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path from bsn to dnp?


I wanted to ask for some advice if anyone is familiar with the process of becoming a nurse practitioner by attaining a DNP.

First of all, if someone gets a DNP degree can they automatically apply to work as a nurse practitioner, or is there another form of training or certification they need to get before working as an NP?

Also, i am wondering what is the best plan for me. I am attending a BSN program at the moment but definitely want to become an ACNP after graduating. My school offers a masters+bachelors program to attain either a masters of public health or CNL maters degree. I am really passionate about infection control and public health so i was considering a MPH but it seems like the CNL is better for someone who wants to go the NP route and get a DNP.

Or maybe it's better to not do the masters+bachelors program and just apply to NP programs right after graduating with a BSN? I just heard that they are requiring NPs to have DNPs now.

I know I have got my entire nursing school journey still ahead of me, but I just want to have the facts down to have a basic idea of my plans for the future.

Any thoughts or suggestions are GREATLY appreciated.

Ok so I'm a bit confused. Are you an RN going back for your BSN or a nursing student in a BSN program? A nurse practioner is a master's or doctorate prepared nurse in a specific area like family (FNP) adult acute care (AG-ACNP), adult primary (AG-PCNP), pediatric acute (PACNP), etc. However they go through a specific nurse practitioner program (at least in most states). A MPH or "CNL" degree does not make you a nurse practitoner. You must go through a nurse practitioner program specifically. Out of curiosity, why would you want the MPH if you are specifically interested in Acute Care? I'm not saying it wouldn't be of any value, but to me it seems like an odd pairing. I believe that in order to practice as an NP you must pass your NP specific licensure exam (I think some states allow a temporary license though). Then there is board certification of desired

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 28 years experience.

From what you describe, you're not a nurse yet. If that's the case, finish school, pass the boards, and get some actual nursing practice experience BEFORE you seek to become an advanced practice nurse.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 14 years experience.

Moved to our DNP forum.


Specializes in Outpatient Psychiatry.

You have too many interests. If you want to be a NP, you need a NP-specific degree and subsequent exams and forms.

If you want to be a CNL, you're not wanting to be a NP. No clue what a CNL is supposed to do, but it's just a nursing title.

If you want infx ctrl, you need like a seminar and a job and boom you're that.

MPH is massive overkill for infx ctrl.

Alabama or some place like that has a combined DNP/MPH. Almost all of the DNP courses come from the PH Dept. It's the most legitimate DNP curriculum I've seen. It'd be best for a true PolicyGuru or a budding administrator or dual academic appointments. If I did a DNP for free that'd be the DNP for me. But I'm cheap and see DNPs as vapid.


Has 3 years experience.

work a few years first, you get to make some money and actually see what you like.

make sure NP is worth the investment in your area before pursuing it. A degree for the sake of degrees is not a good thing to pursue. Think about the financial aspect


Has 25 years experience.

MSN or DNP are just the degree, same as your BSN is just the degree. You still need to be licensed (board exams) to actually have the title of NP and practice.

MPH or CNL does not qualify you for any form of advanced provider role, even though they are advanced degrees. CNL you can really only use while still functioning as a floor nurse, you are just considered the 'expert floor nurse'. MPH is good if you have a great interest in infection control, but there are a LOT of MPH grads out there...

in order to be a provider, your program must specifically be for NP education. And the others are right, you need to graduate and get some experience under your belt. I'm not in favor of brand new nurses who enter into advanced practice programs without having a good solid experience base.