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APRNs: Why The Time Is Right to Earn Your DNP

Posted by Marc Costanzo Monday, Mar. 7, 2016

Two nursing professionals sitting in front of a computer in a hospitalAs an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, you may feel like you’ve already reached a comfortable spot within your profession. So why is it more important than ever that you complete your education with the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree?

This is a top question we receive from APRNs who have pondered coming to Nebraska Methodist College to earn their DNP online. Today, we examine the issue in greater detail, explaining specifically why the APRN-DNP path is a sound choice for individuals who have the opportunity to take this journey.

1. Instant Credibility

For the first time in what feels like a long time, nurses’ voices are being heard in the upper echelons of the healthcare world, from regional hospital systems all the way to Capitol Hill. This is thanks in large part to the advent of the DNP and the status it confers.

The DNP is a terminal degree, so it portrays to other healthcare professionals an equal expertise in a given subject. No single doctorate degree is better than another, they’re just different. By reaching the terminal point in your education, you join the ranks of people who have achieved the same milestone in other areas.

This creates a certain level of camaraderie and provides the necessary footing to make real progress at a policy level. As a DNP-qualified nurse, you’re not just adapting to changes that arise over time; you’re sitting at the table with others who are the best and brightest in their respective fields, working together to bring about astonishing ideas that have the ability to reshape the very essence of care within society.

A bold idea? For sure. But also one that has real substance to it.

2. More Options, More Access

I think we can all agree that nursing has evolved at a tremendous rate in recent years. Call it the democratization of healthcare.

Previously, the role of care planning was assigned exclusively to the physician, while the Registered Nurse remained in the role of caretaker. That isn’t the case anymore. The dynamics of healthcare have shifted to accommodate the needs of the patient population, and that means an expanded role for the advanced practice registered nurse.

Where the Doctorate becomes valuable is in increasing your approachability to today’s modern patient, who has more choices than ever for their healthcare in the shadow of the Affordable Care Act.

3. No Duplication

Numerous individuals who have come off of the completion of their Master of Science in Nursing coursework feel like a marathoner crossing the finish line. In that moment, when your research-intensive project curriculum has been completed, the last thing you want to think about is doing it all over again.

Let’s get something out of the way: the DNP is not MSN redux. The emphasis is quite different. We assume that you already possess the necessary knowledge for success in your chosen advanced practice field. So we’re not going to cover the same topics and skills that you could, thanks to your skill level, teach your own course about if you wanted to.

Instead, our DNP will delve into the specifics of population care. The advanced concepts you learn will equip you to fill demanding leadership roles within healthcare while you simultaneously carry out the nursing practice you’ve committed yourself to throughout your career.

4. Finish What You Started

You’ve achieved success. In all honesty, given the current nursing shortage, you would have no problem maintaining your career at the level you’re at all the way up until retirement. There are more nursing job postings in this country than there are nurses who can fill them.

But have you always wanted something more? In just a couple short years, you could have the credentials to prove to yourself and the world that you’re one of the elite few who’s made it to the pinnacle of the nursing field.

Nurses have never been the type of people you could accuse of settling. And they now have the opportunity to reshape healthcare in an unprecedented way. Their voices are being heard. Your voice is being heard.

The time to attain your practice doctorate has arrived. You’ve been given the chance to do something truly incredible, and the path you walk today will stand as a testament to what all future nurses can accomplish if they set their minds to it.

Are you ready to join that cause?

Topics: nurse education, nursing, online education

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