Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP): My Personal Proís and Conís - page 4

by juan de la cruz Guide

30,815 Views | 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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    What's the difference between the PhD and DNP? They aren't the same?

    And why is it so complicated? An MD is either an MD or DO, not this and this and this.....why isn't nursing the same?


    An MD is not, technically, a doctoral degree. It is a professional degree, as is the DNP. The JD, obtained by lawyers, is a Juris Doctor... again, it is a professional degree and not a doctorate. It is equivalent to a bachelor's degree in other countries (e.g. in the UK it is equivalent to the MBBS). Residency is graduate MD education. There are MDs and JDs who go back for further doctoral-level training and are MD PhDs and JD PhDs, respectively. Nursing wants to adopt this model.

    This is incorrect. Only 500 hours after completion of the master's degree? Not according to Baylor's curiculum for their FNP


    The University of Washington, as one instance, requires 1,000 hours for the DNP degree. However, I can apply my 700 Master's-level clinical hours towards my DNP. So, a DNP (in addition to the ridiculous coursework) would require only 300 clinical hours, which is slightly more than what I was doing every semester for my last two semesters of grad school. (And would probably add little to nothing to my clinical knowledge unless I were able to pick my clinical site and focus.)

    In any case, it certainly does not compare to physician training, though I wish it did in some respects.
    Cauliflower likes this.
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    I agree that the DNP ius a worthy goal, but for us bedside expert clinicians, it is a title for....WHAT? Any of us that read academic journal articles can understand research, I think. So shouldn't there be a ladder, if you will, to check off levels of clinical expertise, or clinical knowledge that ensures the clinician is REALLY a high level nursing practicioner? The key word here is practicioner. <Many of the DNPs I know have not set foot at the bedside and have not practiced in the real world for many years, possiblydecades! and they can continue holding the Title of Doctor of Nursing Practice??? That is complete bunk! I have hear the nursing students comment bitterly that their professors were totally clueless with regard to nursing practice reality. We can only blame ourselves if we supprt this fancy title but the title means nothing that is grounded.

    Although I do not have a DNP, I am an advaced practice clinician...and no. My Master's is in business, not nursing (I was burned out of nursing and the intitial theory classes borred me to death!) Now, I am sorry I did not complete that nursing degree, because even though I practice as an educator and as the pseudo CNS, I have been told, " You have the clinical background but so not have the intials." Does that make sense???? At least the staff I taught and mentors is a top notch group that really learned how to clinically and critically think!
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    Quote from apocatastasis
    I'm a new NP, received my Master's 3 months ago. I have no complaints about the clinical portion of my MSN program. But we would have been well-served with MORE than 700 clinical hours. I would love, and willingly pay for, a doctoral program that would provide me with additional didactic and clinical training in psychotherapy, neuroscience, and psychopharmacology. You know, USEFUL stuff that we're supposed to know.

    Would the DNP provide those experiences? Absolutely not, because this clinical/practice doctorate is neither clinical nor practical.
    Well said! I second this! I am a PMHNP. In the current controversial atmosphere surrounding DNP, I would go back for post-master FNP over DNP. At least, I get to expand my knowledge about the medical aspects of APRN. If I have to get DNP in order to add on specialty, then I will do it. But I would rather save the money and do it without getting the doctorate. I am willing to 2x tuition to take those courses (super-advanced psychopharm/more advanced neurobiology) in DNP program. If NPs does not want to teach them (I am sure they can), then hire PharmD, psychologist, or PhD or MD or whoever to teach! I am willing to pay to get a good education.

    Please don't get me wrong. I HIGHLY admire advanced practice nurses' ambition to upgrade their education to professional doctorate. It's about time! It is a very noble idea. But we need to increase our base knowledge in every aspect. Yes, nursing theories are our knowledge base. But remember that we have two types of knowledge in nursing (base knowledge and derived knowledge). The "derived" knowledge that we used DAILY in patient care was also "borrowed" from other discipline. Therefore, this portion of knowledge is needed to be expanded as well in doctorate level, especially in "clinical/practice doctorate."
    When pharmacists moved from BSpharm to doctorate, they add more pharmacotherapeutic courses in addition to more clinical hours to justify the doctorate elvel. Advanced practice nursing should do the same by adding more advanced course (eg. Seminars on special topics in pharmacology/neurobiology/obstetrics etc etc)

