Should I go for my DNP?

Posted
by NursKam NursKam, MSN, RN, NP Member

Specializes in Family Practice & Emergency Department.

Hey guys! I am looking for some input. I have been in the field for 7 years, working as a CNA and an ER Tech. I am about to finish my BSN this summer, and have already applied for a BSN to DNP-FNP program. I work alongside RNs and NPs in the ER, and am pretty sure that I would enjoy the knowledge and challenge that a career as a nurse practitioner would bring.

My dilemma is the money. I have $60,000 in undergrad loans already. The DNP program would be another $82,000. That would leave my $142,000 in debt. I know here in CA, NPs do not make much more than RNs. I just wonder if I should really take on this amount of debt to make the same amount of money. I could go the MSN route for $40,000, but the DNP program is only one semester longer than the MSN and I am sure by the end of my career, the DNP will be required. At this point, I kind of just want to knock grad school out of the way. Any input? Advice?

Thank you all!

MierKat

MierKat

112 Posts

OK, there are several issues here.

First, the requirement for DNP is not in force yet and is not going to be an issue until it is a requirement. Some schools are switching to DNPs now but as long as you graduate before 2025 you will be ok with an MNP. All NPs and MSN holders will be "grandfathered" in after the change happens. The existing 200,000 NPs won't have to all go get DNP degrees. Even if you got an MNP now you could always go back and finish the DNP after you graduate with the MNP.

Second, the reason that NPs are paid the same as RNs in California is because of the high demand for RNs. If you're going to stay in California, you could work in a rural area or somewhere that pays more than the urban coastal areas.

Third, if you're not going to make more and the NP degree costs a lot, you should only get the degree if you can't see yourself doing anything else. But given the cost, I'd say do not add extra debt if you're not going to earn more or find an NP program that is cheaper.

Finally, can you find an employer that will pay for all or part of your NP degree? Many hospitals do.

Hope this helps.

guest769224

guest769224

1,698 Posts

OK, there are several issues here.

First, the requirement for DNP is not in force yet and is not going to be an issue until it is a requirement. Some schools are switching to DNPs now but as long as you graduate before 2025 you will be ok with an MNP. All NPs and MSN holders will be "grandfathered" in after the change happens. The existing 200,000 NPs won't have to all go get DNP degrees. Even if you got an MNP now you could always go back and finish the DNP after you graduate with the MNP.

Second, the reason that NPs are paid the same as RNs in California is because of the high demand for RNs. If you're going to stay in California, you could work in a rural area or somewhere that pays more than the urban coastal areas.

Third, if you're not going to make more and the NP degree costs a lot, you should only get the degree if you can't see yourself doing anything else. But given the cost, I'd say do not add extra debt if you're not going to earn more or find an NP program that is cheaper.

Finally, can you find an employer that will pay for all or part of your NP degree? Many hospitals do.

Hope this helps.

I'd like to correct a few items here.

There is NO requirement to get your DNP for Nurse Practitioners. None, nada, zilch. The only nursing profession that has put a requirement in place are CRNA's, and that will occur in the year 2025. Master's NP programs will exist beyond that and there will still be plenty of MSN-NP programs around. For NP's, it is merely a recommendation.

Leading to my next point... A DNP does not do much for you. It may open management/supervisory positions for you down the road, but as far as pay, and job competition, not much advantage. You waste an extra semester or two, studying a bunch of theory classes and nursing fluff (no added clinical benefit), when you could be out making money with your MSN that much sooner. There is no increased pay for DNP prepared NP's, their job duties are identical to a Master's prepared NP.

And...RN's in CA make so much because they have the most powerful nursing union on the globe. NOT because there is "high demand" for RN's. CA is very saturated with nurses, and has plenty of them.

Edited by ICUman

NursKam

NursKam, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Family Practice & Emergency Department. 49 Posts

Thanks for your reply! You're right. There is no real DNP requirement for NPs in the near future. I've had some time to contemplate the issue and for now, I'll save some money and go the MSN route.

NursKam

NursKam, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Family Practice & Emergency Department. 49 Posts

OK, there are several issues here.

First, the requirement for DNP is not in force yet and is not going to be an issue until it is a requirement. Some schools are switching to DNPs now but as long as you graduate before 2025 you will be ok with an MNP. All NPs and MSN holders will be "grandfathered" in after the change happens. The existing 200,000 NPs won't have to all go get DNP degrees. Even if you got an MNP now you could always go back and finish the DNP after you graduate with the MNP.

Second, the reason that NPs are paid the same as RNs in California is because of the high demand for RNs. If you're going to stay in California, you could work in a rural area or somewhere that pays more than the urban coastal areas.

Third, if you're not going to make more and the NP degree costs a lot, you should only get the degree if you can't see yourself doing anything else. But given the cost, I'd say do not add extra debt if you're not going to earn more or find an NP program that is cheaper.

Finally, can you find an employer that will pay for all or part of your NP degree? Many hospitals do.

Hope this helps.

Unfortunately, most hospitals around here offer very little tuition reimbursement. Nowhere near even half grad school tuition.