Adv Degree - IOM Future of Nursing - What should I go for now?

  1. Good evening,
    I am looking to go back to school in Spring 2012 in New York for an Advanced Degree. Recently in October the IOM reported The Future of Nursing. I read about 100 pages... essentially they want us nurses to have the FULL extent of education. That I agree and do not have a problem with. What my issue is - is that I do not know what to go for right now in the midst of all these changes.

    I do not want to go back to school to get my masters to become an NP, then have to go back to get my DNP if it is going to be required. I am trying to find the most cost-effective and the most efficient path for me.

    My Questions are:
    Will earning a DNP be absolutely required in the future?
    Can I practice as an NP while being DNP prepared?
    Should I go back to school for masters or doctorate now?

    I need advice. Please advise. Thank you for your help and time =)
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    About NYCRN6

    Joined: Jul '07; Posts: 88; Likes: 18
    Registered Nurse
    Specialty: 4 year(s) of experience in Oncology, Dermatology, Cardiology


  3. by   basixhcir
    Hi, I am actually going through a similar situation as you now. I am working as a RN for a little bit now and been thinking about grad school. I am thinking about getting into a NP program, also debating about the MPH program as well.

    I talked to my professor about the DNP program. It is a movement that the nursing profession is trying to up their standard of practice for advance practice nurses. In the hospitals of NYC, majority of them no longer hire associate degree nurses and if you are hired as an associate RN, you must enroll in some form of education program working toward getting your BSN. What my professor told me was that as of now, they do want to up the standard of practice for NP to DNP; however, its an unrealistic movement as of now due to inadequate DNP programs out there to accommodate all these changes. Also, my concern for the DNP program is that this level of nursing practice does create a lot of confusion of the role between a medical doc vs. nursing. DNP is too new of a program, I dont know what to expect ahead of this. If the DNP is stepping across the line to medicine, I am sure there will be criticism from the medicine side. What i was told was that under the New York State Law, there is no difference between practicing as a NP vs. DNP. So dont forget, there are questions about the scope of practice for DNP.
    Last edit by basixhcir on Dec 26, '10
  4. by   NYCRN6
    Thanks for your post. Do you practice in New York?

    I think DNP is a great degree and probably for our lifetime we will be explaining what our role is.
    It will be embedded into our culture as we get older and more people will accept the scope of practice.

    I really just don't want to go back to school TWICE and that's what I feel like will happen. In NYC there aren't any graduate programs for bachelor prepared nurses to jump into a BSN - DNP program; only if you have a masters.

    I don't know if I should be looking at distance learning for a DNP program that accepts BSN graduates.
  5. by   traumaRUs
    Currently, although some schools seem to think the DNP is the way to go, there is NO DIFFERENCE in the scope of practice between an MSN APN and a DNP APN.
  6. by   NYCRN6
    I think a lot of what DNP is - is leadership courses and also the most terminal degree in nursing (in addition to PhD). Instead of not having patient contact they can use the evidence based practice that the PhD prepared nurses have researched and put it into practice clinically. At least that is what I got from the NYU Nursing Program Open House.

    Again, I just don't want to go back to school twice if this is required in the future.. or will I be grand"mothered" into this process since we are in midst of change?

    I feel like everything I do is always in a midst of change!!!
    For one example... as a graduate nurse in 2007 trying to find a job in MA at the beginning of the economic crisis. Awful!
  7. by   NYCRN6
    another thing i have been looking at is duke university's bsn to dnp program.... it looks pretty impressive. i live in nyc and they require you to be on campus 3-4 weekends a year and that is it.

    what are your thoughts?
  8. by   basixhcir
    Most of nursing schools in NYC (NYU and Columbia) do reqiure you to have MSN prior to DNP programs. I do know that Hunter is working toward getting their BSN to DNP program (its going to be a 4 years full time program)approve by the state now. Hopefully this program will be available soon, by Fall 2011.
  9. by   basixhcir
    I found this article - I think this reflects a lot of the conflicts that we discussed here b/t DNP vs MD.
  10. by   Christen, ANP
    I am about 50/50 planning on going back for my PhD or DNP one day, more because I want the terminal degree and the knowledge that goes with it than because I feel like I'll be made to. I've just gotta find someone to pay for it!

    My opinion - NPs and other APNs who hold an MSN will be grandfathered in. I say this based on the previous trends in nursing. There are still certificate / diploma prepared NPs who are practicing who were grandfathered in - sure some went back, but ultimately it was a choice not a requirement. I think this is what will happen with APNs. All will be grandfathered in (there's just no way to make this mandatory in the near future, not enough schools), and some will choose to go back (like me!).
  11. by   NYCRN6
    Thanks for the article. I read it, and ALSO the comments.

    It is pretty sad how some student and experienced doctors think of NP's.
    They must not work in a great institution because NP's are highly looked upon here.

    If I were anyone here I would stand up for your nursing profession and respond to these ignorant angry people.
  12. by   NYCRN6
    I also think of college loans as well. It scares me to think that when I get out I will have possibly 10-100K student loans (depending on grad school I attend, if I can work FT or PT, my institution's reimbursement program, etc). Most likely I will be making 120K ish when I get out ni NYC (maybe higher).

    Then I have to think of a house, kids..... which I have none yet, but have been saving aggressively for a house since I graduated 3 years ago.

    I just don't want to be neck deep in debt!!!

    I really think the education is worth it though!