Is it all going to DNP?

  1. I'm in an ADN program now. I've thought about becoming an FNP after my undergrad. education. Is it true that, instead of getting an MSN - all schools are going over to the DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice)? I hope not, but, if that's the only route, then, that's the only route.
  2. Visit AppalachianRNstudent profile page

    About AppalachianRNstudent

    Joined: Aug '11; Posts: 206; Likes: 92


  3. by   szeles23
    That's what my school says, that the ANA is trying to ensure that all NP programs are DNP programs by 2015. My school has its first DNP program starting in the spring I think, maybe its fall, but I'm totally on board with it. Its still not 100% but many many schools are turning to DNP programs.
  4. by   duttyprofessor
    The more I explore this forum, the more questions I see on this..all of which are extremely relevant to the immediacy of my program search right now.

    I mean, sure, you want to get a job while having paid the least amount for your education while getting the most out of it. Right now, obviously you'd pay less for the NP as the DNP. Though with the advent of the 2015 guidelines and being "grandfathered in", don't people think marketability down the road would be better for those who have DNPs? Like how the job market has affected ASNs and LPNs as opposed to the current BSN standard?

    I'm looking into a couple DNP programs now as well and while they're longer, they seem to offer strong potential for leadership and other aspects. I really see it as BSN vs. ASN and my hospital is essentially phasing out ASNs while we pursue Magnet designation. This may make a difference in the future..not as much now, but long term.
  5. by   AppalachianRNstudent
    The only logic that I see in requiring all aspiring NP's to pursue an DNP is that more money will be funneled into the various educational arenas that offer an NP program. As a DNP, will my scope of practice be expanded? Will I received higher pay after completion of the program? Will I have greater privileges in treating patients?

    I don't know the answers to these questions. If the only difference between a MSN NP and a DNP NP is the latter has "Doctor" in front of his/her name - then it really seems like a scam to me.
  6. by   duttyprofessor
    Taken from the most recent mission statement from the AACN regarding a DNP FAQ (2009):

    "Until the time that state laws are changed, if a nurse desires an APRN education, and has a choice between a DNP or a master's preparation, it would be far more cost-effective to spend the additional time for the DNP and be prepared for future practice."

    Which if you read it in a cynical way, you'd say "Yeah, comes from the Colleges of Nursing, of course they'd want you to be in there more..." but they do hold sway in our profession. That's an interesting read as well regarding the DNP's ideal.

    It's hard to make a decision on all of this though it looks like "do it all now" or "do it all later" but you'll probably be coerced into doing it at some point.
  7. by   JennyNurse2B
    Do you guys think that they will have made upntheir mind by 2014. That is when I will need to decide which route to take.
  8. by   duttyprofessor
    For a while, I didn't consider the DNP to be anything. I thought it seemed like a sham doctorate to make nursing compete with other health care disciplines and their final graduate degrees. However, the more I read about it, these nursing organizations hold severe sway in how our practice presents itself (as far as I can tell) and the closer we get to 2015, obviously the more graduates of DNP programs we'll have and the more they will be able to show people what DNPs can do.

    Nurses, as we all know, are strong advocates for our craft and yes, it's true that some of us don't adjust well to change, but there are strong arguments for the switching of members of our disciplines. ST/OT/PT need to have graduate degrees to function in their areas of expertise, for example.

    I'm going to give this discipline some serious consideration. The best thing that could happen with my MSN (in my opinion, mind you) is that I would be grandfathered into an advanced practice role and as the market becomes more competitive between DNPs and NPs/CNSs and the like, employers, clinicians, and people in general will start to see the overall function of the degree. Looking at the coursework, it looks substantial in some programs exactly what you would be capable of doing in addition to an advanced practice role.

    Again, I say this all without having an advanced practice role, but having been a RN for 5+ years with a passion for advancing my own practice as soon as possible and into the distant future.
  9. by   JennyNurse2B
    I have just sent an email to the North Carolina BON asking for clarification on this point. I will let you know what their response is. I know, however, that every state's BON is different, but this will give NCers an idea of what our state is going to.

    I can't help but be skeptical since it seems like only one school in the state currently has a BSN to DNP program. We'll see.
  10. by   duttyprofessor
    For those who have the time to do so, the DNP seems like the way to go...but for those of us like myself who are approaching the time in their lives where starting a family is important, that would play a lot into the decision. Skepticism is healthy, too. And I think all of our state nursing boards would say different things as it's hard for them to have a unified voice about things, well, in general.
  11. by   Palliative Care, DNP
    Well personally for me I weighed the options of both. It came down to the fact that I can obtain the DNP for going one more year. Why wouldn't I go on and get the terminal degree in my field? Also, it looks as if the DNP may be where the field is headed any way so I want to be competitive when I am looking for a job.
  12. by   Adenium
    I wonder how aware employers are or will be as to what the DNP vs. MSN entails. From what I've heard, when people look for jobs many offices/employers don't even understand that there are distinct tracks within the NP role that have a lot to do with our ability to safely practice in a certain arena. Many jobs are advertised for PA/NP, but we don't "cross-train" like they do. The employer may look at RN experience, the existence of the NP certification period, and then NP experience. Check, good to go. Then along comes DNP....wha? huh? I guess you need to whip out your spiffy portfolio detailing your accomplishments and life-changing evidence-based medicine research projects. To which they may answer, "great, how many patients can you see per hour?". I know, I know, cynical me.

    I'm just starting my MSN, and my school has now graduated some DNPs as well. They actually got rid of the MSN program, replaced it with DNP, then backpedaled realizing that they may have jumped on the bandwagon too early. Good for me! So, if it looks like a good idea in a few years then I may try to continue on, but I feel I'd get more out of it once I'm practicing as an NP already. That, and I'd like to earn some money before donating more to their construction projects
  13. by   AppalachianRNstudent
    Quote from Adenium
    I'm practicing as an NP already. That, and I'd like to earn some money before donating more to their construction projects
  14. by   AuDDoc
    I think the nursing boards need to take a look at what has happened to other fields that have recently forced the doctorate model onto their students.

    Take a look at my field, Audiology. It now requires a doctoral degree for licensure, but the Au.D.'s get paid no better than the masters degreee Audiologist. The doctoral degree really didn't apply much more clinical hours, it merely added more research. From what I've read about the DON programs, they do the same thing. More theory and more research, but no more clinical components or hours of direct patient care.

    Will you as a DON make more money than a MSN? Highly doubtful. Experience will always trump degree. Right now with 2 years of experience as an Au.D., and tons of research and clinical experience, I am still not chosen over master level audiologists with a few more years experience. My pay is also horrible for completing 10 years of schooling. I could have easily spent the same amount of time and became a physician and make 4 times as much as I make now.

    The same dilemma is seen in doctors of physical therapy vs. masters of physical therapy. The hospital I work for routinely picks masters PT workers over DPT workers. They pay the same regardless of the degree. We actually have a couple of bachelor's level PT's (yes they still work in the field) and they are paid the same as the DPT workers!

    I think if nursing forces the DON on advanced practice nurses they are just shooting themselves in the foot and causing a nursing shortage to really happen. People aren't going to go into a field that requires the same amount of years as an MD and pays substantially less.

    As an aside I am going back to become an FNP and am currently getting my AD RN then I take a few bridge courses from the BSN program and start my FNP courses for my MSN. I hope they do not go the DON route or if they do I hope I am in before they require it because it's really not going to add anything special to my clinical skills and I have no desire to become a doctor, again. If I wanted to earn another doctorate I would have went back to medical school.