AACN DNP Essentials
Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses and respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days by suggesting an additional perspective on what it means to be a nurse with a practice doctorate, offer support to the expectations with obtaining the degree that your colleague posted, or expand upon your colleague’s post.
2:02pmSep 18 at 2:02pm
A nurse possessing a practice doctorate, such as a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), undertakes a diverse range of responsibilities and is subject to distinct standards specific to their area of expertise. The subsequent section delineates the distinct requirements for Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) graduates, highlighting potential deviations from the demands imposed on nurses possessing alternative degrees, such as a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Nursing.
Advanced Clinical Practice:
Doctor of Nursing Practice-educated nurses are held to a higher standard than those without this degree. In many ways, they represent the pinnacle of clinical nursing. PhD-educated nurses are held to a higher standard than their MSN-educated peers, who may have comparable clinical skills but lack the scope and depth that a PhD confers.
Leadership and Management:
Nurses who have finished a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program are frequently expected to take on managerial and administrative roles in the healthcare industry (McCauley et al., 2020). This could include overseeing quality assurance methods, supervising medical professionals, or exerting policy influence. Mid-level nurse administrators typically hold a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN); nonetheless, their knowledge of healthcare systems and policy is generally inferior to that of persons with advanced degrees.
Evidence-Based Practice and Research:
Nurses with a DNP or PhD both conduct research, but the DNP focuses on using the findings in clinical settings (Dobrowolska et al., 2021). Doctor of Nursing Practice-educated nurses are expected to be able to assess the reliability of research studies and use that data to guide clinical judgments. On the other hand, nurses with doctorates place a great priority on research. This contrast draws attention to the divergent expectations for research between the two degrees.
Healthcare Policy and Patient Advocacy:
In the healthcare delivery system, nurses with a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree are seen as leaders and policymakers at the institutional and legislative levels. Nurses with this advanced degree are better equipped to help improve the quality of patient care and the outcomes they achieve. Nurses with non-MD degrees may not find this quality to be as relevant.
Education and Teaching:
Future nurses’ and healthcare professionals’ careers are significantly shaped by CNEs, such as those who get their DNPs (Link, 2020). While MSN grads are also permitted to teach, DNP graduates are held to a higher standard in educational settings.
My motivation for pursuing a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree is the desire to play a larger and more varied position in the healthcare industry. My objective is to achieve professional excellence by prioritizing the use of evidence-based practice, enhancing the quality of care provided, and advocating aggressively for policy changes pertinent to the field. Obtaining a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree will enable me to address current healthcare gaps and advocate for positive changes within healthcare facilities.
After completing my doctoral studies in nursing, I intend to assume a leadership position in interdisciplinary teams, where I will contribute to the development of evidence-based protocols, the implementation of quality improvement initiatives, and the promotion of policies aimed at enhancing patient care. As an aspiring nurse educator, I hope that my distinct contributions will advance the nursing profession.
During my time here, I have been tasked with leading efforts to improve healthcare delivery by introducing new techniques or rectifying existing flaws. The target has been the reduction of HAIs (healthcare-associated infections) in hospitals. Infection control guidelines were updated in light of new research, medical staff received education, and progress was tracked and reported. This has solidified my resolve to earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree and further my career in healthcare by proving the value of evidence-based practice and extraordinary leadership in improving patient care.
Dobrowolska, B., Chruściel, P., Markiewicz, R., & Palese, A. (2021). The role of doctoral‐educated nurses in the clinical setting: Findings from a scoping review.
Journal of Clinical Nursing, 30(19-20), 2808-2821.
Link, L. (2020). Novice Nurse Educators Receiving Mentoring.
McCauley, L. A., Broome, M. E., Frazier, L., Hayes, R., Kurth, A., Musil, C. M., … & Villarruel, A. M. (2020). Doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree in the United States: Reflecting, readjusting, and getting back on track.
Nursing outlook, 68(4), 494-503.
3:07pmSep 18 at 3:07pm
Week 4 Discussion
The role of a nurse with a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree extends far beyond the traditional scope of clinical practice. Such individuals are prepared to assume leadership positions, participate in policy formulation, and contribute to system-level changes in healthcare (Hartjes et al., 2019). They also often engage in evidence-based practice initiatives, educational reforms, and quality improvement (Hartjes et al., 2019). In contrast, a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in nursing is more directed towards nursing science, theory, and research (Hartjes et al., 2019). Essentially, a DNP-prepared nurse is skilled in translating research into practical applications, pivotal for improving patient outcomes and healthcare systems.
My decision to pursue a DNP is driven by my commitment to enhancing patient outcomes through evidence-based interventions. While I appreciate the research and theory from a PhD in nursing, my primary focus is practical applications in clinical settings. In addition, my ambition aligns with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) DNP Essentials. These Essentials focus on critical competencies in leadership, quality improvement, and system thinking (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2006). This advanced education will uniquely equip me to identify and address gaps in practice and drive evidence-based changes within healthcare organizations. Tussing et al. (2018) mention how DNP-prepared nurses can examine current practices and complete gap analysis based on the AACN competencies acquired.
In a previous experience with the practical application of my focus on improving patient outcomes, I collaborated with an interdisciplinary team to identify a practice gap related to surgical site infections (SSIs). Leveraging this collaboration, I helped develop a bundled care approach to reduce SSIs and implemented Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) protocols. This initiative achieved its objectives and served as a tangible example of how advanced practice competencies can be utilized to address healthcare challenges. It further reinforces my decision to pursue a DNP degree for its capacity to effect meaningful change.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2006).
The essentials of doctoral education for advanced nursing practice. https://www.aacnnursing.org/Portals/42/Publications/
Hartjes, T. M., Lester, D., Arasi-Ruddock, L., McFadden Bradley, S., Munro, S., & Cowan, L. (2019). Answering the question: Is the doctor of philosophy or doctor of nursing practice right for me? Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 31(8), 439–442.
Links to an external site.
Tussing, T. E., Brinkman, B., Francis, D., Hixon, B., Labardee, R., & Chipps, E. (2018). The impact of the doctorate of nursing practice nurse in a hospital setting. JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration, 48(12), 600–602.
Links to an external site.
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