Does the DNP really improve your clinical skills, salary or job market opportunities?

Nursing Students NP Students


Hi. I'm in the process of deciding whether to pursue a DNP vs MSN degree as a FNP, of course more schools are phasing out MSNs in their programs. I have been accepted at a DNP program and the more I think about it, I'm realizing that my goals is to be a clinician, not really interested in the research - most DNP programs advertise that the degree will open more opportunities such as being in leadership or teaching roles. I have friends that are master prepared NPs who state that they don't see any special skills or competition from their DNP colleagues. I'd like to ask those NPs who have graduated with MSNs, practiced as NPs and returned back to earn their DNP. Do you feel like the doctoral courses added any value to you as a clinician and did it open more career opportunities for you? Also, from your experience did the DNP role open more opportunities for leadership roles, if so and what are the roles? Salary difference ? Thanks for your input .

I am a MSN prepared NP who looked into several DNP programs rather extensively, and decided against it. There is little increase in clinical skills, from what I could see, and currently no pay increase in my local market.

THAT BEING SAID, I am in my late 50's. I hope to work 10 more years. I don't see the DNP being an absolute necessity in that time frame, but if I were younger, I would probably be going for it to be competitive.

There seem to be a fair number of garbage online for profit programs, which is concerning. How meaningful will such a degree be?

Nursing education seems to be headed almost entirely to an on-line format, quite concerning. There are people who look good on paper but cannot function clinically, as most of us have encountered.

I look forward to the replies.

But with my current employer, with whom I am very happy, the DNP wouldn't get me a thing.

Life has a way of throwing curveballs, as most of us know.

Specializes in mental health / psychiatic nursing.

Talking to NP colleagues (I'm a RN, not NP), the primary motivation seems to be either a desire to stay ahead of the market curve and assumption they'll one day need it to remain competitive, or a strong desire to teach as many of the local universities are going to DNP/PhD/EdD for tenure track positions. The ones who are pursuing it as a door to teaching seem to be the happier with their decision compared to those who are getting it in the hopes of it paying off at some future date.

Wow. Thanks for your input. I feel like I don't have a lot of choice but to do it. The DNP program I was accepted into is a highly recognized brick and motor school with an outstanding program . They phased out their Masters in FNP, the only remaining MSN are in Neonatal and Psych. The neighboring brick and motor school has a masters but not impressive clinical experience according to some member in this website.

If there is no choice and you want to stay in your current location then the only other option would be to seek distance programs. For me, who finished a masters level NP program I don't have desire to go back to get more debt for really little to no pay difference. From what I know among colleagues is that negotiation is key when you first sign. Good luck!

DNP will prepare you to be an expert and holistic clinician and branch out towards leadership roles or become an professor/clinical instructor/healthcare policy advocate. A PhD degree will solely focus on

research and won't really give you an edge to stay in the clinical field

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