Doctor of Nursing Practice Degrees: Is One Right for You?

Some nurse practitioners have a master’s degree, while others hold a DNP. What does “DNP” stand for? It’s short for Doctor of Nursing Practice. A DNP program builds on the curriculum in a Master of Science in Nursing program and includes coursework in systems leadership, evidence-based practices, and quality improvement.

What Do You Do With a Doctorate in Nursing?

If you are a doctor of nursing practice, the sky is the limit! There are a wide range of possible workplaces, specializations, and duties. These different positions have a few roles and responsibilities in common. Someone with a doctorate of nursing practice can expect to perform some or all of these tasks:

  • Conducting research
  • Managing a staff of nurses and other health care workers
  • Educating the public and patients about health care issues
  • Being a leader in providing patient care
  • Developing policies and procedures

A doctor of nursing practice can hold an array of job titles, but there are a few common positions you may find them in:

  • Nursing faculty member: These nurses work as classroom instructors. They implement and evaluate curricula and mentor nursing students. They also conduct research to be shared at conferences and in medical journals.
  • Director of nursing research: In this position, a nurse oversees a nursing research department, which entails supervising research employees, managing projects, and answering questions about the design and implementation of studies.
  • Director of clinical services: A clinical administrator oversees the operations of patient care departments. They communicate with upper management and department managers to keep everything running smoothly.

Where Do DNPs Work?

DNPs have a duty to the world of medical research and health care. They work to perfect practices in any number of settings, including:

  • General and surgical hospitals
  • Research facilities
  • Public health offices
  • Independent practices
  • Physicians’ offices

Why Should I Get a Doctorate in Nursing?

Once you have a doctorate, you are at the top of the degree ladder. There is no higher degree you can obtain; you’ll just have to be mindful of renewing certifications, particularly in specialization areas. This advanced schooling has some unique benefits that make the hard work of pursuing a doctorate worth it.

  1. Getting a doctorate will present exciting research possibilities. Research is the key to making progress in the field of nursing.
  2. A doctor of nursing practice is able to represent nursing teams at high-level meetings with doctors and administrators.
  3. If you have an interest in teaching, a doctorate will put you in a perfect position to do so and will allow you train nurses in a hospital or university setting.
  4. As the field of nursing expands, there is a great need for highly trained and skilled nurses. You’ll be able to step into a needed leadership or management role if you have this advanced degree.
  5. The higher the number of nurses who hold doctorates is, the more highly regarded the field of nursing becomes.
  6. You will become a true critical thinker, which is an essential skill in the medical field.
  7. Advanced training will improve and refine your clinical practice.
  8. You can promote and represent scholarship and evidence-based practice.
  9. There is a shortage of nurses, which means that highly trained nurses are of extra value.
  10. You will learn about the business and management elements of health care.

Doctor of Nursing Practice Salary

Your salary will be dependent on your position, but here are few examples of positions and possible earnings:

  1. Certified registered nurse anesthetist: $135,000
  2. Nurse researcher: $95,000
  3. Psychiatric nurse practitioner: $95,000
  4. Certified nurse midwife: $91,000
  5. Pediatric endocrinology nurse: $81,000

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of nursing is expected to grow by 15% by 2026, which is much faster than average.

Is a doctorate in nursing right for you? It will depend on what your career goals are and your specializations. If you are willing to commit to this advanced degree, there’s no doubt that you can advance your career and enjoy significant benefits, not to mention that you’ll have the opportunity to help many people and strengthen the field as a whole.

Consider obtaining an online degree if you work full-time and don’t have the ability to relocate. There are many options out there for those who have the will to study for a doctorate. You can also explore the possibility of grants and other funding options.

Our nursing degree guides can help you learn more about careers in the nursing field and the education associated with them. The first step to planning your career is to do some thorough research. You can get started with the information presented here.