Reach the Pinnacle of Nursing Education With DNP Programs

DNP programs started in the 1960s and have slowly developed over the decades to become one of the most coveted degrees for nurses. Doctor of nursing programs represent one of the highest levels of training and education in the nursing profession. They allow nurses to keep abreast of the ever-changing health care environment by preparing them to become expert clinicians, researchers, and educators.
 
These programs can differ in content and orientation. Some programs are geared towards developing expertise in a traditional area like medical-surgical nursing or women’s health. Others explore newer, more novel practice areas, such as forensic nursing or trans-cultural nursing. Regardless of approach, the three fundamental areas that DNP nursing programs focus on are nursing theories and their applications, honing leadership skills, and the creation and application of research to nursing practice.
 
There are many types of doctor of nursing programs. Schools can offer doctor of nursing (ND), doctor of nursing practice (DNP), doctor of nursing science (DNSc), doctor of nursing philosophy (PhD), accelerated BSN to PhD, and MSN/PhD dual degree programs. Students can choose to study part-time or full-time through online or traditional classes. DNP programs are quite demanding and may take a lot of time to finish so it requires utmost commitment.
 
Since schools have different programs to offer, the student needs to know his or her particular interest and career goals. It is recommended that the program to enter must be based on previous experience as an advanced practice nurse (APN). This will build on relevant real-world experience and further the knowledge and training of the nurse.
 
The doctor of nursing (ND) program lasts between three and five years. This program aims to enhance the knowledge and skills of advanced practice nurses. Graduates of this program are going to lead nursing teams and make critical decisions in their practice areas.This program is being eased out in favor of the DNP.
 
A three-year full-time study is the duration of the doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program. This program aims to improve the nurses’ bedside skills and clinical competence. New technologies and clinical research are focus areas. Other relevant subjects include leadership, systems management, and quality of care. An active RN license and GPA of 3.0 to 4.0 are often required. This has become the program of choice for many nursing executives.
 
The doctor of nursing science (DNSc) program is designed to produce nurse scientists and scholars. Students study health care economics, informatics and statistics. Course work is research-driven and a clinical dissertation is usually required for completion. Graduates often become clinical researchers in hospitals or academia. Some DNSc programs are being converted into PhD programs.
 
Another research-intensive program is the doctor of nursing philosophy (PhD). This program focuses on clinical research to advance new nursing theories and improve practice. Nurses with PhDs are employed in hospitals and other traditional settings but are most likely seen working as public health policy advocates, teachers, and academic researchers.
 
MSN/PhD dual degree programs are accelerated programs for BSN-prepared nurses who want to earn both master of science in nursing (MSN) and PhD degrees in one continuous program. Fewer in number are programs called accelerated BSN to PhD programs. Students are consecutively awarded with a BSN, an MSN, and a PhD.
 
Accelerated DNP programs are growing in number because of the nursing shortage. These programs partly ease the problem by quickly training people from non-nursing backgrounds. Graduates of any of the DNP nursing programs can choose to become clinicians, researchers, leaders, educators, and policy analysts in a variety of practice settings. They face bright prospects as highly-educated and highly-skilled nursing graduates of DNP programs.

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