To jlmPMHNPstudent, RN,
You seem to have very strong opinions about DNPs and online educationalprograms. Do you have any evidence to back up your claims? Also, your profile indicates that you have 1 year of RN experience. Your user name indicates thatyou are a psych NP student. I would be interested in knowing what sort of NP grad program accepts an RN, without a BSN, into a grad program. Are you also unhappy with the standards of your own school too? Maybe you are just an aspiring psych NP. What experience could you possibly have to judge the merits of NP programs? Please present some sound evidence to back up your bold claims.They actually teach you how to do this, as well as critical thinking skills, in grad school, mainly in those fluff coursesâ€.
First off, the public is protected from unqualified providers through state law. The states require that NPs pass a National certification test for licensure along with completing an approved educational program that is â€˜Nationally accredited' as well as a given number of clinical practice hours with approved preceptors (among other requirements). Who accredits these programs? The CCNE (a branch ofthe AACN) and the Department of Education. The accreditation process is no small feat. You can find the basic highlights by following the link to the following document.
The format that the education is delivered has little merit as long as it meets thestringent criteria needed for accreditation. And after all, this is the 21stcentury. We need to be innovative in the way we educate the new generation.Informatics is where it's at. Online education is here to stay, like it or not,and it is proven to be effective. What difference does it make if you listen tolectures online verses wasting precious time driving across town then lugging a back pack into a crowded lecture room and listening to a lecture next to some annoying dude crunching on potato chips? I am an adult learner and take responsibility and initiative in my own learning. I don't need someone to take roll call.
In my program, one of those substandard BSN-DNP online programs, we spend 8 weeks ona beautiful brick and mortarâ€ campus suturing, reading x-rays, doing biopsies, doing check off skills on assessments and protocols, doing live competency exams, listening to lectures in person, engaging in group activities, and delivering tons of presentations so that we can demonstrate we have mastery of the material. We are also required to complete well above the minimum requirements with qualified preceptors in our community learning our trade. This is where the real bread and butter comes in in my opinion. These preceptors also get to decide if your skills are up to snuff. We have a great student-faculty ratio (1 faculty: 2 students), so we get lots of individual attention. Yes it is expensive, but these are the qualities I am paying for.The director of our program is the founder of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. I would love to hear you debate her with your opinions of the merits of online education.
I agree that the DNP is misunderstood, until one actually does the research. There has been some unfortunate rumor started that DNPs are bred to be equal to MDs. That could not be further from the truth. The DNP is a practice doctorate, just as the MD, the dentist, the attorney, and others are. This is opposed to the research doctorate or PhD. PhDs generate new knowledge whereas practice doctorates implement that new knowledge into practice and into systems. Until the DNP, no one is at the top of the food chain doing this for nursing because the PhDs are tied up generating the new knowledge. The DNP education focuses on elements that are very well described by the AACN's essentials. The elements are very consistent. The schools design their programs to meet the essentials. This document prescribes the minimal educational requirements for all levels of nursing education.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing | CCNE Standards & Professional Nursing Guidelines
There is sound reasoning behind the DNP. The educational requirements are being raised for all levels of nursing education and this is driven by the IOM and NIH as well as a slew of other National healthcare organizations. Nursing has not been well represented at the decision making table. The DNP was designed to prepare nurses to sit at the table of these decision makers and stakeholders and design the policies that affect nurses and the quality of patient care delivered.
The DNP education does vary somewhat in relation to the specialty chosen. For example, ANP, GNP,FNP, PNP, MSN ed, CNSâ€¦.etc. Maybe that's why people think the requirements are inconsistent. However, the essentials of the DNP portion are consistent.
I find it hard to believe that so many nurses are belittling the efforts of those trying to improve the profession and give nursing a stronger voice and better representation. This is where all those fluffcoursesâ€ come in handy (economics, roles, epidemiology, leadership,organizational and management courses, quality and safety, lots of research andresearch translation, EBP, healthcare policy and law, informatics, and advancedbiostatistics â€¦among others.). I can assure you, there is nothing fluffyâ€about these courses. For those of you that want a more in depth medical education, go to medical school! Or take continuing ed and attend conferences and workshops.
I would like to stress that the NPs with a master's degree are not given ample credit and titling for the master's degree on steroidsâ€ they have achieved. They are well on their way to having a doctorate and are not being recognized for it. The DNP provides a way for those that want to go a little farther to achieve the recognition they deserve. It does not mean they are substandard to the DNP anymore than an ADN/diploma is substandard to the BSN in the role that they play. The DNP just expands the role to include more skills that can affect healthcare onthe macro level.
Nurses everywhere, patients, and even conditions for the opposing MDs will benefit from what DNPs are trained to do, despite all the criticism. It is so comforting to know that we have so much support from our nursing colleagues as we aim to support them in their causes ( sarcastic smirk :-/). What a way to bite the hand that feeds you! No one is forcing anyone to get their DNP. Please don't thwart the efforts of those that want to improve healthcare delivery in America on a higher level and advocate for nursing!
As for all you eyerollersâ€, you are entitled to your opinions. Unfortunately for you, the only vote you're going to get in this matter is the eye rolling until you go out and advance your education so that you can sit at the table with the decision makers. If you want to change what you are unhappy about this is the productive and effective way of going about it. Get the higher education, then you can get a job with the accrediting bodies and decide what schools live up to the standards. And, you could also influence the policies that direct who can be addressed as doctorsâ€.