How will the DNP be integrated into NP education?

  1. I'm sorry if this has been answered a million times. I looked at a lot of threads, but I couldn't find this specific information, but I'm new to this website so I'm still learning to navigate.

    Why are so many graduate programs still offering masters degrees in their nurse practitioner programs? Shouldn't they be switching to doctorates? Are they planning to graduate a bunch of nurse practitioners starting in 2015 who can't actually be licensed, and must go back to school for a separate DNP? That seems totally dishonest.

    I would assume that the DNP would be integrated into the existing NP programs, so that there would be no more masters. Why hasn't this happened? Or is it happening, and I just haven't looked at the right schools? I'm in PA, and I looked at a lot of websites of prestigious schools, and it seems that they're still only offering a masters for NPs.

    Separately, a lot of people seem to be against the move towards doctorate degrees, but it makes a lot of sense to me. APNs are highly educated, shouldn't that be recognized with an appropriate degree? I don't think school should be any longer, though -- the existing programs should just be turned into doctorate programs. Is there anything I'm missing?
  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   kabfighter
    Please find me a Nurse Practice Act or BON position statement which states that APRNs must have/will need to have a DNP by 2015. The ANA has been saying for nearly 50 years that the BSN should be the entry-level degree for professional nursing...see where that led?

    Nobody will be left hanging. Some schools are transitioning to doctorates, but no state, to my knowledge, has changed the requirements for becoming any sort of APRN. The ANA can put out position statements all it wants, but the states have to change their laws to actually make anything happen. With the shortage of primary care providers in many places, I don't see this happening before 2015.
  4. by   Elinor
    I'm not even an RN yet, and my knowledge is really limited. But why is there so much information out there saying -- definitively, like it's a done deal -- that nurse practitioners will be required to have doctorates in 2015 if that's not true? It even says it on wikipedia. ("Once again there are changes presently in the field, and by 2015 all new NPs will need to be trained at the doctorate level as a Doctor of Nursing Practice. Once again already established NPs with lesser education will be grandfathered in.") Not that Wikipedia is like the gold standard for accuracy or anything. That information has no reference listed, so I couldn't check it.

    If it's not true, why is this misinformation being spread? Why don't websites just say that the ANA wants NPs to have doctorates starting in 2015, instead of saying that it will be mandatory?

    How can it be verified that it will not be mandatory? How do you know that state Nursing Boards won't start to require it?

    About the logistics, if/when a doctorate does become mandatory, will all schools just make their existing NP programs result in a doctorate, or will they continue to be separate degrees, or will the education process change?
  5. by   kabfighter
    Use the search function and stop worrying. This is a horse beaten into a bloody pulp.
  6. by   Elinor
    Woah, search function did you say? That never occurred to me. Thanks.

    The reason I posted this, as I clearly stated in the first post, is because I didn't find this specific question answered. Yes, the topic has come up. But I couldn't figure out how the curriculum should be/would be changing.

    I just restated that for your own edification, since you missed it the first time.
  7. by   SICU_Murse
    Quote from Elinor
    It even says it on wikipedia.
    Wikipedia is not a scholarly resource. I hope your not using it for scholarly research...
  8. by   kabfighter
    Quote from Elinor
    Woah, search function did you say? That never occurred to me. Thanks.
    It appears I missed the first sentence. My apologies.
  9. by   Elinor
    Quote from SICU_Murse
    Wikipedia is not a scholarly resource. I hope your not using it for scholarly research...
    Posting an inquiry on an internet forum is not scholarly research. Do I really need to explain that?

    For scholarly research, primary sources from pubmed or ebsco are the answer. Obviously. So thanks.
  10. by   Elinor
    Quote from kabfighter
    It appears I missed the first sentence. My apologies.
    It's okay, I just wanted to be clear that I didn't just show up here and make a thread without looking first.
  11. by   Tiffanybaybay
    Actually I wondered the same thing. At work, all the NP students keep saying that there aren't any more masters programs. They're saying, they're the last masters class. I'm from CT so the schools around me are Yale, Central CT, UCONN, etc. but I looked around and I see that there are still masters classes, and plenty of masters classes online. So I think you're question is a valid question, and this would seem to be the correct place to ask the question.

    I guess the problem here is that many of us don't know. We can say that the states are going to do such and such, but the fact remains the ANA put out a statement, and they're teaching that statement as fact in class, that after 2015 everyone will be doctor's. MD's are aware of this, politicians, other NP's etc. And quite frankly it's confusing because no one is agreeing on anything.

    I think it's safe to say don't worry about it until the moment you're ready to apply. Things will be the way they will be, and you can't do anything to change it right now.

    P.S.- post all the repeat threads you want! It's just a forum, not life or death.
  12. by   Elinor
    Thanks Tiffany. At least in this regard, time is on my side. I still have 3 years before I'm an RN.
  13. by   kindaquazie
    As of 2015, it is the accrediting body for colleges of nursing (the American Association of Colleges of Nursing) that will only accredit DNP programs for Nurse Practitioners. You can find information at this website: American Association of Colleges of Nursing | DNP Fact Sheet This does not mean that state boards of nursing cannot or will not grant licenses to Masters Prepared NPs. In fact, right now in the state of Arizona, you can practice as an NP without a Masters degree if you earned you NP prior to a certain date. It is likely that there will be a "grand father" clause similar to that when the DNP becomes the normal avenue of certification and academic preparation. This is a very different issue compared to the BSN which has languished for decades. This HAS occurred and will be the norm in the future.
  14. by   kindaquazie
    Please note: All of the public universities in Arizona, ASU, U of A, and NAU offer only DNP for nurse practitioners. However, the private universities are still offering the Master's degrees.