The nursing profession is a career path with several opportunities for growth. It doesn’t matter how long you have been practicing the profession, whether it’s been months or years, but it is not too early or too late to ponder about the future of your career and the direction you would love it to go through.
Academic credentials are essential in molding the trajectory of your career. As the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree becomes more important for entry-level positions, higher levels of degrees are also being pursued by an increasing number of nursing professionals.
The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is undoubtedly a strategic decision for individuals who desire to pursue an advanced position in nursing. This clinically focused degree educates experts in health care and patient care administration, thereby transforming your career in many ways.
5 Ways a DNP Nursing Degree Can Transform Your Career
Increment of Career Opportunities
One of the significant advantages of bagging a DNP degree is that it can get you qualified for various positions that are not available to nurses who have only an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees.
If you are interested in pursuing a role in either clinical leadership, academic or administration, a doctorate degree can equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to fulfill the requirements for various nursing positions.
The DNP allows registered nurses to provide expertise in clinical practice, utilize scholarly research, advanced technology, and evidence-based practice to enhance the outcomes of patients, as well as demonstrate clinical leadership.
The following are the careers usually pursued by nurses who bag a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree:
- Clinical Nurse Specialist
- Nurse Practitioner
- Chief Nursing Officer
- Nurse Midwife
- Nurse Anesthetist
- Nurse Director/Manager
These positions can be held in various healthcare settings such as hospitals, academic institutions, private healthcare facilities, insurance companies, etc.
In addition to having more career opportunities as a nurse with a DNP degree, the DNP can also improve your career outlook as the demand for advanced practice nurses increases.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job outlook for advanced practice nurses, which includes roles that call for a higher degree, such as nurse practitioners (NPs), is expected to increase by 45 percent from 2020 to 2030 which is much faster than the average for all occupations.
Potential Increase in Salary
While salary is determined by your location, experience, and even organization, earning a DNP degree places you at an advantage to earn a higher salary. It is as well a financial investment in your career that is capable of paying dividends.
The 2018 AORN Salary and Compensation Survey notes the base compensation for DNP nurses was approximately $7,500 higher than the base compensation for nurses with a master’s degree. In addition, according to a survey by ADVANCE health care network, of the professionals who work as nurse practitioners, those with a DNP degree earn the highest salaries annually.
Many years ago, a BSN degree was sufficient to set you apart as a nurse from the competition, but that is no longer the case. Professionals who want to take on advanced roles earn masters and doctoral degrees.
Though the number of students pursuing a DNP degree keeps increasing, there are still few candidates who hold a doctorate in the nursing field. The beauty of a DNP degree is that it reveals your commitment to learning and self-improvement, and it shows that you are willing to go the extra mile to further your career.
Also, through the knowledge you gain about new technologies and trends in the nursing sector when you attain a DNP degree, you will have a competitive edge over others. With a DNP degree, you can remain highly competitive in the nursing field.
Staying Up-to-date on the Latest Developments
Nursing and the healthcare field, in general, are rapidly changing. Clinical technology and best practices keep evolving as science advances. As a nurse, it is essential to stay up-to-date with new changes in order to keep on top of trends and provide the best possible care to patients at every point in time, and one way you can be sure of that is by attaining a DNP degree.
DNP-prepared nurses are leaders in understanding disease processes, best practices, clinical technologies, future trends, the latest trending health care, and medical and scientific advances.
In the degree program, you will particularly explore evidence-based practices in nursing, including the theories that relate to the evidence collection and research utilization.
While an MSN degree primarily focuses on clinical practice, the length of the DNP program gives room for additional coursework dedicated to a better comprehension of the planning and decision-making processes.
Specialization in Clinical Leadership
The curriculum of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree equips nurses with sufficient research knowledge and the resources required to specialize in clinical practice areas, carry out advanced patient care, and serve as executive leaders.
As a result of the fact that DNP graduates have advanced expertise in their preferred specialties, they understand the processes involved in presenting clinical and evidence-based research. Some of the roles available in clinical leadership include:
- Director of Nursing
- Director of Clinical Education
- Chief Clinical Officer
- Director of Patient Care Services
- Clinical Nurse Specialist
- Director of Clinical Operations
Get a Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree
As you are now informed about how much earning a DNP Degree can transform your career, your following line of action should be how to go about bagging that degree.
The requirements needed to pursue this advanced degree vary from one university to another, but the typical conditions are an active RN license and a BSN or MSN degree. You may also need to be currently employed in a healthcare setting so as to perform any assignment as and when due.
The length of your DNP program also depends on the school you select, with some having a short time frame and being more intensive, while others taking several years to complete, especially if it’s part-time.