Quote from Carterjcr
...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!