DNP vs. PhD - page 2

Just curious, with all of this DNP talk does anyone think that less people will go for the PhD now. We have so few PhDs as it is I just wonder what will happen with existing nursing doctorates. And... Read More

  1. by   marineRN
    I am currently in an FNP and plan on going for DNP when finished. I believe that the natural transition will be for DNPs to work as professors in their chosen fields. Any other option is not rational. Who teaches MDs? other MDs not PhDs. With a DNP becoming mandatory by 2015, eventually NPs with PhDs will eventually fade out. Who will go for a DNP then a PhD to teach? PhDs should teach the theory and research classes but the clinical classes should be taught by DNPs, any other argument will only made done by those with PhDs who are protecting their turf.

    MarineRN
  2. by   elkpark
    Quote from marineRN
    I am currently in an FNP and plan on going for DNP when finished. I believe that the natural transition will be for DNPs to work as professors in their chosen fields. Any other option is not rational. Who teaches MDs? other MDs not PhDs. With a DNP becoming mandatory by 2015, eventually NPs with PhDs will eventually fade out. Who will go for a DNP then a PhD to teach? PhDs should teach the theory and research classes but the clinical classes should be taught by DNPs, any other argument will only made done by those with PhDs who are protecting their turf.

    MarineRN
    Yes, but one problem is that, as mentioned earlier, it remains v. unclear whether DNP-prepared people will be eligible for tenure at many universities or will be permanently relegated to "second class citizen" status within faculties. At the last university in which I taught in the undergrad BSN program (with my lowly little MSN ), a few years ago, this was already being discussed and the pronouncement from the uni administration was that DNP-prepared people would not be eligible for tenure; they would be permanent "serfs and peons" (my term, not the uni administration's ) like us MSN folks. And this was a run-of-the-mill, not-particularly-distinguished state uni, not a "big name" or particularly rigorous school.

    All doctoral degrees are not created equal -- while universities are falling all over themselves to offer DNPs, it remains to be seen how they will receive them when the people who have taken those degrees want to return to teach.

    If you look at the documentation about the development of the DNP concept, the original purpose was to create clinicians, not academics. Of course, some will teach, just as many of us MSN-prepared APNs teach, but it's not at all clear that they will have any higher status in academia than we MSN folks do.

    (And, BTW, many of the MDs who teach in medical schools do also have PhDs.)
  3. by   UVA Grad Nursing
    I think that the potential for tenure will depend on the University. My school (the University of Virginia) has graduated several cohorts of DNPs. Some of these are on faculty at other universities. Two alum from our first cohort are fulltime faculty at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. Faculty at JMU teach 12 credits per term, and there is no expectation of research. Because their nursing school there is primarily focused on education, DNP-prepared faculty are eligible for tenure.

    However at universities where research is expected, that will be a key consideration for tenure. DNP programs do not prepare graduates for NIH-level funding (which is considered the 'gold standard' in nursing research). That is a central element of PhD programs.
  4. by   marineRN
    But if you stop and think about it.....there is NO other choice. In 2015 ALL NPs will be graduating on the Doctoral level. One must be an NP to teach NPs. Previously there was another option.......MSN NPs with a PhD in something else. Now the entry level NP will be doctoral. I do not know about you, but I highly doubt there are too many who are going to go for a PhD after getting a DNP. So after 10 to 20 years when the PhDs are retiring they will be FORCED to have DNPs as full fledge faculty. What other option is there? They(academic administrators) will leave themselves with NO other option. All of the DNPs will only have to get together and say we are NOT going to get a PhD and you WILL give us tenure. What option are they going to have?????? Have PhDs who are not advance practice nurses teaching? Can you imagine if in Med school(A clinical degree) they had PhDs teaching and not MDs??? Like I said, regardless of what they say now they are going to make it where they have NO choice by demanding all NPs to be DNPs....HAHAHAHHA!!! I do not know how they will be able to avoid it.

    ~MarineRN
  5. by   sirI
    In 2015 ALL NPs will be graduating on the Doctoral level.
    This isn't correct. Right now, the DNP is just a vision. It has not become a requirement for all APNs to have. This very well may become the terminal degree, but that remains to be seen.
  6. by   marineRN
    Thats not correct???? It is my understanding that it has already been decreed by the nursing gods. I know that the programs where I live (DFW) have it set where it is changing at that point. Am I misinformed on this?
  7. by   llg
    Quote from marineRN
    But if you stop and think about it.....there is NO other choice.
    ~MarineRN
    Just because someone is hired to teach ... doesn't mean they get tenure. Tenure is a "benefit" that is granted by the university to faculty members who have proven themselves worthy of the honor and privilege. Most faculty members don't have it.
  8. by   marineRN
    Right....but what other people have stated is that those with DNPs will not be allowed to earn tenure. I know that not all get it....what I am saying is that they will eventually have to give it to them unless they are going to have a whole department of faculty inelligible for tenure. At which point all they (DNPs) will have to do is get together and say that they must afford them the same opportunities as the rest (simple supply and demand). What other option will they have? I think it is silly that they are going to make all NPs/CRNAs be degreed on the doctoral level, but after doing so they will be forced to use them as faculty for the same programs b/c in short order there will be no NPs with PhDs. Not to mention, with the shortage of faculty in the forseeable future they will be in little position to snear at any doctoral prepared nurse who so wishes to earn 50k at their institution of higher learning.

