A Doctor of Nursing Practice or DNP is a terminal degree, meaning that it’s the highest degree a nurse can earn. This terminal degree gives nurses the opportunity to advance their career and take on leadership positions in their field, such as becoming a nurse practitioner. A DNP program incorporates clinical development with research and academic studies. Most DNP applicants either go straight into the program after completing their master’s degree or earning their bachelor’s degree in nursing. Coursework varies depending upon the institution and specialty area but typically involves advanced nursing practice and disease treatment. If you are looking to take your nursing career to the next level, then a DNP program could be the right fit for you.
Advance Your Career
A DNP degree is an expensive and time-consuming process. However, having a doctoral degree can open you up to a wide range of leadership roles and career opportunities in public health. Many DNP graduates often become nurse educators or nursing directors at hospitals, conduct research, or open their own practice. Nursing experts suggest that there will be a shortage of nurses with this kind of advanced degree and set of skills, making DNP graduates a lot more desirable to employers.
If you are concerned about the cost of tuition for a DNP degree, you may consider DNP programs online. An online program may be a better fit with your budget and provide greater flexibility for working adults. Online courses give you the option to pursue your higher education on a part-time basis or through a full-time option. Advancing your career goals shouldn’t put you into debt, and online classes help to make it more affordable.
Increase Your Salary
In addition to a career boost, earning a DNP degree may also give your salary a boost. Nursing is an incredibly stable profession. On average, nurses with a bachelor’s degree earn around $60,000 per year, nurses with a master’s degree earn roughly $80,000, and those with a DNP may earn over a $100,000 annually. So while a salary increase shouldn’t be your main motivation behind getting a DNP degree, it’s nice to know the academic investment may be worth it financially.
Influence Health Care Policies
Having a doctoral degree gives you substantial credibility—an essential component needed in influencing public health policy. While having a DNP isn’t usually required in order to serve on a board, having one can demonstrate your qualifications to other professionals. You can use both your clinical experience as a nurse in the field and the knowledge gleaned from your DNP to help facilitate positive change within the health care system and foster better outcomes for the industry.
Understand the Latest Research
Getting a DNP degree can help you stay informed and up-to-date on current research in nursing, which you can then apply in a clinical setting. In addition to research, you will also learn about the latest technological developments in the medical field and how to implement these new technologies into your own nursing practice. Merging the academic world and the clinical environment is one the best parts about a DNP program. The coursework allows you to apply the medical knowledge you’ve learned to real-life situations.
Have the Chance to Teach
We are at a critical point in nurse education. There are not enough nurse educators available in nearly every corner of the United States to teach the next generation of nurses. Due to this shortage of nurse educators, thousands of prospective nurses are denied acceptance to schools because there just aren’t enough teachers to accommodate the influx of students. With a DNP, you can help fix this issue and become a nurse educator and teach future nurses.