NP/DNP Options

  1. I recently found out that NP programs will be moving to DNP degrees by 2015, and am looking into what my options are and would love feedback.

    A little about me: I have a BA already and will complete an ADN program in Dec 2012, I'm reasonably sure I want to go back to school for NP after working for several years. I am hoping to get a job as an RN in the ICU after graduation, I feel pretty confident I can get a position in the hospital I work for now.

    Texas Women's University has an RN to MSN degree for students who already have a BA/BS. The "undergrad" portion is completed over the first year. Graduate level NP classes can only be started after at least one year of full time experience.

    UT Arlington has an Acute Care NP master's program, that I believe is partnered with Parkland Hospital.

    UTHSCSA has a BSN to DNP program that is pending approval.

    These are just a couple examples of the types of programs I've done a little research about.

    Honestly, I would like to have the DNP, but there are a limited number of programs and if I were to get a job I wanted to hold on to I would be hesitant to move.

    My concerns however are that the master's level will eventually be less competitive than DNP, I know when NP went from certificate to MS, some of those already practicing had problems if they did not upgrade their education. Also there is const-benefit, if it costs me X amount more to get DNP, will my salary reflect this? I am not really concerned about the money but if it comes down to deciding which route I might take it would be a factor. If DNPs are expected to make more (because of additonal time and money) would hospitals be less likely to hire them over those with masters degrees? I know some of this is unpredictable, but I'd like to figure out what the options are, even if it is early, especially since there is always the possibility that I'll decide I don't want to grad school.
    Last edit by faith4130 on Jun 19, '11 : Reason: added
  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   NAURN
    DNP is still a recommendation, not a mandate.

    Frontier offers a RN-MSN option for ADN prepared nurses. It i primarily online... all the didactic courses are online. They do meet on campus 3 times in 3 years. You do clinical in your community.

    Others offer RN-MSN options as well, some online, some not, some hybrid. I just knew that I didn't want to commute far to go to school every week, I wanted to be able to still work and not have my schedule dictated by my school schedule, so that's why I chose to apply to an "online" program. I am an independent learner. I have 2 kids so I knew that it would benefit me to be able to go to school in the middle of the night if I wanted to. I can do clinical near where I live, it has to be approved by my school so there is some checks and balances to ensure that it is an appropriate place and meets their expectations.
  4. by   NAURN
    Oh, and Frontier (which is the school I applied to) offers a DNP also, not a direct RN-DNP but you can pursue that after the MSN if you chose to. I would def choose a school that offers a DNP so that you can always go back to get that later on if you want it, or right away if you want it. That way you are not having to switch schools.