Why a DNP?
Simply put, the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree is the wave of the future. This shift is occurring now.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has recommended that the DNP replace the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) as the entry level for advanced practice by 2015 . National bodies that offer the certification exam for advanced practice are expected to require nurses to hold a DNP. Thus anyone wishing to be a nurse practitioner (NP), clinical nurse specialist (CNS), nurse midwife (CNM), or nurse anesthetist (CRNA) should plan to complete a practice doctorate, instead of the master’s degree.
AACN and other nursing credentialing bodies are moving quickly to develop the DNP as the minimum entry for advanced practice. Students who wish to pursue a career as advanced practice nurses should pursue the DNP to be prepared for future practice and in keeping with credentials for other health care professionals, such as those in the fields of pharmacy, physical therapy and medicine.
For information on the national DNP pilot program, visit the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Web site at http://www.aacn.nche.edu/DNP/index.htm