As healthcare providers, nurses play a key role in maintaining society’s health and wellbeing, and many want to assume even more demanding roles to become leaders in their field.
For those considering going back to school to earn an advanced nursing degree, pursuing a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) is one of the best ways to expand your career possibilities.
This degree not only helps graduates earn more, it can also open the door to an array of top-level, professional opportunities. If you’re a nurse looking to make an impact on the people in your community, a DNP may be the right choice for you.
The Need for Nurses
The aging population means that the need for nurses is greater than ever. A 2015 report entitled “Aging in the United States,” provided an in-depth examination of how Baby Boomers will reshape America’s population. The report noted that, “The number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to more than double from 46 million today to over 98 million by 2060, and the 65-and-older age groups share of the total population will rise to nearly 24 percent from 15 percent.”
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing reports that, “According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Projections 2012-2022 released in December 2013, Registered Nursing (RN) is listed among the top occupations in terms of job growth through 2022. The RN workforce is expected to grow from 2.71 million in 2012 to 3.24 million in 2022, an increase of 526,800 or 19%. The Bureau also projects the need for 525,000 replacements nurses in the workforce bringing the total number of job openings for nurses due to growth and replacements to 1.05 million by 2022.” This means that nurses who maximize their skill set will have an incredible opportunity to fill leadership roles in a variety of areas.
Job Opportunities for DNP Graduates
Graduates with a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree have unparalleled employment possibilities. These include positions in healthcare facilities providing organizational leadership or leadership in patient care helping to develop and implement treatment plans.
Nurses with a DNP can also work with policymakers in public health departments. You might find employment in research facilities, pharmaceutical companies or doctors’ offices, often at a management level. Some DNP-prepared nurses open their own private practices. Other interesting job opportunities exist including working as a nurse educator.
Salaries for DNPs
The average salary for those with a Doctorate of Nursing Practice is $94,000, according to Indeed.com. There are many factors that influence the income projection of a nurse with a DNP degree, including location, area of specialization, the nature of the employer and years of experience.
Getting the Best DNP Degree
Once you decide to invest the time and energy into this elite qualification, it’s vital to choose the right university. The University of Texas at Arlington offers an accelerated Doctor of Nursing Practice online program for working, board-certified APRNs, post-master’s nurse practitioners, or nurses with an MSN in Administration. It’s an ideal degree for those who want to provide the best care to their communities and challenge themselves as healthcare professionals.
This accredited, online DNP program prepares students to research and synthesize the issues relevant to the healthcare environment. Graduates will evaluate and implement evidence-based research to promote positive outcomes for their patients and respond to challenges with innovative and practical solutions. They will be ready to assume leadership roles however they choose to use their degree, be it in clinical practice, in education, as consultants or as influential policymakers.
You can complete the accelerated Doctor of Nursing Practice program in as few as 22 months. This intensive program includes an overview of advanced nursing topics. Courses include Clinical Information Systems, Leadership within Health Systems, Population Health, Translational Research, Healthcare Policy, Epidemiology and a practicum.
Additionally, because UT Arlington’s Doctor of Nursing Practice is offered online, professional nurses can continue working while they complete their coursework.
The Doctorate of Nursing Practice will give you the skills, experience and education you need to maximize your opportunities in the nursing field. It’s one of the best ways to ensure that you can assume a rewarding and exciting leadership role in the healthcare industry.
Learn more about the UT Arlington online DNP program.
Have a question or concern about this article? Please contact us.