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DNP's taking certification exam similar to USMLE by 2012?

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Specializes in Neonatal ICU (Cardiothoracic). Has 9 years experience.

i was not aware this was a "licensing" exam. in reality the exam appears to have been created/designed for the dnps from a specific program coordinated by mundinger. many nurses forget that the dnp is a program of study, whereas a np is a specialty area (cns, cnl, cnm). we have certification exams for nps, that have in fact served us well over the years. in addition, states issue a license to nps to practice, which add another layer of protection for the health care consumer. we should continue to measure the competence of nps with the certification exams and licensing methodologies that have been in place for years. nps have historically been the most researched component of nursing, everything from educational level to practice to practice outcomes. with the new influx of dnp np we should see even more outcome studies reflecting the efficacy of np practice in the us. we should not base a dnps ability to practice on one exam offered for the first time to 50 dnp students.

excellent points.

it is not a licensing exam, as it is voluntary. i would presume, however, that there is something more that a dnp learns with respect to clinical practice than is learned in fp school. otherwise, there would be no need for a dnp. if one wanted to achieve a doctorate level in nursing, one could pursue a phd, especially as you have stated that there are people looking to the dnps to provide more research. in addition, there must be more that is learned (or supposed to be learned) as half of the experienced nps who took the exam failed it. if it tested only the stuff they learned as nps (both during school and on the job), one would presume all would have passed. keep in mind that this test was, as you stated, designed for these nurses based on their program of study. and as it was the first test offered, one would think that mundinger would have motivation to see the test was fairly constructed. i just have a hard time rectifying the results with respect to clinical capacity.

if the dnp is going to be offered, there has to be a standardized assessment of their knowledge. every doctorate level has it, and they should be no different. as i said before, there has to be a metric by which you compare all practitioners, at least on paper, and this metric, in my opinion, should be a knowledge based test. if you cannot pass, you cannot practice.

the trouble, however, lies with the fact that there is probably very little difference between what an np does everyday and what a dnp does everyday. you probably cannot stop a licensed np from practicing when he/she cannot pass the dnp exam. so this all goes back to what a lot of people have said, why even have the dnp when there is a phd and an nd already developed? which raises a good question. did nds have licensing exams different from nps?

I would presume, however, that there is something more that a DNP learns with respect to clinical practice than is learned in FP school. Otherwise, there would be no need for a DNP.

That is a very large presumption, at this point. Most of the current DNP programs are designed for people who are already practicing NPs (educated at the Master's level) to complete the additional requirements for a DNP, although the long-term plan is for people to go directly from the BSN to the DNP. The curricula I've looked at (casually, just out of curiosity) have had little or no additional clinical practice content, and have been focused on the research/management/systems/advocacy elements of the "role." The entire DNP concept is still controversial, and the larger nursing community (even the larger NP community) doesn't seem to be in a big rush to jump on Mundinger's bandwagon. It's not clear that future DNP programs will include significantly more clinical content than current MSN-level NP programs, at least partly because it's not clear that there's a need for more clinical education than NPs have always gotten.

There is a "standardized assessment" of NP knowledge and practice -- the national certification exam(s), which have been around for a long time. There have never been additional "licensing exams" for nurses at the doctoral level (ND, DNSc, DNS, etc.) because doctoral education in nursing has never before been about expanding or extending clinical practice -- all advanced practice education was at the Master's level, and all four advanced practice roles (CNS, CNM, NP, and CRNA) have national certification exams which have appeared to be working just fine all this time.

prairienp

Has 33 years experience.

\ the curricula i've looked at (casually, just out of curiosity) have had little or no additional clinical practice content, and have been focused on the research/management/systems/advocacy elements of the "role." the entire dnp concept is still controversial, and the larger nursing community (even the larger np community) doesn't seem to be in a big rush to jump on mundinger's bandwagon. it's not clear that future dnp programs will include significantly more clinical content than current msn-level np programs, at least partly because it's not clear that there's a need for more clinical education than nps have always gotten.

i agree the np community is not embracing mundinger's bandwagon, but they are embracing the dnp. look at all the programs that have or will transition to the dnp program of study. the transition to the dnp has been far faster than when we transitioned to the ms requirement. the guidelines i have reviewed call for a 1000 hour clinical minimum, where we currently have a 500 clinical hour requirement now for fnp.

we need to put things in perspective, look at the transitions of our fellow health care providers. pt, ot, pharmd, jd and md to the doctorate. i really believe we have placed as much or more effort and reflection into our transition to the dnp than others who transitioned into the doctorate. did we see a significant change in how drugs are distributed for pharmds? how about pt, what are they doing differently now that they have a practice doctorate? i did not oppose any of these other programs transitioning into doctorates. seems as if a few of our healthcare provider peers may have some difficulty with our transition to the practice edoctorate(as well as nurses).

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