degree-of-interest: Doctor of Nursing Practice

Why Bother Earning a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree?

Why Bother Earning a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree?

Have you considered earning your Doctor of Nursing Practice degree? Earning your DNP is an exciting way to boost your earning potential, and it is a great way to learn how to thrive in managerial and teaching roles in the health care industry. DNP training delves into the administrative side of nursing. It may also open doors for you in academia. If you think you might have what it takes to teach and to train upcoming nurses, or if you desire more responsibility and more flexibility in your current nursing position, earning your DNP is a promising step forward.

What Is the Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree?

The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree prepares students to take on upper-level positions in areas that require advanced knowledge of nursing. For example, as someone who holds a DNP, you may be eligible to apply for positions such as Director of Public Health, college dean, or Chief Medical Officer. This degree may also be required if you plan to pursue work in advanced practice nursing. While the gold standard to become an APN was once a master’s degree, regulations have become stricter over time. Earning your DNP is a great way to advance your nursing career, knowledge, and salary potential.

What Differentiates a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing from a Doctor of Nursing Practice?

There are two doctoral-level degrees in nursing. One is a Doctor of Philosophy. You know this degree better as a Ph.D. The second is a Doctor of Nursing Practice, or DNP. Both are considered terminal degrees, which means they’re the highest levels of degree available within nursing. However, they’re very different in nature. While a Ph.D. focuses on research, a DNP focuses on practice. Ideally, if you’re considering pursuing a role in advanced practice nursing, where you’ll work with actual patients on a daily basis, a Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree will be the better choice.

With a DNP, you’ll be trained to take on advanced roles that combine leadership with medical skills. These include:

  • Nurse anesthetist
  • Nurse midwife
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Chief Nursing Officer

Graduates of a DNP program are also qualified to teach at the college level if this is where your interest lies. In fact, this degree was created, in part, to address shortages in qualified teaching staff and university faculty.

What Does a Doctor of Nursing Practice Do?

The tasks required of a DNP encompass more than that of a registered nurse, and they require more leadership skills and increased responsibility. With this degree, you may find yourself working in a variety of clinical and non-clinical settings, including:

  • Hospitals
  • Ambulatory care
  • Government agencies
  • Retail clinics
  • Public health services
  • Health systems
  • Primary care facilities
  • Occupational health

Within these positions, you may find yourself providing care directly to patients, working in administration and management, or using collected data to solve problems with safety and quality of care. As a DNP, you could also fill in for other clinicians, spearhead volunteer programs within the community, teach, or train.

As part of your education and training for this degree, you’ll also delve into patient empowerment. You’ll learn more regarding the holistic side of nursing and how to address a patient through their body, mind, and spirit in an effort to promote total wellness. At the same time, you’ll become a better leader and a more-prepared administrator. You’ll have the option of focusing your degree on patient practice or on executive leadership functions. If you’ve been searching for a way to advance your current role within healthcare, earning your DNP is recommended.

What Is the Career Outlook for Doctors of Nursing Practice?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes statistics for nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners. In 2021, their median pay was $59.51 per hour, or $123,780 annually, and the projected outlook through the year 2030 is highly optimistic. These fields are expected to grow by a whopping 45%, which is much faster than average. It’s anticipated that employers will add over 120,000 of these positions over the next eight years.

Should You Pursue This Degree?

If you’re currently working within the nursing industry, or if you’ve decided the career is a good fit for you, the DNP degree is a positive step forward. You can begin a program after earning either your bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing. Depending upon where you start, you should expect to pursue an additional two-to-four years of schooling.

The classes required to earn your DNP include coursework such as the following:

  • Project Planning and Evaluation
  • Quality and Safety Practices in Healthcare
  • Policy, Ethics, and Advocacy in Healthcare
  • Healthcare Transformation Through Technology
  • Applied Biostatistics and Epidemiology

Generally, this degree is designed to give you the skills and knowledge required to take on top leadership roles in public and private healthcare. It combines the practice of nursing with training in administration, management, and policy. If this sounds like a career you’d like to pursue, then earning your DNP could be a sound investment.

You may also wish to consider the ever-increasing requirements set forth by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Going forward, the DNP is now the entry-level requirement for nurses who wish to become clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, or nurse practitioners.

Call or Visit Carson-Newman University Today

Carson-Newman University is a Christian-founded college located in Jefferson City, TN. Just a half hour from downtown Knoxville, Carson-Newman’s scenic campus is nestled on the outskirts of the Great Smokey Mountains and is an inspiring place to earn your graduate degree.

Students come to Carson-Newman from across the nation to pursue a Christian-focused, liberal-arts-based education. Our university is an academic arm of the body of Christ, and our values and mission statement reflect this in all we do.

With over 60 degrees and graduate programs from which to choose, students of Carson-Newman have a number of options. Our Doctor of Nursing Practice degree is an online program that consists of 33 credit hours, spanning five semesters. This means you can earn your degree in the comfort of your own home, in your spare time, as you continue your existing position in nursing.

It’s never been easier to begin working toward your DNP degree, and there’s never been more demand for highly qualified and experienced medical personnel. If you’re ready to give your current nursing career a boost, we invite you to apply to the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Carson-Newman today. Call us to set up an admissions consultation.

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