You can become an advanced-practice nurse earning a DNP. With this type of education, you’ll learn to treat patients with complex medical issues throughout their lifetimes.
That’s just one way DNP graduates can use their degrees. This blog lists rewarding nursing career paths that might interest you if you consider returning to school for a doctorate.
What Is a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)?
The DNP study is an advanced degree. It prepares students to lead nursing and healthcare delivery systems, conduct high-quality research, and provide evidence-based practice.
The coursework includes advanced study in clinical areas such as mental health, acute care, community health, and gerontology. The curriculum also includes courses in leadership skills development. It teaches strategies for faculty members at the doctoral level. The degree requires the completion of a dissertation research project or capstone experience under the guidance of an expert mentor in the field.
With an aging population and new healthcare policies constantly being implemented worldwide, the demand for nurses will continue to grow. In fact, according to data from the ARPN, only 14% of registered nurses hold a doctorate. This means there’s plenty of room for increased enrolment.
Suppose you enjoy working with people who need help if you want to become an unsung hero. Then make your mark on this growing industry!
How to Become a DNP
As a doctor of nursing practice, you can pursue several different career paths. The first step is to complete the Master’s Degree in Nursing. It must boast a 3.0 or higher GPA from an accredited nursing school. Then apply for DNP programs for advanced skills and techniques in clinical practice, research, and business management.
With online courses growing extremely mainstream, it’s wise to follow the trend. Online study will enable you to complete coursework from anywhere. DNP online programs also allow you to balance work and school commitments flexibly. Most importantly, it will save you resources such as money and time you would spend on the commute if you take offline courses.
You should also check whether each institution has state authorization before enrolling. Also, not all schools will meet your needs or expectations. Some may be too expensive, while others might need to offer more support services, such as tutoring sessions.
Finally, remember that other requirements depend on which college/university you choose. Unencumbered RN license, proof of immunization record, and other prerequisites. It’s thus advisable to do research on the university before applying.
Once you get approval and earn a DNP degree, you are all set to make a living in the following careers:
Nurse anesthetists are the most specialized of all nurse practitioners. They administer anesthesia to patients, monitor their vital signs, and help maintain a safe environment during surgery.
Some people choose this career path because they have a passion for medicine. They want to spend their lives ensuring that other people get healthy. Nurse anesthetists have to be good at math to calculate dosages. They must, however, be great with people. They have to talk patients through procedures and comfort them when necessary.
The salary for nurse anesthetists is also good. Sure it varies depending on factors like experience and university. But it’s usually around $202,000 per year or higher.
Nurses diagnose, manage and treat various illnesses. They also do medical health checks and prescribe screening tests. Nurse practitioners, however, have multiple degrees of autonomy from other health practitioners, such as surgeons.
In some states, nurse practitioners can prescribe medications independently, while in others, they need to work under close supervision by a physician. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment of nurse practitioners will grow by 40 percent between 2021 and 2031. This is substantially fast than the national average for all careers.
Clinical Nurse Specialist
Are you considering a clinical nurse specialist career path? Understanding the difference between NP and CNP is crucial. Nurse practitioners evaluate and care for patients, give meds, and perform tests. Clinical nurse specialists manage specific patient populations or conditions within an organization.
For example, if you have experience working with people with diabetes or hypertension, you can pursue a clinical nurse specialist in diabetes management or hypertension management. Other common practice areas include cardiovascular disease, pediatrics, neonatal intensive care nursing, and more.
Nurse midwifery is a relatively new field. They are highly trained to support women during their pregnancies, deliveries, and postpartum care. They work closely with patients with high-risk and complicated pregnancies.
Nurse-midwifery positions are generally found in private practices or clinics. This profession requires that you have your master’s degree as well as certification from two organizations. These organizations are the AMCB and the ACNM.
Nursing education is one of the most popular nursing careers for DNP graduates. Nurse educators teach and mentor students, residents, and other nurses. Most nurse educators work at colleges, universities, or other higher-learning institutions.
Some also teach in hospitals or clinics as part of clinical rotations for students. The employment figure of the nurse practitioner in the United States ranges from as low as 90 to as high as 6200, depending on the state’s requirement.
Nursing informatics is a highly in-demand career with massive potential to grow. It requires nurses to be knowledgeable in nursing and information technology (IT). As a nurse informatician, you’ll work with healthcare professionals to develop strategies for improving patient care, education, and research via computer systems.
Nursing informatics focuses on clinical quality improvement through the use of IT. You’ll identify problems within healthcare systems or processes. Then you will implement solutions using your knowledge of both nursing and IT. This role aims to improve patient outcomes by improving care delivery processes across healthcare settings.
For example, you might work in an ICU. Using your nursing knowledge, you can develop a system to monitor a patient’s blood oxygen levels. You could then use your IT skills to create a computer program that alerts staff when a patient’s level drops below normal.
According to a survey, 89% believe nurses are the most genuine, fair, and reliable. As a result, it’s easy to see how these medical experts can effectively lead the team. As a nurse leader, you are responsible for planning, managing, and directing nursing services.
Your duties include assessing patients’ needs, developing treatment plans, and evaluating the outcomes of these treatments. You also oversee the hiring and training of nurses and their evaluation process.
To create effective healthcare plans, help patients and deal with many people, you must communicate effectively and clearly with people. You may have to train others on how they should administer certain medications or perform procedures.
You must also have good interpersonal skills to interact with patients during their recovery period effectively or when giving them medication instructions at home after discharge from hospitalization.
Nursing is a booming profession, and the need for nurses with higher levels of degree will undoubtedly surge. The DNP program is a good option for people who aspire to advance their careers in nursing. When settling on a job line after graduating, you have several choices. Think carefully about which will best fit your needs and interests before making any decisions.