As nursing continues to evolve and become more specialized, it becomes clear that advanced degrees are necessary to truly make a difference in the field of healthcare.
If you want to make a difference in the healthcare industry, consider earning a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). This advanced degree will allow you to influence patient care, education and research at the highest level of your field.
DNP programs are designed to give you the advanced knowledge you need to impact your career and nursing.
What is a DNP degree?
A DNP is an advanced professional degree that prepares nurses to take on leadership roles and advance the profession in academic, clinical or administrative settings.
DNP-prepared nurses will have the opportunity to continue learning through courses such as population health management, evidence-based research design, healthcare policy analysis, and informatics.
With this broader knowledge base, they can help shape the future of healthcare by preparing others for emerging trends, while continuing to meet patients’ needs with traditional bedside care.
If you intend to achieve higher roles with a values-based education, Walsh University offers an online DNP degree program tailored for busy professionals who need flexibility.
This degree allows you to develop evidence-based problem-solving and healthcare policy competencies. In addition, you will acquire the technical skills to lead change and innovation in a digital world.
Not only does the DNP provide advanced training for current registered nurses, but it also prepares those without prior nursing experience for careers as nurse practitioners.
Ways that a DNP degree can help you make a difference
The DNP has become an increasingly popular degree option in recent years, and with good reason. This advanced degree allows nurses to bridge the gap between the technical aspects of nursing and leadership.
A DNP prepares you to take the reins and make change happen in your workplace and your community. Here are some ways that a DNP can help you make a difference, both now and in the future.
The DNP prepares you for workforce leadership
A DNP degree can prepare you for leadership roles in nursing and other healthcare fields. As healthcare continues to grow and change, many different positions will require nurses.
A DNP helps nurses gain skills that are critical to their success in the workforce. The accelerated curriculum prepares you to work with teams and collaborate across disciplines, leading complex projects to improve patient outcomes.
The increased emphasis on research allows you to evaluate best practices, synthesize data and develop evidence-based interventions. With such skills, DNP graduates prepare for roles as nurse practitioners, nurse leaders, educators and researchers.
They may also choose to enter administration or assume teaching and scholarly roles. Regardless of the specialty area, all DNP graduates can take advantage of the new knowledge and skills they have acquired to make a difference in today’s healthcare system.
Better access to quality care
In today’s healthcare landscape, nurses are in high demand. As the population ages and more people access healthcare coverage, nurses must provide the hands-on care that patients need.
By leveraging the design of DNP programs, graduates gain advanced knowledge and skills needed for leadership positions in healthcare organizations.
The changes in healthcare will require a workforce with different skillsets from those currently available. Graduates of DNP programs have the skills necessary to serve as leaders in this rapidly changing environment and improve patient outcomes across the country.
They also bring their clinical expertise into academia, where they teach future generations of nurses how to deliver better-quality care and advocate for best practices.
Enhances a global perspective
A DNP can bring a global perspective to the table. Graduates know how other countries and cultures view healthcare and can access insights from patients in those countries.
This understanding is invaluable when addressing health disparities in the US. It’s not uncommon for nurses with a DNP degree to work abroad or conduct research projects abroad.
There are many ways that this advanced degree can enhance your global perspective and help you continue making a difference around the world.
The DNP program allows students to explore global health issues such as poverty, maternal health and HIV/AIDS. With a DNP degree, graduates have the knowledge and skills necessary to work internationally.
Continuing education is also readily available through international conferences, events and distance learning programs.
You will gain a better understanding of the healthcare system
A DNP will provide you with the education and experience to better understand the healthcare system. This understanding will help you more effectively make changes within the system that will have lasting impacts.
For example, as a leader in academia, your knowledge of how research is conducted can be used to advocate for policies that support effective and efficient research practices.
As an advanced practice provider, you can use your knowledge of how medical services are delivered and reimbursed to advocate for the inclusion of outcomes data in provider credentialing processes.
Your critical thinking skills will also be able to evaluate and synthesize information from disparate sources critically. That way, when the next new idea comes along, you’ll know if it’s worth spending time on.
It promotes an innovative mindset
With new technologies come new challenges. It’s up to leaders to find solutions using innovative approaches. To do this, nurses need to have the most advanced education available, which a DNP program provides.
A DNP provides nurses with the skills and competencies they need to lead evidence-based practice, provide healthcare interventions, and contribute to healthcare transformation.
The DNP will prepare students with new knowledge and abilities that will allow them to think critically about essential nursing topics such as population health management and leadership.
The DNP promotes an innovative mindset that can help you make a difference in your field by encouraging creativity, problem-solving and critical thinking.
These are invaluable qualities for people who want to innovate professionally or personally.
Mentor students, nurses or patients
Mentorship plays a crucial role in today’s healthcare environment. As the need for nurses continues to rise, it is vital to ensure that they receive the education and skills they need to succeed.
As a DNP graduate, you can provide mentoring services to students, nurses or patients by providing them with guidance and instruction on performing tasks or reaching their goals.
The program equips you with all the necessary tools, such as strategies and theories, to allow you to be an effective mentor. Our nation’s future workforce must have mentors who will guide them as they transition into tomorrow’s nursing roles.
You can also share your expertise by teaching courses as a professor at an accredited university or hospital.
Shape policy and legislation
Nurses are uniquely positioned to advocate for patients’ health and wellbeing. A DNP degree can help nurses impact public policy and legislation to benefit patients.
For example, the lack of access to primary care physicians can contribute to high rates of emergency room visits and hospitalizations among uninsured people with chronic diseases.
Nurse practitioners (NPs) have the potential to provide much-needed care for this population, but they need access to advanced practice nursing roles.
NPs also need additional authority to offer all types of primary care services without being restricted by law or regulation. Nurses can advocate for laws promoting better healthcare delivery and outcomes with a DNP degree.
Conduct quality management reviews
Quality management reviews at healthcare facilities can help identify and correct issues that may compromise the quality of care. Healthcare professionals certified in this area can assess the care provided and recommend improvements.
This is done by conducting interviews with staff; reviewing policies, procedures and assessment tools; and analyzing data to determine whether care is delivered safely, effectively, timely and efficiently.
When you pursue a DNP program, you can gain the skills and knowledge needed to conduct these reviews. This program will give you skills in an increasingly important aspect of healthcare, improving the quality of services for patients through quality management.
The field is rapidly evolving, so it’s essential to maintain competency and keep up to date on emerging trends through continuing education.
A DNP provides you with a unique skillset that will equip you to make a difference in the world.
The knowledge gained through these programs can inform your practice as a nurse practitioner, advance the profession of nursing, or help build your own business. Additionally, it increases your earning potential. Nurses who have attained a doctoral degree earn more than those who haven’t.
They also have access to administrative positions, enabling them to effect change on a larger scale. If you’re ready to take your career to the next level and positively impact people’s lives, then a DNP program might be what you need.