7 Reasons to Earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree in 2022
Nurses play a vital role in the function and organization of healthcare. Whether they work in private practices, in education, or in the public health sector, nurses are a key player in patient care and ensure that a patient is comfortable, informed, and listened to when it comes to their care and treatment plan.
Even after receiving their RN license and starting work, it’s no longer uncommon for nurses to complete their BSN either online or through part-time course work. While a BSN is the end for many nurses, some nurses continue their education in order to complete their Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).
With the possibility to work full time and make a decent salary, why should you decide to earn a DNP? What are the benefits of a DNP that make it worth the time, effort, and money?
Just as there are many RN to BSN and BSN to MSN programs, there exists a BSN to DNP program that makes earning your DNP easy. If you’ve already earned your master’s in nursing (MSN), then you can also search for MSN to DNP programs.
When you follow a specific program to get your DNP, you’ll find that the process is made easier and more flexible. There is a lot of support for nurses who want to advance their education, so you won’t have to struggle alone in an effort to juggle your work life and your school life.
Although it still hasn’t been fully implemented, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) recommended that a DNP be made a requirement for nurse practitioners by 2015. While this goal failed, it is still in the works as the AACN is now aiming at a new deadline of 2025.
Even if a DNP is not a requirement for the position you want to hold, nurses with DNPs are in high demand. As more patients seek out healthcare and the nursing shortage continues, many healthcare organizations are looking for DNP graduates to take on more responsibilities. With your DNP in hand, you’ll be highly sought after.
A DNP is the highest level of nursing education that you can get. As a practice-focused degree, you’ll be able to study what you love without giving up on your passion for patient care. For those who want to continue with a hands-on career and enjoy patient interaction, a DNP is the highest degree that you can earn with these two goals in mind.
With a DNP, you’ll face a lot of academic challenges as the program is very rigorous, but you’ll come out of it a better nurse. You’ll not only have a highly specialized set of skills, but you’ll also have incredible knowledge that will help you develop the best care imaginable to your patients.
With such a high degree in your pocket, you’ll have virtually unlimited career choices. Whether you want to continue with a hands-on career or you want to step away from patient care and work in a leadership or representative position, you’ll have the opportunity to do so with a DNP.
Nurse researchers, healthcare lobbyists, and nurse educators all hold a Doctor of Nursing Practice and work to improve healthcare around the country. In any one of these positions, you can continue to make a difference in healthcare practices even without direct patient interaction.
Advanced nursing positions such as Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs), psychiatric nurse practitioners, and pediatric endocrinology nurses all have DNPs and work closely with patients to ensure the best care possible.
Nurses earn a relatively high salary even when they only have their BSN, but with a DNP, you can expect to see your salary increase. While your salary will depend on what position you hold, years of experience working, and job location, the average salary for DNP graduates is over $123,000 according to the BLS.
Again, some positions will pay less than others, but if you start working before you earn your DNP, you will notice an increase in pay when you graduate.
While you will have to fund your DNP studies, you won’t struggle to find scholarships and grants. Some scholarships may be unique for DNP students while others may be open for all student nurses. The AACN has a list that can be helpful for both undergraduate and graduate students who need funding. They also have information available about grants and fellowships.
If you want to specialize your studies, you may be able to find a scholarship open only for your specialty. This can increase your chances of being selected and provide you with a valuable support platform during your studies.
There’s not only a nursing shortage, but a nursing faculty shortage as well. If you have a passion for teaching and want to help nurture and educate future nurses, earning your DNP will allow you to teach in universities and nursing schools.
In 2018 alone, over 75,000 nursing school applications were rejected due to a faculty shortage, worsening the ongoing nursing shortage.
As more nurse educators retire, it’s becoming more and more important to fill the nursing faculty shortage in order to help the industry move towards filling the nursing shortage. With more nurse educators available to train new RNs and teach BSN, MSN, and even DNP programs, more nurses will be certified and join the workforce.
Nurses are, without a doubt, one of the most important healthcare professionals and make a huge difference in patient care. With highly specialized training and advanced education, you’ll be able to provide patients with better care and reassure them that they’re in good hands.
Whether you’re chasing a hands-on career or you want to forgo patient interaction for a leadership or healthcare representative position, earning your Doctor of Nursing Practice is a surefire way to boost your career.