The Doctor Of Nursing Practice (DNP)
1. Doctor of nursing practice
The doctor of nursing practice (DNP) is a crucial issue in United States and other countries. The doctor of nursing practice has ignited a debate within the nursing profession. People differ on whether the nurse practitioner education entry to nursing practice should be at the doctoral level. A nurse practitioner is an advanced practice nurse educated to offer evidence based care to patents in different settings. The nursing profession has depended on the doctor of philosophy degree to prepare nurses for different professions. The nurses have prepared nurses for research, education and health policy. Many health care degrees have emerged in United States including the doctor of nursing practice. The doctor of nursing practice focuses on leadership in clinical practice.
The American association of nursing states that all advanced practice nursing programs must be at the DNP by 2015. The changes affect other countries such as Canada. The countries should change to the doctor of nursing practice. The highest education level for a nurse practitioner in Canada is a master’s degree. Nurses should pursue a doctor of philosophy degree considered a research degree. Canada has not developed doctorate degrees apart from the doctor of philosophy degree. The difference between doctor of nursing practice and doctor of philosophy is not clear and is the main source of debate in United States. Many people do not understand the difference between doctor of nursing practice and doctor of philosophy and hence nurses do not enroll for a doctor of nursing practice. Many nurses enroll for a doctor of philosophy degree as it is the most common (Brar, Boschma & McCuaig, 2009).
2. Shortage of doctorate and masters prepared nurse educators
Leaders have concentrated upgrading the nursing profession via doctoral programs that focus on research. Leaders have developed various programs such as CNL and DNP programs to improve the nursing practice and profession. However, leaders have not focused on the current shortage of nurse educators with master’s and doctorate degrees. Some of the programs developed should focus on addressing the shortage of nurse educators. The number of nurse educators with master’s and doctorate degrees teaching in both graduate and undergraduate nursing programs is low. US developed policies to overcome the shortage of nurse educators having a master’s and doctorate, but the number is still low. Some of the programs developed should focus on preparing nursing faculty. This will give students a chance to study advanced courses in nursing education and also motivate them. Nurse leaders and other leaders should give doctoral programs that focus on research a priority. They should also look for other ways of having a well prepared faculty. For instance, they should recognize the role nurses with master’s degree play in the nursing programs appreciate and reward them. Also, they should ensure they have nurses who have the training, qualifications and aptitude to carry out research to improve nursing education(Tanner, 2005).
3. Factors that hinder the adoption of Doctor of nursing practice by 2015
The number of doctor of nursing practice programs in United States has increased after the ACCN recommended nurses to pursue the degree. This shows that many people have accepted the doctor of nursing practice. Over 10 nursing schools in United States have established doctor of nursing practice programs and 138 programs are accepting learners. However, the advanced practice nurses affected directly by the doctor of nursing practice have not shown commitment. Advanced practice specialty organizations have adopted the implementation date or 2015 date set by AACN. Lack of support from the advanced practice nurses and the organizations might affect the implementation of the doctor of nursing practice and nursing practice (Bellini, 2012).
4. Doctor of nursing as the most suitable doctorate degree for nurses
The doctor of nursing practice is the suitable degree for advanced practice nurses, nurse educators and clinical leaders as the skills included in the doctor of nursing practice program are significant in the environment that nurse leaders work. The doctor of nursing practice provides nurse leaders with skills and knowledge needed to question present practice and change the nursing practice in the future. Further, doctor of nursing practice is the best doctorate degree of nurse leaders as the masters degree does not prepare nurses well. The master’s degree does not provide nurses with the knowledge and experience in various areas. The leaders do not have experience in leadership and design and evaluation of health care systems. Also, they do not have experience in research and health care policies. The doctor of nursing practice equips nurses with knowledge and skills required to lead heath care organization, conduct research and design and evaluate systems. However, there should be nurses with doctor of philosophy degrees and nursing science to enable them conduct research (Fitzpatrick & Marecki, 2007).
The degree that is suitable for entry as a nurse practitioner is doctor of nursing practice. The degree ensures nurses have skills and knowledge needed to function effectively in health care facilities. It ensures nurses have leadership skills and other skills. The doctor of nursing practice is appropriate for entry as a nurse educator as nurses acquire skills and knowledge that enables them to work as nurse educators. The doctor of philosophy degree is the terminal degree for nurse educators. The doctor of philosophy degree prepares nurses well to teach in undergraduate and graduate programs (Fitzpatrick & Marecki, 2007).
Brar, K., Boschma, G, & McCuaig, F. (2009). The development of nurse practitioner preparation beyond the master’s level: what is the debate about? International Journal of Nursing Education Perspectives, 7, 1-15.
Bellini, S. (2012). The doctor of nursing practice for entry into advanced practice: the Controversy continues as 2015 looms. Retrieved from http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/760749?src=mp&spon=38 on 23/09/2012
Fitzpatrick, J., & Marecki, M. (2007). Is the doctor of nursing practice the appropriate doctoral degree for nurses. The American Journal of Maternal, 32, 138- 139.
Tanner, C. (2005). What are our priorities? Addressing the looming shortage
Of nursing faculty. Journal of Nursing Education, 44, 247-248.