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Is Earning a DNP the Right Choice for My Nursing Career?

Along with advancing a nurse’s clinical knowledge, skills and education to the highest level, earning a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) online degree increases career opportunities, improves earning potential and allows nurses to have a greater impact within healthcare.

While advanced practice registered nurses already have excellent career opportunities within a rapidly expanding job market, earning a PhD in Nursing is a viable option for those seeking a terminal degree and who want to focus on research in the nursing field. Yet, the DNP degree is also a great track for nurses to advance their careers, explore a wide spectrum of job opportunities and apply proven best practices.

A DNP might be the right choice for your nursing career if you want to expand your practice-focused method through specialized advanced nursing practice or enjoy working in innovative and evidence-based environments.

What Is a DNP Degree?

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), DNP degrees “prepare nurse leaders at the highest level of nursing practice to improve patient outcomes and translate research into practice.”

This degree specializes in furthering the practice of nursing to help patients find cures for specific illnesses. It also seeks to actively change the lives of those staying within the hospital or various healthcare settings at the clinical level.

Nurses who continue their education in an accredited DNP program can complete their course load at an accelerated pace because DNP students do not have to take as many research-based courses as PhD students.

The Importance of a DNP Degree

A DNP degree is important because “it’s ideal for nurses that want to pursue a specialized nursing role, become a leader within the field of nursing or use their clinical knowledge to develop best practices for health care policies,” states Indeed.

Those who decide to continue their nursing practice can utilize the research by PhD nurses to evaluate patients and serve them, despite the demands of the changing work environment. DNP nurses use existing industry research to serve the public through major health crises and determine the best possible method for overall treatment. They continue to form relationships with the individuals they care for rather than research contemporary health concerns.

It is a rewarding experience for DNP graduates to continuously work with patients. They expand the success of quality care and the safety of all individuals within various healthcare environments.

Advancing more DNP graduates benefits the healthcare profession because these individuals mentor and assist RNs and nurse practitioners in hospital settings. But, the current high demand for DNPs means nurses have fewer mentors and coaches and are not encouraged to pursue higher levels of nursing education.

The AACN states that there are “shortages of doctorally-prepared nursing faculty,” and the number of staff led by DNP graduates has dropped severely compared to prior years.

Maximize Your Career Aspirations With a DNP Degree

You can be part of the solution by maximizing your career aspirations within the nursing field and furthering your career with a DNP degree. Those who enroll in the DNP online program at The University of Texas at Arlington will lead change in addressing the challenges faced by today’s healthcare providers — based on evidence-based strategies and methods.

Students will benefit from this professional experience, earning the highest clinically focused nursing degree available in the field and becoming respected healthcare leaders.

This intensive program allows students to research and synthesize the complex challenges of the healthcare environment and provide innovative practice solutions for the workplace. For example, the Leadership in Healthcare Systems course covers the basics of influencing systems-level change at the DNP level. In the Healthcare Policy course, students focus on the processes of providing leadership at every level (local, regional and national).

The DNP degree differs from the PhD in Nursing because it prepares nurses for leadership in clinical practice, consultative or policy-setting roles. DNP graduates also have varied job opportunities, which include positions in hospitals, government agencies or private practice institutions.

Learn more about The University of Texas at Arlington’s DNP online program.


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