APRNs should only be DNPs! - page 3

by Lovanurse | 7,983 Views | 22 Comments

Hi all! First, I want to say that I am NOT starting this thread to start a war. I am working on my very last assignment for my DNP/FNP (graduating 5/4). 1300 clinical hours were required for graduation and was completed in Peds,... Read More


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    I was honestly under the impression the DNP was made for more non-clinical roles. My mom will graduate with her DNP from a prestigious school in May. She works per diem clincially, but she is a full time nursing professor. She is getting her DNP because it's required to teach, not for any clinical reason. Most of the people in her class also seem to be mostly managers/educators/researchers. I know doctorate programs are tailored to each person, but my mom didn't do any specific clinicals for it. I guess it varies, but I've always seen it as a degree of educators and researchers, not clinical nurses.
    Lovanurse likes this.
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    The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) adds no new clinical content. It is a practice doctorate and not a clinical doctorate per se. Nursing practice incorporates the values and principles of nursing to skillfully assist clients (individuals, families, communities, health systems, nations) progress to their maximum potential. Therefore, DNP education reinforces and expands (advances) nursing knowledge application irregardless of the setting (clinical, administrative, political, etc.).

    In part, it grew out of a response to 2 landmark papers by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published in 2000 and 2001 where nursing was essentially urged to take on more leadership in healthcare in general. That healthcare, urged the IOM, should be evidence-based, serviced by a more educated workforce, and streamlined to bring research to practice in a more timely and efficient manner. Given that nursing comprises the largest sector of healthcare professionals, and the most trusted based on consumer surveys year after year, it made and makes sense to enlarge the training on this type of leadership among advanced practice nurses. Furthermore, masters level nursing (MSN) education continued and continues to require increasingly more credit and clinical hours. In fact, MSN programs often have as many or nearly as many credit hours as doctoral programs of other healthcare disciplines. Adding the leadership and evidence-based practice-focused courses to the already credit-packed MSN curriculum clearly justifies making them doctoral instead of unfairly limiting practitioners to MSN level while charging them for and requiring hours worthy of a doctorate.

    Having said all that, and these are merely just a few of the reasons for the necessity of DNP-level training, it is clear to me that non-clinical advanced practice nurses (meaning those not involved in direct clinical care) should also be included among DNPs. This is not a fluff degree. Sure, more clinical content would be beneficial for those in the clinical tracks. Yet this fact does not detract from the significance of the DNP to nursing practice specifically, and healthcare in general.
    chare likes this.
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    While I may be reiterating some of the above information, I believe the DNP role is what will eventually replace the ANP, GNP/FNP roles. Many universities are phasing out their ANP/FNP programs and going to a DNP program. I just graduated from UMASS Boston with my ANP/GNP Post-Master's Cert program. I could have continued on and completed the requirements for the DNP degree (they too updated their program offerings for the DNP), but at this point, after researching salaries, there is no real justification for doing so if you ask me. Not yet. As for requiring all NPs to have their DNP-I don't think that is necessary. Many NPs are very seasoned and experienced; and I think sticking to the NP label is adequate. I am finding that patients are confused by this label anyway. "you're a what?" I get that a lot. Anyway, my thoughts on the subject.


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