FNP pondering...


I'm a new FNP and I'm pondering over the doctorate after I have time to get my feet wet. I'm trying to decide what schools to look at.. Quality is important as well as cost.. Any thoughts?


16 Posts

Hi Jennifer,

I would say that unless you want to teach, the University name behind the program you attend isn't that important. Most NP's don't have a DNP so just having this advanced degree will set you apart. Also, I find that employers value experience over an advanced degree so more likely you NP experience will land you future jobs rather than your DNP distinction. Personally, I would go for lower cost over a name.

Specializes in FNP, ONP. Has 25 years experience.

I think Erin gave sound advice. I think the school must be reputable within reason, and without naming names, there are certain well known diploma mills I'd avoid. Outside of avoiding those, I think it is unnecessary to attend a top rated school if you cannot afford it and are not going to capitalize of the advantages. I would look at what is available to you, go to those schools to meet the faculty (yes, even if it is an online program) and choose the option that feels like the best fit. Whose values and research interests best align with yours, etc.

I am an NP with 25 years of experience. I was hoping against hope that the DNP would really be a "clinical doctorate" but as it stands it is a glorified manager program. I began the UNLV DNP Program and after 3 weeks dropped out due to the inane courses that did nothing to enhance or contribute to my practice as a CNM. I could not even understand the course titles much less the microtheories of managed care.

I am truly disappointed in nursing's direction away from the bedside and clinical aspect of our practices. I needed a clinically based program that would have been more along the lines of what I really do-I see patients, diagnose, treat, and teach. I do not run managed care systems nor do I need the other courses such as scientific underpinnings of science.

Be very careful to understand what you are really paying that much money for and what you will get. My clinic CNM Partner finished the courses and cannot even use her title in the hospital or in the office as it "conflicts" with the physician provider's.

I have since began the Capella Doctorate in Public Health/Epidemiology which has opened up wound management and infection prevention and control nursing for me. It is nursing in its purest form and so pertinent to this world today. I highly encourage NP to seek this direction in any of the specialties. DNP isn't worth the money and in Ivy League Schools they will not tenure DNP without a PhD. Now that has moved from sublime to ridiculous.


64 Posts

Specializes in Adult Health. Has 2 years experience.

I'm enrolled in Loyola University New Orleans' DNP program as an NP (there is also an Executive Leadership Track). I'm finding that the critical thinking skills we are learning is what is setting the program apart. Look for a program that you think will meet your needs and is within your budget. No DNP program will be a perfect fit, but neither would PhD, DNS, etc, programs.

Also, remember that DNP is a relatively new nursing degree and is still growing into itself. I like that--gives me a chance to shape what I want to learn and how I want to learn it. Fortunately, I'm a program that allows that.