Is a DNP worth it in my situation?

  1. Ok, so here is what is going on with me:

    I'm a BSN RN with 3 years of experience working in a hospital in FL
    Salary is 63k and I love the patients on my floor and my coworkers, it's a great atmosphere, I'm happy with my current salary

    I'm torn because I always thought I wanted to become a NP for the autonomy, flexibility, etc. but now all of the schools in FL have changed over to a DNP.

    Now I've been building pros and cons and I find myself piling reasons into the cons section for returning to school. The thoughts that I am having is, will it really be worth it to take 4 full years out of my life to dedicate to school? Yes, I have to work some weekends and holidays in my current situation, but we all know how we love the flexibility of working in a hospital and how we are able to take up to 8 days off without using PTO right? LOL I have NO student loans right now because I was awarded scholarships throughout my undergrad, and the thought of borrowing $30,000+ makes me sick to my stomach. I know that NPs make more $, but will it be enough to pay off all this accrued debt I will have? I mean I love vacationing as much as possible, and I don't see this happening with that much debt under my name.

    Since I've been coming up with these reasons that I shouldn't return to school, it makes me worry that if I did happen to return to school, I wouldn't be giving it 0 and I know starting a DNP you have to really WANT to do it.

    I don't know, I'm just torn, has anyone else had a similar situation?
  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   Palliative Care, DNP
    Really look into DNP programs. I am about to begin a BSN to DNP program through Loyola University in New Orleans. It only takes 3 years to complete. I can do all of my course work from home distance education and my clinicals here in my area. Only need to go to their actucal campus 1 week every year of the program. I think that is a good deal. Any way I decided to go for the DNP because things are going in that direction anyway and I really wanted the terminal degree in our field.
  4. by   CCRNDiva
    I'm currently in an ACNP-MSN program. There are still a lot of good MSN programs out there. Have you checked into UAB, Vanderbilt, USA, USI, University of Northern Kentucky, University of Saint Louis, etc? Those programs all allow completion of their program on a distance basis with some required campus visits. Don't let the DNP push you away from pursuing graduate study. I've researched many DNP programs but I don't have any desire to complete one as I've not been able to find a DNP program that is a good fit for me. I don't know where you are in FL but I thought the U of Miami still had a MSN program.

    Give yourself some time. Maybe you're just not ready for a NP program. It sounds like you are enjoying your current position as a RN and there's nothing wrong with that. I knew I was ready when I just wanted to "do more" and while the thought of more student loans bothered me, it was not enough to deter me. Another tip, check into your education benefits with your current employer. Some employers have really good tuition benefits that would allow you to complete graduate education without accumulating debt. Good luck to you!!
  5. by   kpaola1983
    Dear Mom to 4
    I am very interested in the Loyola BSN to DNP program? Have you started yet? are you doing it full time or part time and are you able to still work?
    I liked the program bc they seem to have been providing this program for quite a few years now. Other online BSN to DNP programs seem to still be very new.

    just wondering.

    Im looking into BSN to DNP programs bc I know I will eventually like to work as an FNP. I am looking for a terminal degree bc I dont want to have to go back to school in 15yrs. I work full time at a teaching hospital an have plenty of resources to set up practicums with clinicians. I am hoping to still work full time and persue this degree on a part time basis.
  6. by   Annaiya
    If you haven't even started and you're already coming up with reasons why you don't want to do it, then don't. You will never make it through the program if you aren't 100% committed. You might make it through the didactic portion, because it is pretty easy, but once you get to clinicals there is no room for slacking. Every program I've heard of usually loses quite a few students during the first clinical semester. You are better off just not starting than taking out loans for 1 1/2 years of school and then dropping out without a degree.

    And there is NOTHING wrong with being happy as an RN. I am lucky enough to work with really outstanding, smart nurses and I've talked to so many of them who say they always thought they'd go to NP school, but that they are happy with their life as it is, and are getting married, starting families, wanting to travel nurse, etc. And they feel so guilty or like they are not reaching their full potential by not going to NP school. And that's just silly. I hate that there is this attitude that if you are a really good nurse, then you "should" go to NP school. I don't know if this is your situation or not, but some of what you said reminded me of some of my conversation with people at work. No job is perfect and if you are generally happy with your life the way it is, then don't ruin it by going to NP school Only go to NP school if that is what you want more than anything else. As someone who is in her first clinical semester, I can tell you that if I had any doubts about my desire to become an NP, I would have quit school a long time ago, lol.
  7. by   Palliative Care, DNP
    I am going to be attending full time beginning this May. There are quite a few of us us in the cohort that are on here. I will just be working flexi if I can manage. If that is too much then I won't be working. I am going to take loans but I see it as an investment in my future and I am ok with that. I have always been the person who decides to do something and does it hell or high water. Only you can decide what works for you. Good Luck!
  8. by   CARMENVS08
    I know this is an old post but I was wondering if you ever went back to school to become a DNP? If so, why or why not?