Today the highest degree in the nursing profession is the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). It is one of the few doctoral degrees in this field gaining quick momentum. Additionally, the other postgraduate degrees in the nursing profession are Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Nursing Science, and Nurse Doctorate. However, DNP focuses on the practical aspect of the domain, hence, opening various career paths. In contrast to DNP, the focus of other degrees is more on research and getting intellectual skills.
Over the past few years, the DNP degree has evolved and has been accepted more widely. Over the previous years, the number of DNPs has increased drastically. There are various DNP specialties available for the students upon their enrollment, including population health, clinic manager, and health policy advocates. In addition, most DNP programs prepare nurses for taking up leadership roles that require apt decision-making and analytical skills.
The role of nurses is expanding, and they are taking part in wide-ranging aspects of health provision, including leadership and management. And so, while many employers might be employing nurses with a bachelor’s degree, most prefer a candidate with advanced nursing degrees.
Here are some reasons why nurses should earn a DNP degree.
Changing needs of healthcare
Over the past years, the need for healthcare is changing at an exponential rate. As a result, nurses have to update their skills to deal with novel infections and emerging diseases while depending on cutting-edge technology to treat them.
Therefore, earning a terminal degree in nursing is one way of equipping yourself with new healthcare trends and changing healthcare dynamics. A terminal degree prepares you to assimilate changes into patient care delivery, improving your performance on the field. At the same time, it prepares you to take up advocacy roles with a problem-solving approach.
Take up leadership roles
The course curricula of DNP programs support a well-rounded approach to imparting essential skills and competencies to the students. A doctoral degree is a well-thought-out program for honing the leadership skills of nurses.
With the evolving healthcare practices and emergencies during work, nurses often need to make difficult decisions. Now, nurses are not restricted to serving as assistants to doctors but are playing strategic leadership roles in healthcare organizations. With a doctoral degree in nursing, you can hone the practices of apt decision-makers, work under pressure, and lead those working with you.
Wide range of specialties
The freedom of choosing from a wide range of career options and specialties is one of the highlights of a DNP program. For example, let’s say you have a passion for learning about a specific area in the sea of healthcare specialties. In that case, a DNP degree offers an excellent opportunity to focus on your interest. Some of the options allow you to pursue clinical roles, while others pave the way for nonclinical positions. Additionally, you can work in outpatient care centers, physicians’ offices, or medical and surgical hospitals. The opportunities are indeed unlimited.
Open more career and earning opportunities
One of the benefits of earning a terminal degree in your profession is that you can have more career opportunities. More options imply that you can expand your work opportunities and choose from various earning streams. Resultantly, as you can get skills to take up roles high up in the hierarchy, it also means a higher pay scale.
According to the estimates of PayScale, as of May 2020, the average salary of a psychiatric mental health nurse is around $99,000 annually. At the same time, Family nurse practitioners earn $98,000 as of June 2020. Additionally, these salaries can vary based on experience, level of responsibility, and skills. Overall, the graduates of a DNP program work at higher levels and pay scales than others.
Stay updated with current trends
Another reason for earning a DNP degree is the need to stay updated with the current trends. The needs of patient care are evolving at a considerable pace. Therefore, nurses are compelled to hone new skills and expertise to meet the sector’s emerging demands and prevailing needs. In addition, the use of technology across healthcare is one reason why nurses have to update their skill set. For example, the rapid onset of the utilization of telehealth depicts the need for healthcare professionals to update their technological know-how. Besides, the Covid-19 pandemic was a reminder of the need to update the healthcare system worldwide technologically.
Advanced nursing degrees such as DNP provide up-to-date information to the students. Thus, they can show flexibility when the need arises. In addition, the new tools learned in the classroom help them stay updated with future trends and needs.
The worldwide healthcare system is continuously battling new diseases and emerging infections. To fulfill the demand of changing times and healthcare needs, the method of health provision is also evolving. More than ever, health care professionals, including nurses, need new expertise and skills to offer better patient care. In addition, with the introduction of recent trends such as healthcare informatics, nurses need to develop their academic credentials.
A DNP degree can impart crucial skills and competencies to existing and aspiring nurses with the dynamic training modules. Thus, its goals of preparing future nurse leaders can positively impact this profession. Moreover, their advocacy role can bring about policy changes and ways patients get health services. Finally, a DNP degree empowers you to revolutionize healthcare and make your place at the policy-making table.