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5 Job Opportunities for DNP Graduates

Nursing is not a stagnant profession where people get stuck in one position. It is a continuously changing and highly in-demand profession where you have to be on your feet to keep up with it. The most effective way to compete with fellow nurses is to acquire a higher degree. The more you learn, the better care you can provide to your patients, and the more you progress in your career. 

If you are a nurse and deciding to opt for the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, you might be thinking, “What can I do with a DNP degree?” Well, there are a lot of career opportunities for DNP graduates. In this article, you will find 5 career opportunities for DNP graduates. Before that, let’s discuss DNP in detail.

What is a DNP?

The Doctor of Nursing Practice or DNP is one of the highest degrees in the nursing profession. DNP is a two-year post-BSN nursing practice degree that focuses on advanced nursing skills and expertise to improve healthcare. The purpose of the DNP is to produce leadership qualities in nurses. Along with this, some of the core benefits of pursuing a DNP degree are as below:

  • It will help you to learn from the experts in the nursing profession
  • Give you increased job security and superiority on MSN graduates
  • It will help you to gain a leadership role and become your boss
  • Make you keep pace with the rapidly evolving field
  • There are a number of DNP careers available for DNP graduates; they can choose whatever they think is best for them. 

The DNP prepares the nurses to become aware of the constant changes in healthcare, allowing them to develop industry-shaping strategies and bring more to the table that improves patient outcomes. Now, let’s discuss the paths that DNP will create for you.

Career Opportunities for DNP Graduates:

Nursing is a complex field that offers potential career paths. Some nurses are more interested in technical disciplines, while others are interested in clinical practice. The advantage of a DNP degree is that it gives you an excellent opportunity to accelerate career growth and satisfaction in all of them. Some of the most important opportunities for DNP graduates are:

  • Director of Nursing (DON):

The demand for DNP graduates as Director of Nursing is gaining momentum because employers understand the leadership qualities and experience DNP graduates have. Although directors of nursing are involved in organizational and administrative roles, they are still very much focused on patients’ healthcare. 

  • Their overall job is to recruit staff, train them, and maintain the discipline and schedule in the nursing department
  • The average pay of the Director of Nursing is $90,000 per annum
  • All major healthcare centers such as hospitals, nursing centers employ Director of Nursing

If you are the ones who can lead and manage well, then it’s the best opportunity out there for you.

  • Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN):

APRNs are the nurses who have met advanced educational and clinical requirements and work as anesthetists, nursing midwives, and clinical nurse specialists. Their job responsibilities are to provide additional healthcare services such as treating and diagnosing diseases and order diagnostic tests. They are certified to see patients without a doctor. A report stated that the average salary of APRNs is $117,670 per annum. If you want to pursue the clinical practice, APRNs might be a good choice.

  • Clinical Nurse Educator (CNE):

Clinical Nurse Educators are devoted to teaching the junior nurses the skills and knowledge to improve the healthcare facilities. Their job also includes resolving clinical issues by developing new procedures using their professional knowledge. As a nurse educator, you must be committed to helping other nurses grow. The average salary of CNEs is about $84,600 per year. If you love teaching and nursing, you can pursue this career to combine both.

  • Clinical Nurse Researcher (CNR):

The nurses aiming to innovate groundbreaking advancements in nursing practice are Clinical Nurse Researchers. Their responsibilities are to conduct scientific investigations and collect, analyze, and interpret their findings to improve healthcare procedures. The average pay of CNRs is $95,000 per year. Their workplaces include research organizations, laboratories, and academia.

  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO):

Hospital Chief Executive Officer is the pinnacle of achievement in a nursing career. As a CEO, their responsibilities are to focus on all aspects, manage daily activities, and lead strategic initiatives for long-term planning. The average salary of a hospital CEO is around $150,000 per year. For a new DNP graduate, you will need a lot of experience and skills such as planning, directing, and controlling to achieve this landmark.


The DNP degree offers many opportunities to nurses who are honest and willing to work hard. In the United States, DNP graduates are considered key players in revolutionizing the future healthcare system. It is the best opportunity for you to achieve your dreams in a nursing career.

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