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Dnp

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Specializes in Emergency Department. Has 4 years experience.

Hey I am wondering if anyone can give me information on a DNP....I am looking into a program but am not really sure what I can do with my DNP

juan de la cruz, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in APRN, Adult Critical Care, General Cardiology. Has 29 years experience.

There has been numerous posts about the DNP degree in this particular sub-forum as well as the advanced practice nursing forums. Please search them by typing the letters "DNP" and you will see many results. But just so I can direct you to some good sources of information on the topic, here are some links:

http://www.aacn.nche.edu/DNP/DNPFAQ.htm

http://www.aacn.nche.edu/DNP/DNPPositionStatement.htm

http://www.aacn.nche.edu/DNP/DNPProgramList.htm

In response to your question, what qualifications do you bring prior to attending a DNP program? Are you a BSN-prepared nurse right now? If so, some DNP tracks allow BSN grads to enroll in the program with the ultimate goal of preparing the candidates as advanced practice nurses with a doctoral preparation instead of the traditional master's degree. I've seen programs directed at NP and CNS preparation but I am not sure if programs exist that prepare for CRNA or CNM. By the way, what area of advanced practice nursing would you be interested in?

ashleyjean3

Specializes in Emergency Department. Has 4 years experience.

Well I am working on my Masters right now concentrating in Nurse Educator. I would like to teach and perhaps get my Nurse Practioner. I just know that to get tenure at most universities you need to have a higher level degree.

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 29 years experience.

In my areas, a DNP isn't recognized by academia, only a PhD. This might be something to consider.

juan de la cruz, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in APRN, Adult Critical Care, General Cardiology. Has 29 years experience.

I think that’s one of the biggest questions many nurses have about the future of the DNP degree – will academic institutions recognize the DNP as part of their criteria for promotion and tenure? The AACN’s FAQ’s state that it will be up to the institutions to decide on this and they were optimistic that the institutions eventually will respond favorably. However, based on my grad school experience, many of the PhD and DNSc faculty members from the Assistant Professors to the Full Professors constantly prove their worth by securing funding for research activities year after year. It seemed like the measure of faculty productivity heavily relied on funded-research output. How can a DNP-prepared nurse faculty who is supposedly trained in clinical practice and not in producing volumes of nursing research compete in this environment where faculty is gauged by how much published studies they produce? Maybe I just do not understand the real deal with surviving academic life. Hope someone can enlighten me on this.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

I share the concerns expressed above about the DNP in relation to academia. It seems to be a degree designed to replace clinical Master's Degrees -- an upgrade for those who work in clinical practice, but "not enough" of an upgrade for those who may want academic careers down the road.

Within the last 2 weeks, the Chronicle of Higher Education (the weekly newspaper for university faculty), published an article criticising the development of all these new "practice doctorates" in so many different fields -- not just in nursing, but in many other fields as well. The author pointed out that these new clinical doctoral programs generally have fewer requirements than traditional PhD's and are often created and run with less interdisciplinary scrutiny than traditional doctoral program. The author viewed these degrees as attempts by the professions to "beef up" the credentials of their practitioners without requiring them to meet the tougher standards required by traditional programs.

It's clear that the development of these shorter and more practice-oriented doctoral programs is a controversial development within academia. How it will all play out, I cannot say. But for anyone considering an academic career, it is something to think about before investing in a DNP degree. I am only guessing, but it I suspect it will be possible for DNP's to get the lower-level teaching jobs. However, the DNP may be a real disadvantage for getting things like an upper-level job, promotions, tenure, etc. Of course, some nursing schools are so desparate for faculty now that the schools are a little less picky about their faculy -- but do you really want to count on that for your future security?

llg, PhD, RN

juan de la cruz, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in APRN, Adult Critical Care, General Cardiology. Has 29 years experience.

I share the concerns expressed above about the DNP in relation to academia. It seems to be a degree designed to replace clinical Master's Degrees -- an upgrade for those who work in clinical practice, but "not enough" of an upgrade for those who may want academic careers down the road.

