Doctor of Nursing Practice | What is a DNP Degree and Do I Need It?

As changes to the healthcare system in the United States continue to evolve, advanced practice practitioners are taking their careers to the next level by enrolling in programs that offer Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degrees. Many advanced practice nursing programs are moving from the Master’s to the doctoral level, offering the DNP that prepares nurses for leadership roles in clinical practice, clinical teaching and policy development.

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According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, there are currently about 243 DNP programs enrolling students nationwide, with approximately 100 additional nursing schools considering starting a DNP program.  One such institution is the College of Nursing at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center-Memphis.  They made the transition in 2009.  Their DNP in Neonatal Nursing program prepares the Advanced Practice Nurse to care for premature and critically ill newborns from birth to two years of age.  The DNP in Pediatric Nursing program is designed to prepare the Advanced Practice Nurse to provide primary care for pediatric patients with acute and chronic illnesses from birth through late adolescence.  Other DNP programs offered at UTHSC-Memphis include Adult Gerontology Acute Care, Family, Forensic, Psych/Mental Health, Public Health and Nurse Anesthesia.  It has been recommended by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) that all entry-level nurse practitioner programs be transitioned from the MSN to the DNP degree by the year 2015.  However, advanced practice practitioners currently holding their MSN would not be affected by this change.

Melnic Consulting Group offers an annual Melnic DNP Student Scholarship Award through the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP.)  Apply at www.napnap.org for the 2016 Melnic DNP Student Scholarship Award.

To inquire about DNP jobs visit Melnic Consulting Group or contact: Jill Gilliland 800-886-7906 jill@melnic.com

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