I am in the middle of this quandary. I am an NP (both FNP and psychiatric) and have a MPH (which I enjoyed enormously). Essentially that is what a DNP is - a merger of the two programs. For those of you contemplating the DNP, I am told that it is very interesting program. The only problem I see with it, is that if anyone is contemplating a career in academia, the DNP will most likely never be an accepted as a viable tenure track position. But the PhD is unbelievably rigorous. Most drop out, for it is so highly theoretical and I am told deadly dull.
Another consideration is that, let's face it fellow nurses, the profession can't seem to get it's act together, and is not beneath the establishment to offer goofy programs - Clinical Nurse Leader - what in the world is that? - to see them fade into the darkness. It is a disgrace that the Clinical Nurse Specialist is being disestablished. PA's are now filling in the breach that CNS, with a retooling of the programs for RX privileges could have done, in areas such as surgery, neuro, ortho, psych, etc. Could this be a craze where we all go back for our "doctorate", to see it replaced with something new? The 2015 deadline has never been codified, for considering the argument for the point of entry into the profession be a BSN versus AAS has been raging for close to forty years with no resolution, I really can't foresee that the universities eliminating the masters in favor of the doctorate any time soon. Many instructors in university settings only have their masters. Those who have PhDs, most are not even NPs. How can they possibly train DNP's when they themselves trained, nor are NPs?
I have decided on an online DNP program at an established university. It's a respected state university, therefore the tuition is very very reasonable. I will take my time with the classes. I am doing the program as a hedge, so I don't find myself deep into middle age and having to go back to school to compete with the younger doctorally-prepared nurses.