from Topics in Advanced Practice Nursing eJournal
Lucy Marion, PhD, FAAN, APRN, BC, Diane Viens, DNSc, CFNP, Ann L. O'Sullivan, PhD, FAAN, CRNP, CPNP, Katherine Crabtree, DNSc, APRN, BC, Sue Fontana, PhD, APRN, BC, Marva Mizell Price, DrPH, RN, FAAN, FNP, BC (National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty [NONPF] Practice Doctorate Task Force)
Abstract and Introduction
Although the current masters and PhD programs in nursing are critical to the future of the profession and are evolving to keep pace with new demands, they do not fill the growing need for expert clinical teachers and clinicians. Informational shifts, demographic changes, growing disparities in healthcare delivery and access, and stakeholder expectations are all creating new demands on the nursing profession. The practice (also called clinical and professional) doctorate, with a focus on direct practice and healthcare leadership, offers nursing an exciting opportunity to meet these demands. Programs are already underway or being developed at several institutions, although problems and challenges such as standardization, regulation, and potential "devaluing" of existing programs have yet to be adequately resolved. The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF), along with professional organization and educational institutional partners, supports the development of the practice doctorate and is committed to providing leadership to ensure quality educational outcomes. Nursing must develop a shared strategic vision to shape the rapidly moving practice doctorate initiative....
The practice doctorates in nursing are designed for people in these scenarios and others. There is a growing interest in these programs as they reflect the continually increasing complexity of healthcare and clinical leadership within the existing systems. Nurses with practice doctorates are needed to do the following:
Evaluate the evidence base for care;
Deliver that care;
Set healthcare policy;
Lead and manage clinical care units and health systems;
Develop interdisciplinary standards;
Solve healthcare dilemmas; and
Reduce disparities in healthcare delivery.
It is our belief that the graduates will ultimately affect the entire healthcare delivery system...
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