DNP in administration?


Hello!! I am debating on now doing a BSN to DNP program for administration.

I don't want to become a nurse practitioner and I really find the business side and policy side of nursing more interesting.

But what would my career opportunities be as a DNP in administration vs just a MSN in administration?

I also have no background in administration. I would work as a staff nurse until I finish my DNP.


llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

I think it is insanity to invest in a doctoral degree in something you no nothing about -- and don't have any ideas as to whether or not you would like it.

Those DNP programs focusing on nursing administration are designed for Nurse Executive types -- and you don't reach that level without practical experience at mid-level management. If you think you might like a management/administrative career, then get experience now as a Charge Nurse, unit manager, assistant manager, shift coordinator or whatever else that is within your reach. You could also explore MSN options in Nursing Administration or Nursing Leadership. Then -- after you see if you like that kind of work and have any natural ability at it -- you could explore DNP options for advancement down the road. But it would be a personal and financial disaster for you to make such a huge educational investment and then discover that you have administration and/or are not very good at it. You're better off taking it one step at a time.

If you don't want to be a Nurse Practitioner ... you might also consider the CNS role within a DNP program ... or getting an MSN as a CNL that would help you move to the next level before making the big jump to DNP as either a CNS or Nurse Administrator.


Specializes in Outpatient Psychiatry.

You would probably find more economic gain and employability if you pursued a master's in healthcare administration, MBA with a focus in healthcare admin, or any combination of those with a master's in nursing administration.

The problem, as I see it with my limited experience, is that generally nurse managers have been nurses a long time. They may or may not have advanced degrees although the norm in larger hospitals is that they do. For you this means, lots of nursing experience which may not be something you want to attain.

Conversely, it seems a variety of people get business degrees, lab science B.S. degrees, assorted health _____ degrees, and then jump into a master's in healthcare administration, which almost always requires some sort of practicum or internship experience, and then they graduate and find administrative positions. It seems to be a marketable degree, and if healthcare management was based on the degree of curing I'd be apt to pursue it. Unforunately, reimbursement is becoming increasingly tied to patient satisfaction thus free, fresh, hot coffee seems to trump staff competence, and that's something I don't choose to oversee.