With all of the recent attention that the DNP degree has received, and the explosion of DNP programs across the country, I was surprised to read that as of January 2014, there are still only 2,443 DNP graduates so far. This number will increase quickly in the near future, as there are almost 15,000 students currently enrolled in DNP programs, but even that is a small number relative to the industry in general.
As noted on our DNP salary page, the DNP does appear to confer a salary advantage. It is possible that the relative scarcity of DNPs will further contribute to that difference. I also wonder whether there may be a “first mover” advantage for people who acquire the degree soon — until the number of DNP graduates increases, the demand for DNPs could outweigh the supply, potentially pushing salaries up.