Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP): My Personal Proís and Conís - page 2

by juan de la cruz Guide

28,294 Visits | 56 Comments

The Doctor of Nursing Practice or DNP degree has been one of the biggest buzzwords in Advanced Practice Nursing. The mere mention of it creates a stir of emotions and strong opposing opinions perhaps of the same magnitude as the... Read More


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    Quote from traumaRUs
    Excellent article Juan - you have hit the nail on the head. The business degree is the way to go IMHO. I actually was enrolled in a dual MSN/MBA but dropped the MBA part because business was soooo boring. However, 7 years later I deeply regret it. Like you, I'm an experienced clinician, I've done over 1100 hours of clinical for my two CNS certificates and I've been a practicing APN since 2006. However, I would like more of a business focus as I (like you) feel that APNs need a business focus in order to succeed.
    To be honest, I'm not sure how much useful knowledge an MBA, in most cases, would confer. An accounting degree — maybe. An MBA is more of a checkoff item if your applying for a corporate management position, but I think corporate managers for the past ten years or so have gotten over the idea that having an MBA necessarily makes one a good manager.

    You can get a roughly equivalent education from books.
    gkash, myelin, and a016202 like this.
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    herring_RN likes this.
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    In Florida, a physician assistant can sit for the exam after receiving an associate degree, and have a similar scope of practice to an FNP. I wonder how the AMA feels about that.

    (I realize that their issue here is the "must practice under the supervision of a licensed medical doctor" part. But NPs in some states have a lot of autonomy.)
    SE_BSN_RN likes this.
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    There is nothing wrong with an associate degree PA. All associate degree PA programs require minimum 4,000 hours of prior, high level experience (nurse, emt, rt) and most are in the 10,000 range. So might say they are better than master prepared PAs. Also they have the class and clinical requirements as a masters degree PA (minimum 2,000 hours of clinical) minus a research project. They still take research though.
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    Quote from AbeFrohman
    There is nothing wrong with an associate degree PA. All associate degree PA programs require minimum 4,000 hours of prior, high level experience (nurse, emt, rt) and most are in the 10,000 range. So might say they are better than master prepared PAs. Also they have the class and clinical requirements as a masters degree PA (minimum 2,000 hours of clinical) minus a research project. They still take research though.
    I think in California you need 2000 hours of clinical experience. In Florida I don't know if there is any specific requirement, though one school that offers the AS in PA wants you to have a few hundred hours of some kind of experience (such as, as a volunteer) before they'll really consider your application. I don't know whether their program has a capstone course. As long as you pass the PANCE with a good score, I'm not sure that it matters which type of degree you have -- or a certificate.

    I wonder, though, whether the physician community is as critical of PAs as it is of NPs.
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    A Gross Simplification

    The thing that PA programs have going for themselves is the PA part of it is the same, no matter if it's a AS,BS, or MS. The curriculum is standardized. We as a group can't even decide what a DNP program really is. There are now DNP programs for management and education. Have nothing to do with being an NP. Every other profesion that I've looked at at least has a base standard for their doctoral level. Everything from Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, And health care PT and OT and PharmD. Only nurses have stepped into this nebulous area called a "practice Doctorate".

    The physician community isn't up in arms over the PA's because (simplified version) they aren't competition. They as a group aren't trying to go at it alone. The fight that the APN community is having is because nurses have felt for years that they need to be autonomous. The nurse union doesn't feel that they need to be beholding to an MD. As a group PA's are content were they are at. They are making plenty of $$, and get to do what they want. They also don't have the same limitations that we as nurses have placed on ourselves. If a PA want's to change specialties, they just find someone to hire and train them. Don't have to go back to school and get another degree or certificate.

    I enjoyed the article. My problem with the DNP is it being the entry level to APN. As a natural progression and specialization, I have no problems with it. Like the Doctoral PA programs. They aren't entry level they are progression and specialization. I think the comments that are made about the clinical component have to do with the perceived issue of lack of quality clinical in APN programs today. Unfortunately this is somewhat of a smoke screen. I've seen MD residents skate through their residencies and never real learn what they are supposed to, and I've seen RN's doing informal clinical as they are working though NP school adding many uncounted hours of clinical. Hell I've seen ICU nurses who have taken their whole career as a clinical and know as much as the residents do even before going to ACNP program.

    DNP is something that is here to stay. And like Juan said there are a lot of things that still have to be determined.
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    CraigB — great post. The only quibble I have is that some PAs really would like to be more independent, and one MD student blamed their lack of independence on the successful efforts of nursing lobbyists to keep PAs directly under a physician's supervision.

    That conspiratorial idea is a bit far fetched, given the lack of success nursing lobbyists have had in doing much of use for nurses themselves.
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    Well being married to a PA and teaching clinical skills to PA students. I have a prejudice I admit. Yes there are PAs that would like to be more independent, just like there are NPs who are happy the way things are.
    Cauliflower and Cold Stethoscope like this.
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    Quote from Cold Stethoscope
    To be honest, I'm not sure how much useful knowledge an MBA, in most cases, would confer. An accounting degree — maybe. An MBA is more of a checkoff item if your applying for a corporate management position, but I think corporate managers for the past ten years or so have gotten over the idea that having an MBA necessarily makes one a good manager.

    You can get a roughly equivalent education from books.
    I'll disagree. An MBA might not guarantee that you're a good manager but it provides you with much needed business info and skills, even if you plan on hiring a practice manager, accounting person, etc.. My MBA program was not boring as another poster mentioned. I chose an executive MBA program as I wanted to be taught by practicing professionals and not by a bunch of theory experts. To get into my program you had to be 30 years old (one 29 yr old got in because he owned his own company) and have business experience. Imagine how much I learned from participating with all my classmates vs a bunch of 20 yr olds who never did anything. Even the dean of our business school was a well-known consultant, and incidentally, a member of the London Circle of Magicians!
    traumaRUs likes this.
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    I'm familiar with the Executive MBA program at the University of Chicago by proxy. My friend completed the program, and her classmates were mostly executives from large eastern and midwestern companies. What a school like that gives you is a recognized, prestigious name that might open some doors; a network of people in mid- to upper-management in large corporations; and some useful knowledge, especially if you have no formal business education. (She already had a business degree from Cornell.) All in all, it's not clear to me what the gain was in the end in terms of her actual career.

    I also know someone who was an engineer, went through one of the top entrepreneurial MBA programs (Babson), and wound up going back into engineering. She eventually moved into a management role, but I think should could have done the same without the MBA, as many of her peers did.

    I dated a woman while she was getting her MBA at Northeastern (her employer paid for it). She was super-smart. I don't think she was very challenged. (She wound up going on for her CPA certification.)

    I know a superstar in marketing who got her MBA at Sloan (MIT) and wound up making a killing when her company went public, but I'm not sure that her degree made her much more super than she already was.

    Those are my anecdotes.

    "Was Earning that Harvard MBA Worth It?" (NYT, 2006)

    Maybe so, but at the cost of losing a couple of years of salary and a huge tuition bill, if you're paying.

    I would certainly look askance at an on-line MBA program.


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