Becoming A Doctor of Nursing Practice(DNP) Is A Unique Career Choice

What Is DNP?

DNP is the medical abbreviation for Doctor of Nursing Practice. It seems an oxymoron that one could be a doctor and a nurse in the same degree, but that is what this is. Essentially nurses can move up many ranks, and there are Master’s and Doctorate program levels in nursing just as there are in many fields. A Doctorate in Nursing Practice takes a nurse to the highest level he or she can go, and once they have accomplished this degree, they are allowed to open their own practices and serve as healthcare professionals, usually in a specified field of medicine.

BSN to DNP Programs

Starting in a four year college of nursing, candidates who decide to seek a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree have to complete a BSN of nursing. At this point in the game they are registered nurses who choose a field of specialty to enter, such as psychology or midwifery. Several extra credits for the specialty are completed and then they have to apply to a graduate university of nursing to continue the pursuit of their chosen degree and field. While at the present time nurses can still obtain a Masters, this degree level due to new laws in the U.S. will be phased out completely by the year 2025. All nurses who currently are graduating with a BSN and entered into a Master’s will be expected to convert their degrees over to a Doctorate in Nursing Practice or Nursing Philosophy(PhD). The difference between these two terminal, or final level, degrees is that the DNP will be hands on practical nursing in a specialized field, where the DNPhD is strictly research.

DNP Duties

Most DNP’s serve in hospitals as anestheticians or in their own clinics as midwives or medical personnel for minor injuries and illnesses. Because there’s a shortage of doctors due to the nature and length of a doctor’s educational program, DNP’s are the gap fillers where a doctor might serve. Depending on the area of the country where they work, DNP graduates might also be referred to as Nurse Practitioners or Physician’s Assistants.

What Is A DNP Salary ?

Their starting salary is $69,000/year, although some can make up to $80,000/year, on average and comparable to what a doctor made starting out twenty to thirty years ago. Because less education is required and the path from nursing university to career start is shorter, many would be doctors are now considering this instead, even though it ends in a paycut of $20-60,000, depending on specialty.

How to Choose University For DNP Programs

If your heart is still set on becoming a DNP, the direct line to 547 of the best colleges and universities for your educational path is, or the American Association of the Colleges of Nursing. This is the top website in the country for finding everything you need, from the right four year college for your BSN to the right graduate school to transfer to for your DNP. Scholarships and financial aid tailored to nursing degrees is abundant, so don’t let money stop you. A vast wealth of resources and information is all here, and it just takes a click to get there. They will also be able to direct you to any colleges that might have an online or mixed program for the DNP. Because it’s a degree of practical nursing, you will eventually have to come to some on campus classes to prove your skills as a nurse or you won’t be able to graduate with this degree.

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