlantic City and Philly. In all three cases, employment rates for RNs are higher in those areas than in New Jersey generally.
Registered nurse employment per 1,000 jobs by city/metro area
|New York-Newark-Jersey City||18.043|
While many nursing professionals will choose to continue jobs that include direct patient care after they complete their DNP, shifting to administrative roles is often a key to truly life-changing income levels. Indeed, for DNP-holders who pursue jobs as nurse administrators or medical services managers, there are several cities in New Jersey and nearby areas where salary levels are far north of $100,000. The highest rate is in the New York metro area, which includes both Newark and Jersey City, followed by Trenton, Atlantic City and Ocean City.
Average annual nurse administrator wage by city/metro area
|New York-Newark-Jersey City||$144,370.00|
Nurse administrator jobs are generally the second most-prevalent after RN roles, and the Vineland-Bridgeton metro area has the highest employment rate for nurse administrators in New Jersey.
Nurse administrator employment per 1,000 jobs by city/metro area
|New York-Newark-Jersey City||2.95|
Helping to bridge the nursing professional gap are nursing instructors, particularly at the postsecondary level. This is a common destination for many who pursue a DNP, with some teaching part-time, while others decide to become full-time nursing instructors. A few metro areas entirely or partially in New Jersey offer premium wages when compared to the state overall, including New York, Atlantic City and Philly.
Average annual postsecondary nursing instructor wage by city/metro area
|New York-Newark-Jersey City||$101,860.00|
Employment rates for postsecondary nursing instructors aren’t exactly overflowing in New Jersey or the surrounding states, but nursing professors may have an easier time finding work in the Philly metro area, which includes the city of Camden.
Postsecondary nursing instructor employment per 1,000 jobs by city/metro area
|New York-Newark-Jersey City||0.462|
In every state, the highest wage of the six DNP jobs is for nurse anesthetists, and that’s true in New Jersey as well. The state overall has an average nurse anesthetist wage of about $193,000, but these professionals can expect to earn more than $200,000 in the New York metro area, which includes much of New Jersey.
Average annual nurse anesthetist wage by city/metro area
|New York-Newark-Jersey City||$206,740.00|
Limited data was available for making employment rate comparisons for nurse anesthetists in New Jersey, but the Philadelphia metro area has a higher overall rate than New Jersey, while the New York area is just slightly behind the state of New Jersey overall.
Nurse anesthetist employment per 1,000 jobs by city/metro area
|New York-Newark-Jersey City||0.168|
Nurse midwifery is a popular track in many DNP programs, and salaries for these professionals tend to be high. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, given the connection of this profession to pregnancy and birth. The New York metro area’s average annual pay rate for nurse midwives is a touch higher than that of the state of New Jersey.
Average annual nurse midwife wage by city/metro area
|New York-Newark-Jersey City||$117,680.00|
Little data was available for nurse midwife employment rates across the state of New Jersey, but the city of Trenton has a much higher rate of these jobs than the state overall.
Nurse midwife employment per 1,000 jobs by city/metro area
|New York-Newark-Jersey City||0.043|
Tackling the looming nursing shortage in New Jersey will require that the state attracts or produces many more graduates of nursing programs, including DNP programs. Fortunately for the state and surrounding areas, wages are generally quite high, and given what we know of the staffing situation, it’s likely they’ll keep rising.
Our analysis of federal employment 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 made available by the BLS in April 2020.