    Please do not look on the negative side of the emergence of DNP. We are already on the “right track” to be on par with other professional doctorates. Maybe we were just in the rush to create the doctorate program and we did not think it thru yet. The next step is to “at least” revise the curriculum to be more clinical focused by adding advanced didactic courses in the specialty in addition to more clinical hours. Nurse educators, please listen to us (prospective DNP students). Yes, EBP, epidemiology, and public health policy courses are great and awesome! However, please do not forget other skills that are necessary to become a more advanced & independent practitioner. Yes, APNs will independently create their own curriculum but please remember that other discipline (MD, PharmD, PA) are more than ready to critique/comment on our curriculum as well.
    Swellz, Cauliflower, and apocatastasis like this.
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    @suetje - to say that you function as a "pseudo-CNS" and "advanced practice clinician" I would be concerned about using these terms "CNS" is a protected title.

    I would sincerely hope that your hospital does not call you as an educator (which is a great and honorable title in itself) a CNS or "advanced practice clinician."
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    Quote from traumaRUs
    @suetje - to say that you function as a "pseudo-CNS" and "advanced practice clinician" I would be concerned about using these terms "CNS" is a protected title.

    I would sincerely hope that your hospital does not call you as an educator (which is a great and honorable title in itself) a CNS or "advanced practice clinician."
    That depends on the state, I would think.... "nurse" isn't even protected in every state.

    Title "Nurse" Protection
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    Quote from harmonizer
    Please do not look on the negative side of the emergence of DNP. We are already on the “right track” to be on par with other professional doctorates. Maybe we were just in the rush to create the doctorate program and we did not think it thru yet. The next step is to “at least” revise the curriculum to be more clinical focused by adding advanced didactic courses in the specialty in addition to more clinical hours. Nurse educators, please listen to us (prospective DNP students). Yes, EBP, epidemiology, and public health policy courses are great and awesome! However, please do not forget other skills that are necessary to become a more advanced & independent practitioner. Yes, APNs will independently create their own curriculum but please remember that other discipline (MD, PharmD, PA) are more than ready to critique/comment on our curriculum as well.
    Newbie here so please excuse me if I am out of line...

    It seems to me that one way the DNP could be improved is if it was turned into some kind of a specialists degree. For example: one could get their masters level FNP and then go onto a DNP specialization in Dermatology, oncology, etc. In this way you could incorporate the extra theory and management but also increase your clinical knowledge base. Does that make sense to anyone?
    mph55, Cauliflower, and sandnnw like this.
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    Quote from SycamoreStudent
    Newbie here so please excuse me if I am out of line...

    It seems to me that one way the DNP could be improved is if it was turned into some kind of a specialists degree. For example: one could get their masters level FNP and then go onto a DNP specialization in Dermatology, oncology, etc. In this way you could incorporate the extra theory and management but also increase your clinical knowledge base. Does that make sense to anyone?
    Adding specialized course is another great way to improve the DNP curriculum. However, they can just simply increase the clinical content in the basic curriculum. Many schools already have 2-course sequence of pharmacology and pathophysiology. All state boards can just increase the requirement from 3 credits to 6 credits of patho and 6 credits of pharm. There are lots to learn from these courses and one 3 credit course is not enough. We had 2 courses of patho at our school and I love the fact that we have opportunities to learn more in details. In addition to this, they can increase the pharmacology course within specialty eg. pharmacology for WHNP, pharmacology for ACNP just like PMHNP programs that requires psychopharmacology. They can also increases the clinical courses within the existing specialties without further specialization eg. neurobiology for PMHNP, consult-liaison roles for PMHNP, reproductive physiology for WHNP, applied biochemistry for nurse practitioners, Genetics and Genomics for nurse practitioners etc..etc.. Special topics in___ etc etc..
    apocatastasis likes this.
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    Great post.

    I am in the process of finishing my BSN with the end goal of NP.

    Of the two two major universities in my state, both have, or are in the process of phasing out MN in favor of DNP-focused programs.
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    DNP programs not very sophisticated. They are like Master's prepared programs. Waste of money at this time.
    apocatastasis and mrmedical like this.
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    Glad readers are still discussing. The main reason why I wrote this article is to share my thoughts on how a DNP would fit with my goals. Clearly, I am not convinced it does. It should be an individual decision for anyone. As there is no mandatory requirement for APN's to get a DNP, the more reason for us to make it an optional route.


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