    ~MarineRN
  9. by   marineRN
    Taken directly from www.aacn.nche.edu:

    1. Who will teach DNP students since the role is considered advanced practice?


      Many of those who currently teach in advanced practice programs will be involved in teaching DNP students, particularly at the beginning level. There will be components of the DNP which will demand doctorally prepared faculty. As programs move forward with development, arrangements will have to be made for joint appointments or articulation agreements. Master's-prepared faculty teaching in APRN programs will have the option to complete the DNP, enhancing their standing within the university and increasing the number of faculty qualified to teach in the DNP program.

    2. What about the opportunity for tenure and promotion for faculty with a DNP?

      Though primarily an institutional decision, AACN is confident that a DNP faculty member will compete favorably with other practice doctorates in tenure and promotion decisions, as is the case in law, education, audiology, physical therapy, pharmacy, criminal justice, public policy and administration, public health, and other disciplines. AACN data from 2009 show that doctoral students who also teach are just as likely to have a DNP as a PhD. This indicates that graduates of both types of doctoral programs are finding teaching positions.

    3. How will DNP graduates be prepared to assume the nurse educator role?

      Though a doctorate is the appropriate degree for a faculty role, the DNP program is not designed to prepare educators per se, any more than a PhD does. Graduates from all doctoral programs (PhD or DNP) who wish to be educators should have additional preparation that adds pedagogical skills to their base of clinical practice.
    And lets face it the AACN is the one calling the shots as they are the one who credentials....they will be professors and they will be elligible for tenure...no ifs ands or buts about it.

    ~MarineRN
  10. by   marineRN
    also......

    how can we justify efforts to develop the dnp when we have an acute faculty shortage? should we focus on increasing faculty salaries rather than the dnp?

    nursing cannot continue to have large numbers of faculty in full-time academic positions without doctorates. one of the frustrating aspects in today's world of academic nursing is the fact that we have been so slow in moving this agenda forward. nursing permits a culture which is accepting of limited educational credentials in a variety of settings. in universities it is increasingly difficult to develop the kind of clinical scholarship and maintain the kind of credibility necessary for first rate programs without a higher level of education among our faculty. the faculty shortage is compounded by the fact that salaries in the academic setting have not kept pace with the service setting. we cannot expect improved salaries until we improve the educational level. the dnp will foster a more highly educated faculty workforce.
  11. by   llg
    Quote from marineRN
    Right....but what other people have stated is that those with DNPs will not be allowed to earn tenure. I know that not all get it....what I am saying is that they will eventually have to give it to them unless they are going to have a whole department of faculty inelligible for tenure.
    ~MarineRN
    Which is already the case at many universities -- not only in nursing, but in many other departments as well. I think the overall proportion of university classes taught by adjuncts is approaching 50% -- and then there are the non-tenure track positions on top of that. Many univerisity departments have only a couple tenure track lines these days and some people are debating whether tenure will continue to be a major element in academia in years ahead. As the tenured faculty retire, many of their positions are being converted to non-tenure track positions.

    I'm not totally in disagreement with you, marineRN -- it's just that the whole tenure question is a lot more complicated than you make it appear.
  12. by   elkpark
    Quote from marineRN
    And lets face it the AACN is the one calling the shots as they are the one who credentials....they will be professors and they will be elligible for tenure...no ifs ands or buts about it.

    ~MarineRN
    What shots do you think the AACN calls? It is a professional interest organization, nothing more. It advocates for its members' interests and offers voluntary accreditation of BSN-and-higher nursing programs. They can't even force their own members to do anything they don't want to (look on their website for the latest update on the DNP-as-minimum-for-advanced-practice-proposal to see how many AACN-member graduate programs in nursing are not currently planning to change their advanced practice MSN programs to DNP programs). They have no control over the larger academic community -- lots of schools require a PhD for full professorship and eligibility for tenure, in all departments/colleges, across the board, and nursing is not going to get any special treatment (nor should we -- IMO, nursing should be held to the same standards and expectations as any other academic discipline).

    The AACN can say that it's "confident" that DNPs "will compete favorably with other practice doctorates in tenure and promotion decisions," but, as the old saying goes, that and 50 cents will get you a cup of coffee. There will be some schools at which DNPs are eligible for tenure and others at which they are not. It's not as simple or clear-cut an issue as you seem to think.

    The group, despite all its talk and position papers promoting the idea, has no control over making the DNP the minimum preparation for advanced practice (which, as sirI noted, is still a proposal, not a requirement, although many schools are switching their MSN advanced programs to DNPs) -- all they can do is advocate for their position and hope that the people and groups that do control certification and licensure will eventually climb on the bandwagon.
  13. by   marineRN
    You underestimate the pull of the AACN, hospitals dont HAVE to be JCAHO accreditation....does not make them any less powerful. And yes....nursing is different than nontechnical degrees where the PhD is the highest degree. Just as in Law, Med, Divinity. Some profs have a PhD but not all. The degree that is required to be a prof is the Md, Jd, Div etc....not the PhD. PhD means you are trained in RESEARCH not TEACHING. Now I stipulated that if the entry to NP does become DNP only it will largely phaze out PhD instructors in those programs, if it changes then that may not be the case. Now about tenure.....as it changes for the larger academic world it will effect tenure of DnP profs b/c it will effect all profs, and it should be changed as it has largely created an environment of liberal profs who can sit on their laurels and spew their ideology immune from everything as opposed to fostering "academic freedom" as it was intended.

    Blessings,

    MarineRN

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