Why the DNP is for ME

I have been a master’s prepared Nurse Practitioner (NP) for years and had mixed feelings about the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). I didn’t think that the DNP had anything to offer me; I was already a seasoned and successful professional. I provided a clinical rotation for a DNP student, and immediately saw a difference between the DNP and the Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) students’ outlook, potential, and connectedness to nursing. The DNP student had such a great enthusiasm for nursing. She talked about how DNPs are better-prepared to use the latest research and translate it into practice, improve quality care and patient interactions. She pointed out that I was still using nursing in my practice. For example, we chose an antibiotic for a patient’s illness, however we made the decision based on appropriateness and affordability for the patient; we provided care and discharge information that was highly individualized for that patient’s needs and educational/literacy level; we acknowledged that there is no “cookie cutter” approach to patient care. I had an “a-ha moment” when I realized that despite thinking that I was utilizing medicine and leaving nursing theory on the backburner, I was still an intuitive nurse. Medicine is used to treat the patient’s illness, however Nursing is used to treat the patient. The DNP is for me because I want to stay true to NURSING.


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