Regular DNPs and Specialty DNPs

Specialties Management


I am going back to school within the next year for my terminal degree. I personally have no desire to spend my terminal degree learning and focusing on more bedside clinical skills rather I want to spend a lot of time enhancing my managerial and business skills to become an expert in this area of focus in nursing.

Although rare, after doing some research I am seeing some DNPs with special focuses such as Education and DNPs in leadership. My guess is that since DNPs are so new and not many of us have it yet, even as senior managers, it does not matter in the workplace at this time. Thus, my question for those of you who are planning to remain in nursing leadership throughout your career, do you feel that a regular DNP is looked at in the same way as a DNP that has a special focus?

klone, MSN, RN

14,745 Posts

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership.

I don't understand what you mean by "regular DNP" - all DNPs have a focus.

Specializes in ED, ICU, MS/MT, PCU, CM, House Sup, Frontline mgr.

OK, I understand that DNPs can focus on something special during the capstone. However, I am seeing DNP degrees offered at some institutions where the DNP is listed as "DNP" and another DNP is offered as "DNP in Education", for example. This rarity I am seeing at a few institutions, where the other DNP is more expensive. Does that make sense?

Also, I am not talking about DNPs that end in a Nurse Practitioner. At these same institutions NP is optional and so nurses not interested in becoming NPs do not have to become a NPs and have a specialty focus as a NP.

klone, MSN, RN

14,745 Posts

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership.

I understood you weren't talking about an NP program. The non-clinical DNPs I've seen have had specializations - usually it's organizational leadership. Off the top of my head I can't really think of other specializations that aren't clinical-based.


4,148 Posts

Nursing informatics and missing education programs are becoming more common as well.


244 Posts

Yeah I have to agree with a previous poster. Usually degrees that are listed as "DNP" without a specialty are normally something with leadership of organizational management. I haven't taken any classes towards a DNP. From what I have seen they are not really necessary as many senior leaders do not have it. However, I am sure it will be beneficial to advance your career. I am thining about getting an MBA as I too am looking for a more business focused degree but it looks like you already have that. hope this helps!

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