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Should You Get a Doctorate Degree in Nursing?

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Becoming a nurse is more of a calling than a choice of career, and some nurses who feel that they should work in this role are happy to continue working as a registered nurse without any plans to move up the career ladder.

Perhaps this is a decision taken due to the fact that they are satisfied with the role that they are currently in, or because they prefer working in a role where they can stay at the bedside and provide care directly to their patients.

However, for nurses who want to climb the career ladder and work in advanced practice, management, or education roles, there are lots of opportunities available. If you want to progress in your nursing career, getting a DNP might be an ideal option for you.

Why Get a DNP?

There are plenty of reasons to consider getting a doctorate degree in nursing such as the DNP nursing program from Baylor University.

Many nurses who decide to pursue a DNP do this as they are interested in getting into a leadership role or want to move away from clinical practice to start a nursing career that is heavily focused on research, administrative tasks, or education.

A DNP and similar qualifications such as a PhD in nursing are some of the most advanced qualifications that nurses can obtain, helping them prepare to work in a wide range of advanced nursing career options. Some of the top reasons to consider getting a DNP include:

Become an Expert

Gaining a doctorate degree in nursing is an ideal way to become an expert in your chosen career field. Nursing is a healthcare career that will often take a different approach to medicine in comparison with other practitioners that hold a doctorate degree such as primary care doctors.

With this qualification, you will be able to work alongside medical and healthcare professionals that have obtained the same level of education, work in more advanced healthcare positions, and in roles where your decisions and opinions are highly valued.

Reduce the Nursing Shortage

Getting a DNP puts you in one of the best positions to work as a nurse educator. In this role, you will be responsible for teaching nurses at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

A shortage of nurse educators in colleges and universities that offer nursing education across the US is one of the biggest issues that is contributing to the national shortage of nurses.

An MSN is the minimum qualification required to become a nurse educator, but a DNP will allow you to teach nursing students at more advanced levels while improving your own skills and knowledge and becoming more effective at your job.

Influence Healthcare Policy

When you have a DNP, one of the main roles to consider working in is a nurse researcher role. This can be an ideal choice of career if you are an advanced nurse with a high level of experience and want to have a direct impact on rules, guidelines and procedures that are taught and are in place throughout nursing school and nursing careers.

A nursing DNP that focuses on research-based practice gives you the opportunity to use your skills and education to make sense of data, ultimately using what you find to improve nursing practice and standards of patient care.

Start a Practice

If you are interested in working in an advanced nursing practice role, there are several different options to consider when you have a DNP.

Typically, a master’s degree in nursing is the minimum requirement for nurses who want to work in an advanced career such as a nurse practitioner, in order to gain the advanced education necessary to work with full practice authority in over twenty US states.

Nurse practitioners who hold a DNP can get into even more advanced nursing roles and may be better prepared to run their own clinic or practice. A DNP not only helps to take your nursing skills to the next level but will also help with preparing you for an executive leadership career in nursing.

Is Getting a DNP Online Worth It?

Most of the time, nursing students at the DNP level will already be working and have experience as either a registered nurse or advanced practice registered nurse.

An online DNP is often an ideal option to consider because of this, since studying online makes it easier for you to fit your education around your career. This is especially true for DNP students who plan to continue working full-time in nursing for the duration of the degree program.

A DNP will take on average between 2-5 years to complete depending on the type of program and whether you decide to study full-time or part-time. Studying online provides you with the option to study in a more flexible manner while gaining more nursing experience.

Other Things to Consider Before Getting Your DNP

There are several important factors to consider before you get started with your Doctor of Nursing practice degree. You will need to consider admissions requirements for the programs that you are interested in.

Along with this, make sure that you have all the information on how long the program will last and the curriculum that is taught. It’s also worth considering the roles that you are interested in working in for the future; PhD programs are often more researched based compared to DNP programs, which are more practice-based.

If you plan to work in nursing research in the future, a PhD rather than a DNP could be a better choice for you. On the other hand, the DNP is designed to prepare you for practice-based advanced nursing roles in management and leadership, advanced practice, and nurse education.

If you want to get into an advanced nursing role and earn the highest level of nursing education possible to take your career to the next level, a doctorate degree in nursing might be the ideal choice for you.

With this advanced qualification, you can work in roles including nursing management, research, education, advanced clinical practice and more.

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