Reflection on the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

The History and Purpose of the Degree

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Nurses strive to develop their knowledge and experience to become better in providing care to patients.  Within the nursing field, many doctoral programs have been established, which provide the opportunity for professionals to advance their knowledge. It is difficult to determine the chronological development of doctoral education since original doctorates were offered outside the nursing profession. However, the earliest nursing-related doctorate was provided around 1924 at Teachers College, Columbia University. The program was aimed at preparing nurses to teach at the institution (Chism, 2017). Since then, the DNP has developed as a way for nurses to advance their education. Nursing professionals are responsible for providing health care and meeting the needs of individuals, systems, and communities, through the creation of a practice-focused advanced education.

The Current State of the DNP

The DNP provides a chance for nurses to begin a fascinating journey as they transition into a higher responsibility care setting because of the additional qualifications. The current DNP-prepared APNs engages in various responsibilities, including nurse leadership, education, research and application of evidence to practice, ethics, information technology, and health policy. Enrollment in the DNP continues to increase as more nurses seek to advance their education and knowledge to provide quality evidence-based care (Moran, Burson, & Conrad, 2016). The development of the program also acknowledges the need for safer healthcare practices and advanced preparation of care providers.

The Future State of the DNP

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Experts have revealed that the healthcare environment will become more complex in the future as the system evolve. As a result, the nursing professional and its related education and development will change to accommodate the system and organizational level modifications. The DPN will be the epitome of the evolution and support the commitment of nursing to the future of health care. However, regardless of the need for DNP-prepared APNs in the provision of quality care, it is anticipated that the country might experience a shortage of doctoral-prepared nurses (Donley & Kiraly, 2016). Therefore, it is necessary to encourage the few nurses willing to advance their education to obtain a doctorate.

How DNP-Prepared APNs will Assist with Transformative Healthcare

DNP-prepared APNs are expected to perform at a higher level compared to undergraduate nurses. They are expected to be better at providing evidence-based care and become competent at communicating with patients and other professionals to support the quality of care (Zaccagnini & White, 2015). DNP-prepared APNs are capable of conducting critical research to inform effective changes in their healthcare settings. Besides, when confronted with complex problems, they can use high level, critical thinking, and clinical judgment to develop effective interventions. They will also play an important role in educating and mentoring other nurses to improve the care outcomes across health care organizations and the system.

The Advantages of having the DNP

After completing the Family Nurse Practitioner Program, I plan to take a DNP to develop more skills and experience to provide care to patients. Various benefits of the DNP make the program appealing to pursue. With the doctorate qualification, career advancement and broader career choices become possible. Besides, a person with an advanced level of education earns a better salary compared to undergraduate nurses. The advanced level of education also enables an individual to provide high-quality care to patients (Brown & Kaplan, 2016). Therefore, pursuing DNP as a part of my career goals will create better opportunities in the future to provide quality and safe care with more rewarding compensation.

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