All About DNP Programs

Doctor of Nursing Practice or DNP programs provide the necessary education for executives in the field. It is the right career for someone who enjoys administration or research.

The time necessary to complete the program is 4-6 years. So there is a significant time investment.
Sticking with the program takes commitment, which is why DNPs are preferred as hospital administrators. A person who has the personality necessary to obtain the degree is thought of as someone that can commit to representing the best interests of the hospital, staff and patients.

By including summer courses, the program can be completed in 3-5 years. It is the most advanced of the APN (advanced practice nursing) degrees. It is the next step beyond the clinical nurse specialist and a few steps beyond the clinical nurse leader.

Clinical nurse specialists and leaders are in high demand. The time it takes to complete those degrees is less. A CNL degree can be obtained in as little as 16 months. A CNS degree can be obtained in as few as 9 semesters.

All of these advanced courses are geared towards preparing nurses to function in leadership roles. The healthcare industry needs more leaders capable of balancing the needs of the patient with the needs of the facility and staff.

Those who complete DNP nursing programs have the highest degree available, other than a PhD. This is a doctorate degree.

In addition to leadership skills, all students complete courses in statistics and data analysis. Those courses provide the skills necessary for researchers. Courses concern the history and philosophy of nursing science will also be included.

If you decide this is the right career for you, you will be investing a significant amount of money, along with your time. The tuition rates are the same as for other specialties. They are based on the number of credit hours. The more complex courses are worth more credit hours.

The pay-off for investing time and money in doctor of nursing programs are several. The graduates are scientists with the skills necessary to conduct research and bring about change in the industry. They are also well-paid.

The top 10% of earners in the nursing field hold advanced degrees of some type. Their average annual salaries were close to $100,000 in 2008 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

There are many DNP programs to choose from. If you decide this is the right field for you, you should have no trouble finding a school.

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