MSN vs DNP for NNP

  1. Hi fellow nurses!

    I am looking for some advice...I am an experienced level III and level IV NICU nurse currently enrolled in a masters prepared NNP program and set to start clinicals in the fall semester and graduate the following summer. However, my fiance just got an excellent job across the country...as of now he has moved and I am staying with family. I had planned to finish out my MSN program then move out there after graduation as an NNP. With plans of then completing my DNP online. However, I am exploring the alternative option of transferring my credits to a DNP program which would allow me to move sooner but would delay my transition into the NNP role. A very difficult decision, any NNP input or fellow nurse advice would be much appreciated! Thank you!
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   jaderook01
    Will you make more money with a DNP vs. an MSN? Are you planning to teach?
  4. by   TheCommuter
    Moved to the Student NP forum for more replies.
  5. by   Nicunurse13
    I won't make more money with a DNP but my end goal is to teach...however my struggle is if I should get it all done now or do it later on.
  6. by   RNtoNNP
    I think it somewhat depends on where you are hoping to work when you are done. I am in a BSN to DNP NNP program and I chose to do the DNP now partly because this is the best time in my life to do it (I don't want to go back to school later), and because I have seen job postings for NNPs at large children's hospitals that do say "DNP preferred". I'm not sure where I am going to end up working when I am done with school, so I wanted to give myself the best advantage possible. My adviser also told me that doing the BSN to DNP program actually will give me more hands-on clinical hours than doing a MSN program and then going back for the DNP later. Not sure if this is the case for every program, but it was definitely an added benefit for me. Best of luck with your decision!
  7. by   Nicunurse13
    I agree completely! What program are you in? If you don't mind sharing! And yes the extra hands on clinical time is a big seller for me too. And the area where I will be looking to get a position does prefer DNP it seems.
  8. by   RNtoNNP
    Quote from Nicunurse13
    I agree completely! What program are you in? If you don't mind sharing! And yes the extra hands on clinical time is a big seller for me too. And the area where I will be looking to get a position does prefer DNP it seems.
    I am in the DNP program through Creighton University in Omaha.
  9. by   Nicunurse13
    Awesome! Do you like it so far? That's the program I might transfer into!
  10. by   RNtoNNP
    I do like it. It is a good program. It's almost entirely online, so I am able to do it while working full-time in a different state.
  11. by   babyNP.
    I got my MSN and am doing my DNP now part-time. I like doing it this way because I get on the career ladder earlier which translates into a higher rate of pay in my career and more experience. Think about this hard especially if you have a lot of years of RN experience and have a high pay rate as a RN already. I had 6 years by the time I was done, paid around $65k as a RN and got $95k as a new grad NP, now making $130k at another job (albeit in a higher cost of living area). On the flip side I know NICU RNs with 15+ years experience that either didn't get a pay raise or just barely went over their original pay rate.

    A hospital may post that a DNP is preferred, but don't think of it like the BSN preferred equivalent. In the majority of cities, there's a shortage of NNPs, not an excess- so getting a job shouldn't be too difficult depending on where you live.

    I don't think I would have had a huge benefit of extra clinical hours for the DNP but I also had (what I'm learning now as I've worked in different parts of the country) an unusual amount of nurse autonomy that prepared me well for the role. I also had a great orientation (3 months) with my first job as a NNP and great support for the transition to practice. Only you can know your own experience and comfort level.

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