Should I do NP or DNP in the near future?

  1. 0
    I know that the DNP degree is replacing the NP in the near future.

    I'm thinking of starting an NP program after I've had a year or so of hospital experience after completing my MSN, which will mean that I'll be applying to NP schools by the end of 2010.

    Will it still be a good idea to go for the NP at that late date? Or will it make more sense to prepare for the change by getting a DNP instead?
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  4. 1
    Quote from Joe NightingMale
    I know that the DNP degree is replacing the NP in the near future.

    I'm thinking of starting an NP program after I've had a year or so of hospital experience after completing my MSN, which will mean that I'll be applying to NP schools by the end of 2010.

    Will it still be a good idea to go for the NP at that late date? Or will it make more sense to prepare for the change by getting a DNP instead?
    The proposed date for implementation of the DNP as entry to advanced practice is the year 2015. On the NP front, there already exist programs that accept post-bachelor's degree NP students into a DNP degree granting program bypassing the traditional MSN program we know at the current time. However, there is still a vast majority that only offer the DNP as a post-master's option for master's prepared NP's already in practice.

    If you foresee that your graduation date from a NP program is before 2015, my personal opinion is that getting a DNP is not really necessary and will only prolong your timeline towards finishing a program and being certified. I assume, many DNP completion programs for master's degree prepared NP will continue to remain available beyond the year 2015 so you will still have the option to obtain the degree by then.

    On another note, many in NP circles (at least in my neck of the woods) are now hesitant to pursue the DNP route at the present time due to the many controversies surrounding the proposed certification for DNP's and the animosity being displayed towards the implications of this degree by those in the medical profession. The word is that most would like to see how this pans out and let the dust settle first before they proceed.
    Joe NightingMale likes this.
  5. 3
    Despite all the people talking about this like it's a done deal, the proposal to make the DNP a requirement to become an NP is still just that, a proposal -- nothing is official yet, and, as you know if you've been reading about this, there's a lot of controversy about the whole business, on many levels.

    If it were me, I would choose to not be a guinea pig in this particular experiment ...
    globalRN, PICUPNP, and Joe NightingMale like this.
  6. 1
    Joe:

    I'm currently in the midst of a direct-entry program at "the other school". The current program ends with a MSN. We have been offered the option to switch directly into the DNP program and at this time...no one has done it.

    I can see both "sides" of the issue (and so can the entire class). I would eventually like to get a DNP and since I'm a bit older, I'd prefer to just get it done without going through the trauma and PITA of re-applying (and possibly not being accepted) to the school I just left.

    The other side is just what pinoyNP stated. There is a whirlwind of opposition to the DNP from the AMA and that doesn't bode well for the degree (particularly in Illinois).

    I've heard arguments before and against pursing a DNP from many current NPs and I don't have enough information to really make a decision at this point. Which means I'm staying with the MSN unless a revelation changes my mind. It also will depend a great deal on where I work as an RN while I finish the current program. If I don't get 100% tuition reimbursement, no way I'm going to pony up money for the DNP.
    Joe NightingMale likes this.
  7. 3
    Look, I'm starting my DNP program next month. I had applied to a DNP school and an NP school. I work with many NP's and most of the older, wiser, more experienced NP's said to go for the DNP. The younger ones said don't, just get your NP and be done with it. I wrestled with it for a couple of months.

    The DNP is a year longer and almost double the clinical hours. The wiser NP's said they had wished they had had more clinical hours during their schooling. Besides, can you be trained too much? I am an ER nurse and I see a lot of stuff, but I still see new stuff all the time; additional clinical hours will help you!

    Another reason for the DNP is that many more doors will open to you; administration, teaching, management, etc.. The current economy provides a tough job market, even for nurses. You will be regarded on a higher level.

    The hardest thing that I see is that the expectations are so high. Doctors that I work with will be watching me to see how a nursing prepared doctorate differs from a masters level. The nursing model and the medical model are different. Quite frankly, I prefer the medical model, but my situation is that I can't go to med school with a family and having to work full-time. I can go to DNP school.

    I think that 10 years from now, getting your DNP will put you ahead of the field.
    MUUGUZI, Joe NightingMale, and StaRNew like this.
  8. 1
    One more thing....going back to school after your master's to obtain a DNP will be even harder. I work with someone who is doing that right now! She was emphatic that I get my DNP and not just my masters. You may have kids, want to travel, etc... Just get your DNP and be done with it.
    Joe NightingMale likes this.
  9. 1
    The DNP will give you more clinical hours, but they are hours used in completing the research project (EBN) for the program. These will not be hours spent in managing patients. Get your NP. It is doubtful as to whether or not the DNP will come with an increase in pay. Good Luck!
    Joe NightingMale likes this.
  10. 0
    Quote from PICUPNP
    The DNP will give you more clinical hours, but they are hours used in completing the research project (EBN) for the program. These will not be hours spent in managing patients. Get your NP. It is doubtful as to whether or not the DNP will come with an increase in pay. Good Luck!

    This depends entirely on the school. University of Pittsburgh and Columbia both require residencies in the DNP as more clinical time. You don't get to count hours for a research project.
  11. 0
    Agreed that some DNP programs tie in with master's programs in which you learn the majority of clinical information. The DNP has a different focus, e.g. synthesizing research, policy, leadership, understanding and utilizing evidence-based practice. I have seen some DNP programs that have well defined clinical tracks however many are more generic, and assume you have the clinical basis from the master's program. The DNP program I am in has been very helpful, but different from my master's program in that respect. Best of luck!
  12. 2
    The DNP program should ABSOLUTELY require more clinical hours! As far as I'm concerned they should require 500 clinical hours IN EACH FIELD! I completed more than 3X as many clinical hours as my counterparts, since I completed 3 programs and I feel like I could have used MORE!

    WHY even have a DNP program if you're not required to complete more training? They should have to complete 3,000 clinical hours At LEAST! Writing papers is NOT taking care of patients - PLEASE tell me these programs are not set up this way!
    jjjoy and PICUPNP like this.


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