DNAP vs DNP Specializing in Anesthesia

  1. Hi everyone:

    I am a prospective nursing student who hopes to be accepted into a BSN program this upcoming fall (finishing my last prerequisites). I have been looking at future job possibilities that I hope to one day get the chance to attain in my career. Being a CRNA seems very interesting and if lucky to be given a chance to become one it would be an honor to get in as well as to help others later on after my degree. However, I really enjoy the possibilities that a DNP has by being able to switch to a different specialty with a one-year post DNP certificate. So this has led me to wonder about the differences in a DNAP and a DNP specializing in Anesthesia.

    1. So if someone got a DNAP which is not considered a terminal degree from what I have read online and wanted to switch to a different specialty is it true that they would have to do a three-year DNP as opposed to a one-year post DNP certificate? I talked to an advisor from a school that has a DNAP degree and she pretty much said this.

    2. So if someone got a DNP specializing in Anesthesia and wanted to switch to a different specialty could they do a one-year post DNP certificate?

    I love the ability to be able to move around to a different specialty as a DNP and I like helping others in different specialties. Thank you, everybody, for taking the time to read my post and I hope you have a great day.
  2. Visit Carterjcr profile page

    About Carterjcr, CNA

    Joined: Nov '17; Posts: 36; Likes: 6

    12 Comments

  3. by   sirI
    Thread moved to SRNA forum.
  4. by   MHCRNA
    So, the best answer to your question would be that the DNP is the way to go. It is recognized as a terminal degree, and will ultimately better suit most people; in addition, I doubt you would honestly ever switch specialties once you get into anesthesia. While anesthesia as a whole is one specialty, there are numerous subspecialty practices that you may find yourself in. Pain management, OB, Pediatrics, Cardiac, Regional, and the list goes on and on. Anesthesia is an amazing specialty and is full of opportunities.
  5. by   Carterjcr
    Thank you very much for moving it over to the SRNA forum.
  6. by   Carterjcr
    MHCRNA, thank you very much for your reply. I really appreciate it. If there is any advice that you could offer about getting into a CRNA program what would you suggest? Once again thank you very much for responding to my post and for taking the time to read my reply.
  7. by   MHCRNA
    Find a program that offers autonomous clinical sites and promotes independent practice. Find out if the current SRNAs are doing blocks and lines. I know of a big name school where students only practice blocks and lines on mannequins. However, you need that good experience on a real person to be proficient. Keep your grades up, go find at least a medium sized ICU, and get at least a year of experience. Don't delay too long about going on, and realize that you will have to do the DNP. Don't go in too much debt and save as much as you can while working as a Nurse. Find a job that offers autonomy and good pay. Work hard, pay your loans off, and save. Thats best advice I can give.
  8. by   Carterjcr
    Thank you very much. My grades are good >3.9, I have a hospital near me that is one of the biggest in the country and I am definitely going to try to see if they are offering jobs in their ICU, but I've heard it's tough getting jobs in an ICU from other posts. Autonomy is great. However, here in Florida our autonomy right now is very restricted. Hopefully, we will begin to have more autonomy in the future.
  9. by   ICUman
    Quote from MHCRNA
    and realize that you will have to do the DNP..
    Why will they "have to do the DNP"?
  10. by   Carterjcr
    Hi ICUman, RN:

    I may be wrong about this and if I am somebody else please correct me. So all Nurse Practitioner programs will be moving to a Doctorate instead of an MSN by 2025. However, a lot of programs that I am looking at are changing their Nurse Practitioner degrees from MSN's to DNP's very quickly. I believe that Nurse Practitioners with an MSN already will be grandfathered in as in they won't lose their jobs just because they don't have a DNP. I just went to a family medicine outpatient clinic and the healthcare professional seeing me was a PA with a BS degree and that professional got it a while ago and didn't go back for the MS in PA so I wonder if that will be similar. There are MSN-DNP programs for Nurse Practitioners with an MSN who would still like to get their DNP. I have limited knowledge about this so like I said before if others have anything to chime in on that would be greatly appreciated.
  11. by   Shanimal
    Quote from Carterjcr
    Hi everyone:

    ...this has led me to wonder about the differences in a DNAP and a DNP specializing in Anesthesia.

    1. So if someone got a DNAP which is not considered a terminal degree from what I have read online and wanted to switch to a different specialty is it true that they would have to do a three-year DNP as opposed to a one-year post DNP certificate? I talked to an advisor from a school that has a DNAP degree and she pretty much said this.

    2. So if someone got a DNP specializing in Anesthesia and wanted to switch to a different specialty could they do a one-year post DNP certificate?
    Hmmm, a couple of misconceptions here that I hope I can help clear up a little.

    1. Both the DNAP and DNP are doctoral degrees, therefore both are terminal degrees. The DNAP and DNP in nurse anesthesia are both educational pathways to becoming a CRNA. The difference between the two is fairly subtle. A DNP degree is offered through a school of nursing. Usually that means your advanced A&P, pharmacology, pathophysiology, etc. courses will be general in nature and are taken with other nursing graduate students, whether they're NP students, clinical nurse specialist students, etc. Since it's offered through a school of nursing, the DNP nurse anesthesia curriculum therefore has to meet certain educational standards that other advanced nurse specialty students have to, regardless of whether it really applies to nurse anesthesia or not. The DNAP degree is typically offered through a school of allied health or school of medicine, which generally allows a little more freedom in certain course offerings so that they're more anesthesia-related. So, for example, the advanced A&P, pharmacology, pathophysiology might emphasize concepts that apply to anesthesia a little more. I suppose it's possible that these courses wouldn't transfer to some post-graduate NP programs for that reason. (Keep in mind these are generalizations and don't necessarily apply to every program.)

    2. That would depend on the requirements of the post-graduate NP program you're applying to, so you'd need to review the admission requirements of that particular school. It might be more likely that core credits earned in a DNP program vs. a DNAP would transfer, but that's speculation on my part. Again, you'd have to check with each school about that, and some are probably able to make exceptions.

    I see that you haven't started your nursing career yet or enrolled in nursing school. Nothing wrong with researching potential career paths, but I would strongly advise you not to box yourself into any specific plan just yet and to keep your options open. When the time comes, there are many more factors to consider when choosing the right program for you than whether it's a DNP or DNAP degree (and which are more important, IMO). Good luck!
    Last edit by Shanimal on Apr 5
  12. by   ICUman
    Quote from Carterjcr

    So all Nurse Practitioner programs will be moving to a Doctorate instead of an MSN by 2025.
    To clarify, the mandate for Nurse Anesthetists requiring a Doctorate begins January, 2022. That allows all graduates by 2025 to have their DNP/DNAP.

    Nurse practitioners have not required this mandate.

    I asked why the OP "had" to get their DNP degree because there are still plenty of MSN programs out there and some don't plan on changing their degrees to doctorate until the deadline. So depending on the OP's timeline, they could become a CRNA with a Masters degree, and it wouldn't be a problem.
  13. by   Carterjcr
    Hi Shanimal, BSN, RN:

    Thank you very much for taking the time to read my post and for providing quality advice and information.
  14. by   Carterjcr
    Hi ICUman, RN:

    Thank you very much for clarifying that. I think Shanimal, BSN, RN or MHCRNA would be the best at answering your question.

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