Within the last 2 weeks, the Chronicle of Higher Education (the weekly newspaper for university faculty), published an article criticising the development of all these new "practice doctorates" in so many different fields -- not just in nursing, but in many other fields as well. The author pointed out that these new clinical doctoral programs generally have fewer requirements than traditional PhD's and are often created and run with less interdisciplinary scrutiny than traditional doctoral program. The author viewed these degrees as attempts by the professions to "beef up" the credentials of their practitioners without requiring them to meet the tougher standards required by traditional programs.

It's clear that the development of these shorter and more practice-oriented doctoral programs is a controversial development within academia. How it will all play out, I cannot say. But for anyone considering an academic career, it is something to think about before investing in a DNP degree. I am only guessing, but it I suspect it will be possible for DNP's to get the lower-level teaching jobs. However, the DNP may be a real disadvantage for getting things like an upper-level job, promotions, tenure, etc. Of course, some nursing schools are so desparate for faculty now that the schools are a little less picky about their faculy -- but do you really want to count on that for your future security?

llg, PhD, RN

I totally agree llg. I actually read somewhere that DNP graduates will likely be received for tenured faculty positions in colleges of nursing where the training programs tend to focus on clinical practice rather than nursing research, but will probably not be "good enough" as tenured faculty in universities where the big priority is on generating substantial funded research. That sounds reasonable enough, right? Not for me, I would hate to be the DNP-prepared nurse and be relegated to second class status among the ranks of doctorally-prepared nurses because my credentials are not well-accepted across all institutions in the academic field. It's definitely something to think about if one's goal is to work in an academic environment.

RNPATL, MSN, RN

Specializes in Nursing Education and Critical Care..

I share the concerns expressed above about the DNP in relation to academia. It seems to be a degree designed to replace clinical Master's Degrees -- an upgrade for those who work in clinical practice, but "not enough" of an upgrade for those who may want academic careers down the road.

Within the last 2 weeks, the Chronicle of Higher Education (the weekly newspaper for university faculty), published an article criticising the development of all these new "practice doctorates" in so many different fields -- not just in nursing, but in many other fields as well. The author pointed out that these new clinical doctoral programs generally have fewer requirements than traditional PhD's and are often created and run with less interdisciplinary scrutiny than traditional doctoral program. The author viewed these degrees as attempts by the professions to "beef up" the credentials of their practitioners without requiring them to meet the tougher standards required by traditional programs.

It's clear that the development of these shorter and more practice-oriented doctoral programs is a controversial development within academia. How it will all play out, I cannot say. But for anyone considering an academic career, it is something to think about before investing in a DNP degree. I am only guessing, but it I suspect it will be possible for DNP's to get the lower-level teaching jobs. However, the DNP may be a real disadvantage for getting things like an upper-level job, promotions, tenure, etc. Of course, some nursing schools are so desparate for faculty now that the schools are a little less picky about their faculy -- but do you really want to count on that for your future security?

llg, PhD, RN

Excellent response llg - I was also looking into the DNP program with GWU. While my focus is academic with my desire is to teach, I also wanted to have the practice doctorate so I could keep my hands active clinically while teaching. After some long discussions with a number of PhD prepared folks in academia - I discovered that while a DNP may be a route to consider for those who desire to practice as a NP, it is not the degree to work on for those whose primary desire is to teach. While the previous poster is correct that perhaps in the future, the DNP prepared educator might be permitted tenure - the reality is that DNP professors will not be allowed to sit on the faculty senate and will not be a part of major decision making for the university, more importantly, for the curriculum development for the very program they are teaching.

I believe that DNP educators will be needed to teach for those wanting a DNP, but they will be relegated to the second class degree realm in academia. Just my humble opinion.

Excellent response llg - I was also looking into the DNP program with GWU. While my focus is academic with my desire is to teach, I also wanted to have the practice doctorate so I could keep my hands active clinically while teaching.

