I just graduated from a Master entry into nursing practice program and just got licensed as an RN. I've got a Veteran's grant for any state school in Illinois that will pay for my doctorate. I've applied to the PhD Program at University of Illinois - Chicago. I think that I've been accepted to it but official word is being mailed soon. I just asked a professor buddy (I think he's a research psychologist) about the salary ranges of PhD's and his tone was to encourage me to go for the DNP and that I should only go for the PhD if I'm "200% sure I want to do research". I really think of myself as a thinker and would like to contribute to the field of psychoneuroimmonlogy and research in Complimentary & Alternative Therapy (CAT). However, my buddy was encouraging me to look at the reality of things and how the clinical route will be a more definite, higher salary.
I looked at salary.com and found that the median salary of a nursing professor
is $86,680/year when the Nurse Practitioner median salary
is $96,056. So I think it's safe to say that on average, a DNP's going to make about $10,000/year more than a PhD does.
However, I kind of think of myself as the intellectual/thinking type that has a lot of good ideas and insights that are very useful for research. I've had multiple professors tell me that my personality is best suited for research. I tend to agree with them.
So, since I've gone with this hunch and have been accepted to a PhD program I think that I'm going to go with that. Do you think I'll be seriously kicking myself down the line by going the research route? I mean, in a clinical setting, I'd have a doctorate but still would be not considered to be on the same level as the DNP. Do PhD's get an unspoken respect that distinguishes them from the average RN?