By: Tonya B. Nicholson, DNP, CNM, WHNP-BC, CNE, FACNM, Associate Dean of Midwifery and Women's Health
Are you considering a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree? Here’s the who, what, when and why of the DNP.
WHO SHOULD GET A DNP?
Why not you? You care about the families you serve, you aim to improve health care, and you want a meaningful career. You are poised to be a part of the future of nursing practice in the United States, and DNP graduates will be leading the way in clinical settings.
WHAT ARE THE MAJOR COMPONENTS OF DNP EDUCATION?
Organizational and system leadership
Informatics and Technology
Advanced Clinical skills
Ethics and Policy
Translation of evidence into practice
WHEN SHOULD I CONSIDER A DNP?
The time is now. As health care evolves, the DNP is expected to become the entry-level to advanced nursing practice. This means that all advanced practice roles, like nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners, will be required to have a DNP to obtain initial certification and licensure to practice. This may be the case within the next 5-10 years. You can be on the leading edge of this development. This will give you a professional edge in all practice settings.
WHY SHOULD I CONSIDER A DNP?
The DNP is about equipping clinicians to more effectively do what advanced practice nurses have been doing for years -- changing systems and communities to optimize client care. Instead of relying on trial and error, however, the DNP prepares you to quickly and efficiently improve health care delivery for each individual client AND all clients collectively. In other words, affecting effective action.
HOW DO I GET STARTED ON A DNP?
Explore the DNP options in different university settings and determine a good match for you. Here are some questions to ask yourself as you compare possible programs:
Do I need to work while in school? If so, are there full- and part-time options?
Would I have to relocate or travel to the campus? Would this be problematic for me?
Would I prefer distance classes?
Does the mission of the university align with my nursing philosophy?
Does the program have a proven record of success?
If you are considering a DNP, Frontier Nursing University (FNU) has a post-master's DNP program, as well as an option to complete both your MSN and DNP degrees. Go here for more information.
U.S. health care needs leaders like you. The most valuable product of DNP education is the graduate -- a leader, an innovator, a change agent. This could be you!
Hear from several FNU Doctor of Nursing Practice students about their DNP projects and the impact of their project work on their local community health care. They will also share why the DNP is essential in their career journey as a nurse-midwife or nurse practitioner.
The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) was developed to meet the demand for advanced practice nursing leaders in an increasingly complex health care system. Hear from FNU Doctor of Nursing Practice graduates and how their DNP degree was essential to improving the health care of their communities. Stories of DNP projects and community outcomes will demonstrate the impact of advancing your education and clinical leadership.