DNP- Doctor of Nursing Practice 

Doctor of Nursing Practice shortened as DNP is a terminal degree after completing the highest education level in the nursing field.   Most nursing schools require applicants to have a Master’s degree in nursing because the doctoral degree program builds on MSN curricula. It is only a few that accept students with a BSN degree. 

Most DNP programs emphasize the areas supporting nursing leadership, such as quality improvement, data-driven decision making, and quality improvement.   Nurse Doctorate (ND) and Doctor of Nursing Science whose common reference is a Ph.D. in nursing are the other terminal degrees in nursing. It is a preference for people who want their nursing career to be in research and education.   DNP delivers practice-based training on clinical applications at a higher level of [pms-restrict subscription_plans=”6590,6643,6641″] nursing. 

Fundamental basics   of DNP  

A doctorate program in nursing takes 4-6 years to complete.  Learners spend much time studying the area of research that they choose. Students with resources time, motivation, and self-discipline have a chance to complete the program sooner.     The education and degree after completing a DNP degree propel someone further in career. 

Although it is not the only requirement for an advanced nursing role, a DNP contributes significantly to moving into nursing leadership roles.   The knowledge is essential for advancing career on the clinical side, just like a nursing PhD helps in teaching and research. DNP is the right pathway if you are a nurse who wants to work at the management or executive level. 

Types of DNP Degrees  

DNP degrees are in these four different types for students to choose one that leads to   their preferred area of specialization. 

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP): Emphasizes on training for clinical practice-oriented leadership. 

 Doctor of Nursing (ND): ND focuses on developing skills for an advanced specialist.  

 Doctor of Nursing Science (DNSc):  DNSc transfers investigative and research skills.  

 Doctor of Nursing Philosophy (PhD): Emphasizes on scholarly inquiry and research. 

There are also DNP programs for students with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) but do not have an MSN degree.  Prospective students for the above programs should have all the qualifications that meet the strict prerequisites of the program. These programs enable students to earn these joint degrees: 

 BSN-Ph.D: A degree for BSN holders who plan to become nursing teachers and researchers. 

 MSN/Ph.D:  A degree program that awards a master’s and doctorate at the same time in an accelerated program. 

 It is important to consider that DNP is a practice doctorate that teaches students to use research for influencing practice in the clinical setting. The difference with PhD is that the research for the second degree is for reporting the findings of independent research. 

Fitness for DNP Program 

Doctorate programs accept few students who can handle the advanced level education and much commitment.    Some of the considerations to think about before applying for a DNP program are: 

  • Personality traits like self-motivation, time management and ability to manage stress 
  • Career goals 
  • Finances to fund education and research  
  • Time to study

 Some students prefer to take their DNP class on campus as they can interact with peers and learn from them. The online DNP program is a better option for students with restrictions on time to attend classes and finances. 

 Reasons to Earn a DNP  

  1. Opportunity to improve healthcare 

 Many nurses pursue a doctorate to use the gained knowledge for impacting on their communities and medical health with better care skills. 

  1. Better job opportunities  

There is much demand for nurses who earn a doctorate, and it is expected to keep on rising in the next decade. The reason is that there are many health issues and an aging population that requires the input of highly trained nurses.  Enrolling for DNP makes nurses more marketable now and in the coming years. 

  1. Higher Pay  

 DNP is an advanced degree that allows working in a position with better pay.  Graduating with a DNP degree is a reason to earn a higher salary because the program is incredibly challenging. The danced practice roles also create a reason for better compensation as there are few if any nurses with a DNP degree in healthcare facilities. 

 How do DNP Degree Holder Use their Skills   

Many job roles and opportunities for holders of a DNP degree do not always involve hands-on nursing.  The type of doctorate that someone also earns factors into the kind of work that someone can do. For instance, a nurse executive position at a hospital or clinic related more to a DNP holder that doctor of philosophy degree whose training is more about scholarly research. 

Here are some of the career paths and responsibilities for nurses working at hospitals after getting a DNP degree. 

  • Leadership roles in patient care  
  • Management of other nurses and staff
  • Conducting research  
  • Development of procedures and policies  
  • Educating the patients and the public about health care issues

DNP Salary Prospects 

Nurses with DNP degree earn more than their counterparts with an MSN or BSN. Their salaries vary depending on these factors: 

  • The facility, state, and city where a nurse works  
  • Experience  
  • Level of seniority  
  • The chosen sub-specialty  

 It is important to take the factors above into account when finding a job that fits the status of doctorate holder.  It might also be essential to take an extra step to contact employers in your specialty to a better outlook of the earning potential. 

 However, there are general trends about the nursing careers that advanced registered nurse practitioners earn up to $111,870 annually is developed countries like the United States. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics project that salary for nurses, in general, will rise by 22% up to 2022 with those who hold the highest degree earning more. 

 The median annual salary that nurse practitioners across the United States make is $103,880.  The amount breaks down to earning $9.94 per hour. This amount is not always specific for NPs with a DNP degree as most of them to earn higher salaries.  The practicing NPs in the top jobs can make up to $145,630 per year.  

A nurse with a doctorate has reached the top of nursing education. The best way of advancing a career after reaching the pinnacle of education is to work in a position that involves solving challenges, education communities, advocacy, and policy making.