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Arkansas State University

Why Pursue a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)?

In its 2010 Future Nursing Report, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended doubling the number of doctorate-educated nurses by 2020. This recommendation was for two good reasons: Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) professionals have the highest level of nursing expertise in the field, and DNP programs, like the online DNP – General program offered by Arkansas State University (A-State), prepare professionals to use extensive research, evidence-based practice and clinical skills.

Additionally, Working Nurse provides five reasons to pursue a nursing degree:

  1. More opportunities within the career field make it easier for practitioners to find a job that suits their interests.
  2. More lessons in evidence-based practice prepare practitioners for new findings within the field.
  3. Students can become an expert in their chosen field or area of practice.
  4. Other practitioners are encouraged to reach for higher goals and enact change in the healthcare system.
  5. The hard work and hours of dedication pay off in the end.

It is best to evaluate doctorate programs to figure out which degree suits your personality and values. Nurse practitioners are always encouraged to stick with the career path that resonates with them rather than stepping out of their comfort zone.

This degree is one of the only degrees titled “professional” because graduates can expand their knowledge into diverse fields within the profession.

Benefits of a DNP Degree

Nurses choose to pursue their DNP degree for any number of reasons, including:

  • Expanding career opportunities
  • Increasing salary
  • Contributing to advances in the field
  • Influencing policy
  • Challenging their knowledge

DNP graduates earn an average annual salary of $110,912, depending on the state in which they live. They are among the top-paid individuals in the healthcare industry due to years of experience and schooling.

Those with a DNP degree can also secure a job with relative ease, given the widespread need for nursing professionals. According to Indeed, nurse practitioners, some with DNP degrees, might see a 45% increase in employment opportunities through 2030, leading to “approximately 29,400 new jobs per year.”

The High Demand for Doctorate-Educated Nurses

In recent years, there has been a high demand for doctorate-educated nurses. Many advanced nurse practitioners are nearing retirement age and need younger generations to fill the void.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) states the following reasons why there is a high demand for doctorate-educated nurses:

  • Changing needs within the healthcare field and the drive to know more about the illnesses affecting patients worldwide
  • Discoveries within the field aiming to improve patient outcomes and provide service that is compassionate to all
  • A decline in nursing staff making many practitioners feel overwhelmed with the workload, leading to shortages within specific departments
  • Accreditation programs sponsoring doctorate programs throughout the nation, making it easier for practitioners to become familiar with these programs

Expand Your Career With a Doctorate Degree

One way to expand your career as a nurse practitioner is to further your education and earn your Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. Those who enroll in the online DNP – General program at A-State will prepare to lead innovative improvements in the healthcare system at micro and macro levels.

Students will strengthen their patient-centered nursing practice and positively impact healthcare policy in leadership positions. This intensive program allows all students to master nuanced elements of nursing with a dynamic curriculum composed of hands-on and clinical courses that implement ethical healthcare.

For example, the Leadership, Policy, and Healthcare Systems course covers healthcare theories to evaluate and examine the field of professional nursing. In the Principles of Healthcare Ethics & Genetics course, students explore topics related to theories of ethics and principles of genetics in the healthcare setting.

Each future doctorate-educated nursing student will obtain the knowledge and skills required to enter influential roles such as clinical director, nursing director, clinical nurse specialist, certified nurse anesthetist or nurse midwife.

Learn more about the Arkansas State University online DNP – General program.

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