Career Development

Top 5 Benefits of Getting Your Doctorate in Nursing Practice

Career Paths for the Indecisive New Grad Nurse

By Brook Jillings, contributor

Skilled nurses ready to take their career to the next level have the option of obtaining a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP). This gives nurses the same rigorous education required of other medical professionals such as podiatrists, dentists and pharmacists. So what does a doctorate of nursing practice do and why should you want one?

If you've completed a DNP program and you're ready to find a position that showcases your advanced skills, check out the nursing jobs posted on American Mobile.

What Does a Doctorate in Nursing Practice Do?

Unlike a traditional PhD that focuses on research, the Doctorate in Nursing Practice is a terminal degree centered around practical application of nursing.

Dr. Lori Anderson, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the Augusta University College of Nursing, explains, "DNP education provides a focus in clinical practice and management expertise to improve health care outcomes by translating knowledge and research practice to solve health care problems in systems."

Nurses with this degree can become independent practitioners in chosen specialties, such as Nurse Practitioner specialists, certified nurse midwives or certified registered nurse anesthetists.

5 Benefits of Doctorate in Nursing Practice

Nurses who receive the Doctorate of Nursing Practice degree can enjoy several benefits.

1. Increase in salary

Salaries for someone with a Doctorate in Nursing and an associated position vary across states and specialties. On average, nurses with a DNP earn $100K nationally. Where you work, the position you hold and the company you work for are all factors that can affect your annual pay, but a Doctorate in Nursing Practice degree significantly increases your earning potential.

2. Increased career options

A Doctorate in Nursing Practice can open more professional doors for nurses by designating them as experts in their fields. Marie Dahlberg of Clarkson College says, "The demand for doctorate-prepared nurses is very high, which gives those who earn their DNP the opportunity to follow many different career paths."

3. Wider knowledge base

The curriculum for obtaining a Doctorate in Nursing Practice varies by specialty, but DNP students will receive training in diagnostics, advanced practice and disease treatment, along with health care business and management studies. This gives nurses the ability to provide specialized care for patients while also maintaining their employer's bottom line.

4. Increased respect in medical community

A Doctorate in Nursing Practice is one of the highest degrees a nurse can obtain. Nurses receiving the DNP designation earn recognition as nursing experts and command the respect of other medical professionals due to the extensive clinical hours and education required to complete the degree.

5. Influence over the future of nursing

Nurses with a Doctorate in Nursing Practice have the option of teaching, giving them direct influence over the future of nursing. A DNP also allows a nurse to incorporate medical advances made by nurse researchers much quicker than the 17-year industry standard.

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