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Advanced Nursing Education: Why Pursue a Doctor of Nurse Practice NPA

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doctor of nursing practice programs

An DNP or Doctor of Nursing Practice is a terminal qualification, which means that it’s the highest possible level of education that a nurse can receive in their respective track. Is that reason enough to justify pursuing the degree, or are their more reasons rooted in practical application as well?

As it turns out, the answer would be a yes, there are multiple other reasons which makes an accredited DNP qualification quite useful in both nursing practice and for enhancing one’s nursing career beyond its current scopes. While we go through the most important of those reasons next, things will begin to make more sense.

A Feasible Option

Practical application scenarios only become relevant when the option in question is at least a feasible one. Earlier, registered nurses (RN)found it extremely difficult to complete even their MSN degrees, so nurses with a DNP were far and few between. Online nursing education has changed that completely though.

As long as you are a registered nurse, you can pursue your BSN/MSN, and then DNP online.The internet-based nature of these programs provides a number of benefits over their offline counterparts, as described below.

  • Doctor of nursing practice online programs are now recognized and given the same status as the traditional degrees
  • Since these programs are designed for professionals, they are by nature flexible and can be completed at the nurse’s own pace
  • As a result of the inherent flexibility of online nursing programs, pursuing a DNP while working full time is an actual, feasible option
  • The financial advantage of not having to lose a source of income in the face of another student loan is extremely encouraging
  • Combining the lowered tuition cost of online courses with the absence of extra accommodation costs and commuting expenses turns the online DNP into an attractive option

The points here do highlight the fact that doctor of nurse practice programs have now become a lot more feasible than they were before.Given the high number of retirees in recent years, and leading up to a major retirement year in 2030, it’s safe to say that the practicality and convenience of online higher education for working nurses are going to prove crucial to meet the deficit.

Higher Positions and Better Pay

As previously stated, a DNP or Doctorate in Nursing Practice is a terminal degree, therefore, the highest administrative positions in your specialty and within the nursing industry as a whole will be within your grasp. In light of the constant need for new nursing leaders, it would not be incorrect to state that you won’t have to wait too long for the leadership positions to open up either.

Even if you continue to work as a caregiver, rather than taking up an administrative role, rest assured that the pay bump will be significant. For example, accredited online nurse practitioner programs for the DNP-FNP continue to be one of the most lucrative options for two primary reasons:

  1. A DNP in the family nurse practitioner track can give you the autonomy you need to help multiple families in rural communities
  2. The average salary of DNP-FNPs was$113,930/year back in 2018

Not only is there the opportunity to earn more as a Doctor of Nursing Practices in Family Nurse Practitionership, you can also gain full autonomy in a number of states. It’s both the most respected position that a nurse can aspire to, as well as being the most effective position to be in if helping patients to your best ability is still one of your professional goals.

Meeting Needs

It’s not a secret that there is a nursing shortage in the US, along with a general shortage of adequately qualified medical professionals in every other field. Nurse practitioners with DNPs on their resume are going to play a huge role in meeting this deficit. To explain the idea further, let’s highlight the primary ways in which they are expected to help.

Managing the Gap in Leadership

We know that there is an absence of sufficiently trained, experienced and educated nurses even today since more nurses are retiring every year. It is estimated by the US public healthcare department itself that the gap will become sincerely dire in 2030 when more than a million nurses will be retiring.

Now, the main issue here is the fact that retiring nurses are always the most experienced and qualified ones, thus, when they leave, a vacuum in leadership is created automatically. This gap is either left unfilled for the time being or has to be filled in often by someone else who may not be trained for the job. The availability of online DNP programs is expected to solve this problem efficiently because by the time 2030 comes around, it is possible that enough experienced and DNP-prepared nurses will be available to fill in the positions vacated.

Managing the Gap Between Demand and Availability for Physicians

A Doctor of Nursing Practice with a specialty in Nurse Practitionership does not require physician supervision to write prescriptions and operate primary care clinics in a number of states. In the states as listed below, they have full practice authority or FPA right now:

  • Alaska
  • Idaho
  • Wyoming
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • North Dakota
  • Nevada
  • South Dakota
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Hawaii

A few states such as Colorado, Arizona, and Connecticut that allow FPA or limited-FPA to APRNs were excluded from this list because they have certain other regulations and criteria as well, which may conflict with the idea of true full practice authority or may delay the same.

As should be easy to guess, with a growth in the number of available experienced nurse practitioners and other APRNs with Doctorate degrees directly related to patient care, the deficit in primary care physicians will become more manageable in these states.

The number of states willing to give FPA to APRNs is also expected to grow in the coming years, so the physician deficit could finally become manageable across the United States. Therefore, completing your DNP simply makes sense from every possible angle now, especially when we keep the near future in sight. Be it for helping desperate patients by providing primary care, or for building a better, more prestigious career for yourself, completing your DNP is a step towards both objectives.

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