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MSN vs DNP Choice

NP Students   (1,967 Views | 7 Replies)

600 Profile Views; 15 Posts

Hi everyone! 

I was recently lucky enough to be accepted into my two top choice programs for FNP: UCSF and UW. Now, I’m faced with having to make a tough decision.

UCSF has always been my first choice because of its mission, focus on diversity, its minors offered (diabetes or HIV/AIDS), and preparation for working with my intended population of homeless or underserved. Tuition is $71K for two years.

UW is ranked highly, and is a great choice as I live in Seattle. The program has some focus on diversity and working with the underserved, but overall the program places more focus on research, as it is a DNP program. Tuition is $79K for three years.

Which brings me to my question: UCSF is a master’s program, and UW is a DNP. I always envisioned myself earning a DNP because I was told that is what will earn me the best job or what the workforce is transitioning to.

I want to go to UCSF, but if I do 2 years now for my MSN, when I return to school later for my MSN to DNP, it will be more expensive than if I go to UW and get it all done now. 

Will I regret going to UCSF and not having my DNP? Is job prospects okay for just having an MSN within the next three years? Does the DNP prepare you more to be a stronger provider?

Thanks in advance - I really value everyone’s advice here!

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FullGlass has 2 years experience as a BSN, MSN, NP and specializes in Adult and Geriatric Primary Care.

8 Followers; 2 Articles; 1,075 Posts; 10,344 Profile Views

Congratulations on being accepted by two great schools!  You can't go wrong either way.  If you want to go to UCSF, then by all means go.  Earning a DNP will not provide increased pay unless you work for the federal government.  If you want to teach in the future, then go for the DNP now and get it over with.  Good luck!

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NuggetsHuman specializes in Clinical Social Worker.

64 Posts; 1,241 Profile Views

I think it also depends on what state you want to practice in when you graduate.

When I moved away from Seattle ~3 years ago, they were pretty heavily legislating and programs were moving away from offering MSN for nurse practitioners.

Also, please say hello to my favorite ocean, as I'm now in Philadelphia. 🙂

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Dodongo has 7 years experience as a APRN, NP.

2 Followers; 793 Posts; 11,649 Profile Views

On 3/27/2019 at 10:05 AM, jaynakim34 said:

Is job prospects okay for just having an MSN within the next three years? Does the DNP prepare you more to be a stronger provider?

Thanks in advance - I really value everyone’s advice here!

Most NPs have, and continue to graduate with their master's.  As far as I'm aware, no institution is requiring (or really even preferring) hiring NPs who have the DNP.  

And no, the DNP is completely non clinical, with no evidence whatsoever that it produces a "stronger", more competent or better provider than a MSN NP.

The DNP, at its core, is a political tool and $$$ for schools.  But, if you want to teach, best go get it.

Edited by Dodongo

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umbdude has 3 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Psych/Mental Health.

2 Followers; 997 Posts; 14,558 Profile Views

Congrats!

Just one note about going from BSN-to-DNP (or direct-entry to DNP) - you might be able to get more NP clinical hours from this route than from a MSN program. That means you might be able to get more practice and experience before becoming a new-grad NP. Each program is different though, but it might be worth looking into. But you can't go wrong with either one.

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25 Posts; 1,810 Profile Views

Hi!

Which program did you end up choosing?

I’m kind of in the same boat- I would love to do a BSN-DNP program (PMHNP), but they all cost over 80k which is just too much money for me to take out in loans. I know I can find a much cheaper MSN program...I’m wondering if it’ll make a big difference in my future.

Feel free to PM me!

Edited by outsidegirl

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618 Posts; 10,993 Profile Views

As the other post-ers have indicated, it all depends on what you want to do. A DNP is non-clinical--it will not increase your clinical knowledge/skills whatsoever. 

Both are great schools--congratulations!

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adammRN has 11 years experience and specializes in DNP/PMHNP student.

278 Posts; 5,260 Profile Views

On 7/4/2019 at 2:06 PM, db2xs said:

As the other post-ers have indicated, it all depends on what you want to do. A DNP is non-clinical--it will not increase your clinical knowledge/skills whatsoever. 

On 3/30/2019 at 2:58 PM, Dodongo said:

Most NPs have, and continue to graduate with their master's.  As far as I'm aware, no institution is requiring (or really even preferring) hiring NPs who have the DNP.  

And no, the DNP is completely non clinical, with no evidence whatsoever that it produces a "stronger", more competent or better provider than a MSN NP.

The DNP, at its core, is a political tool and $$$ for schools.  But, if you want to teach, best go get it.

It might not be a requirement now. But a lot of places are seeing the MSN vanish. In a big TX city, there are no MSN prog anymore for NP. There is a ghostly pressure in my area, and many MSN PMHNPs are completing their DNPs now... 

There might not be RCTs comparing samples of DNP vs MSN NPs, but it's not as if you are going to tell that to a future employer. 

BTW, the DNP where I work makes more then the MSNs. Are you going to admit to a future employer, "hey my program really sucked and I should really just be MSN" or "I deserve more since I have a doctorate, extra clinical hours, training in process improvement and bust my butt to take care of people?" No one is going to look into the curriculum. Believe me, I wish it were more medically focused, and we didn't spend so much time on a clinical project, but it is all experience. And the more exp you have for practice, the better provider you will be. There is reasearch showing that not all providers are created equal anyway. It's mostly about how you market yourself. 

I am not taking anything less then 140-150 when I start and know I can get up to 200 if I do some PRN.

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