There's nothing keeping you from staying clinically active with a PhD -- I have known plenty of PhD-prepared nurses who continued to practice clinically. I am v. suspicious of the whole DNP kerfluffle -- I believe that the current model (undergrad degree for generalist nurses, MSN for advanced practice clinicians, and doctoral degrees to focus on research/scholarship) is robust and defensible. Heck, we've got 'way too many doctoral degrees in nursing out there now; we certainly don't need another (with even more watered down requirements). No wonder the rest of academia has such a hard time taking us seriously ...

RNPATL, MSN, RN

Specializes in Nursing Education and Critical Care..

There's nothing keeping you from staying clinically active with a PhD -- I have known plenty of PhD-prepared nurses who continued to practice clinically. I am v. suspicious of the whole DNP kerfluffle -- I believe that the current model (undergrad degree for generalist nurses, MSN for advanced practice clinicians, and doctoral degrees to focus on research/scholarship) is robust and defensible. Heck, we've got 'way too many doctoral degrees in nursing out there now; we certainly don't need another (with even more watered down requirements). No wonder the rest of academia has such a hard time taking us seriously ...

True - very true. I guess I never realized the mirad of doctoral degrees out there for nursing until I started to explore the options. I have to say that you are on the number when you say that it is no wonder we are not taken seriously in academia. Sad, but true.

ICRN2008, BSN, RN

Specializes in Infection Preventionist/ Occ Health. Has 5 years experience.

Most universities do not recognize the clinical doctorate when hiring tenure-track faculty. My brother-in-law (a PharmD) was able to find a tenure track position, but his options were hampered by the fact that he lacks a PhD. If he wants to move closer to home, he will have to spend an additional 2-3 years in school.

From my research into doctoral programs, I have determined that most DNP programs have more of an administrative focus, while PhD programs are almost strictly focused on research preparation. The PhD requires a thesis, while the clinical doctorate only requires a "project" in most cases. I would think that even if a DNP was able to obtain a tenure-track position, he or she would be at least somewhat hampered by this lack of research experience and know-how.

I am still on the fence about the DNP. I am being recruited for my school's BSN-PhD program, but honestly at this point I see myself becoming a clinical, non-tenure track professor. I think that a careful evaluation of one's future goals is prudent when considering any graduate program, especially one that requires such a big commitment of both time and money.

True - very true. I guess I never realized the mirad of doctoral degrees out there for nursing until I started to explore the options. I have to say that you are on the number when you say that it is no wonder we are not taken seriously in academia. Sad, but true.

Yes, I see this as a big problem for nursing as a community. Everyone knows what a physician did to get to be an MD; everyone knows what an attorney did to get to be licensed as an attorney; there's no mystery about what their education consisted of and what they had to accomplish/produce to earn their credentials. My specialty is psych (nursing), so most of my colleagues and friends over the years are psychologists and social workers. In psychology, there is the PhD and the PsyD (Doctor of Psychology), and in social work, there is the PhD and the DSW (Doctor of Social Work) -- that's it; those are the only options (at the doctoral level). The PsyD and DSW are clinical doctorates, like the "alternate" doctorates in nursing; everyone in those fields understands exactly what those degrees mean in terms of what the holder accomplished to be awarded the degree (and, BTW, both PsyDs and DSWs are second-class citizens in academia). In nursing, we have the PhD (which everyone understands, because the requirements to complete a PhD are consistent throughout academia and across disciplines (although there certainly is wide variation among individual programs!)), but there is also the DSN, DNS, DNSc, ND, and probably several others I haven't heard of in my travels -- and now, the DNP. No one really knows what any of them "means" in terms of what the person holding the degree accomplished. Heck, I went to a particularly rigorous and demanding Master's program (on purpose :)), and there are people out there with nursing "doctorates" that required less time, effort, and scholarship (!) than my MSN did!

And, yet, there are many nurses out there who wonder why we are the red-haired stepchildren of academia ... If we want the same level of respect that other professions and academic disciplines get, we need to be willing to do the "heavy lifting" involved, and quit looking for quick, easy shortcuts to legitimacy.

(Sorry for the rant -- I'll get off my soapbox now ... :))

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