DNP Programs Delaware

The number of APRNs practicing in Delaware is growing rapidly, especially after the state implemented full practice authority for nurse practitioners. The 21% growth of the APRN workforce accurately reflects the national projections for enormous growth in the profession. The expanding workforce emerges just as the health care system reports a looming shortage of primary care physicians exacerbated by the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act.

The shortage of physicians, especially those in primary care, is not a new concern. Increasing access to health care in rural areas has been the goal of policy makers for many decades. The problem is particularly prominent in Delaware where 20% of the population live in rural areas with only 9% of licensed physicians practicing there. Sussex and Kent Counties in southern Delaware have been designated as rural HPSAs. The limited access to primary care providers poses serious implications to the health and quality of care the population in these areas receive.

The implementation of full practice authority for nurse practitioners in Delaware is significant in that it gives NPs the ability to practice in rural parts of the state and bring affordable and adequate care to a population in need. Trained at the Masters or Doctorate level, APRNs have the knowledge and expertise to fill wide-open gaps in the healthcare system.

Nurse practitioners are just one of several types of advanced practice nurses recognized by the Delaware Board of Nursing. Nurse anesthetists, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse midwives are also APRNs. In Delaware, the vast majority of APRNs hold a master’s degree and approximately 5 percent have a DNP. More than 69% percent of the APRN workforce are nurse practitioners – the workforce is expected to increase by 30% by 2024.

Nurse practitioner training and education is shorter and less costly than training for physicians. However, they are able to provide the same high-quality care and patient satisfaction, which make them an ideal solution to quickly and effectively meet the ongoing demands for health care services. Delaware’s APRNs practicing with a collaborative agreement as of July 1, 2015 will have qualified for independent practice with the new agreement. Newly licensed APRNs must practice under a collaborative agreement for at least 2 years and a minimum of 4,000 full-time hours.

Reasons to Get A DNP

There’s an abundance of opportunities for nurses today. No longer is a registered nurse limited to an associate’s degree or diploma and confined to bedside care. Nurses can choose the type of medical facility where they want to work, the type of specialty they want to pursue, and even become an educator or get actively involved in administration and policy making. Nurses who decide to pursue their education to the fullest extent have the most options to branch out into different areas of practice. Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) such as nurse practitioners hold a graduate degree (MSN or DNP) and national certification to practice in their area of specialty.

The DNP degree represents the highest level of education a nurse can attain. It is a terminal degree that lets nurses become more involved in administration, implementation of practices founded in research, education, and primary care – for nurse practitioners. In light of the growing crisis in the delivery of primary care to residents in rural areas, DNP-prepared nurses are not just convenient; they’re the only source of primary care in many rural areas.

In 2004, the American Association of College’s of Nursing (AACN) recommended the DNP as the minimal standard for entry level practice as an advanced practice nurse. It later issued a position paper to support the recommendation, encouraging Schools of Nursing to adopt the standard by 2015. The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty formally embraced the recommendation in 2008, reaffirming to its members the need for all NPs to transition to the DNP degree and encouraging prospective NPs to do the same.

The proliferation of DNP programs across the nation is a harbinger of the future of the workforce and a forewarning to those who are likely to practice at an advanced level. The proposed DNP, could become the national standard for advanced practice. The University of Delaware, one out of the two universities offering the DNP program, accepts applications from both baccalaureate and masters trained nurses. The University of Willington offers a DNP for post-masters students.

DNP-prepared nurses have the abilities to function in management and clinical roles, but they can also fill an urgent need for more nursing faculty. Over 75% of nursing faculty across the nation are baby boomers on the verge of retirement. The exit of an entire cohort of nursing faculty could spell doom for the future of nursing. Nursing programs have to roll out incentives to attract educators or face the loss of accreditation due to inadequately prepared faculty. In Delaware, the demand for nurse educators is expected to increase by 14 percent by 2020. Creating incentives to attract the best talent could ultimately affect tuition, but it’s a move universities are willing to take to maintain the program. Since the majority of posts require a graduate degree, the DNP will position you to take up a full-time or part-time post as an educator. According to AACN data for 2012-2013, full-time nursing faculty earned a mean salary of $102,399.

DNP Admission Requirements Delaware

The DNP program prepares registered nurses to perform at the highest level of advanced nursing practice. The curriculum will cover the foundation for advanced and a population health focus to enable students to plan and implement evidenced-based interventions, health policies, and quality improvement strategies to promote patient health and safety and reduce disparities.

At the University of Delaware, students can enter via the BSN-to-DNP or MSN-to-DNP route. Topics in the core curriculum include population health, leadership and innovation, population healthcare informatics, evidence-based practice, policy and finance for healthcare delivery, problem identification, planning and development, evaluation and dissemination, and clinical role immersion.

Admission Requirements – Post-Baccalaureate Entry

Entry as a student with a baccalaureate degree will require that you complete at least 78 course credits. You must choose a population focused clinical concentration and complete those courses that will make you eligible to apply for licensure as an APRN.

Requirements for admission:

  • A baccalaureate degree in nursing from a program accredited by the CCNE or NLNAC.
  • Your college GPA must be 3.0 or above.
  • A copy of your license to practice as a registered nurse.
  • Documentation of relevant experience in the field of nursing.
  • A grade B or above in graduate level statistics
  • A written statement of your career goals and how the program will facilitate the accomplishment of your goals.
  • Three letters of recommendation from academic and professional sources. The academic reference must attest to your ability to complete a doctoral program.
  • Successfully pass an interview the DNP program coordinator and subcommittee.
  • A current curriculum vitae or resume.
  • A writing sample to demonstrate your competence is written communication.

Admission Requirements – Post-Master’s Entry

Graduation from the MSN-to-DNP program requires students to complete at least 36 to 39 course credits – varies by the number of clinical hours completed in the master’s program. The applicant must have a master’s degree from an accredited institution and a license to practice as a registered nurse.

Requirements for admission:

  • A master’s degree in nursing from a program accredited by the CCNE or NLNAC.
  • A letter from the program administrator indicating the number of clinical hours completed.
  • A copy of your license to practice as a registered nurse.
  • Documentation of relevant experience in the field of nursing.
  • A grade B or above in graduate level statistics
  • A written statement of your career goals and how the program will facilitate the accomplishment of your goals.
  • Three letters of recommendation from academic and professional sources. The academic reference must attest to your ability to complete a doctoral program.
  • Successfully pass an interview the DNP program coordinator and subcommittee.
  • A current curriculum vitae or resume.
  • A writing sample to demonstrate your competence is written communication.

Graduate students enrolled in a nursing program can expect to pay $1625 per credit hour. However, all nurses who meet the requirements for admission at the University of Delaware will receive a partial tuition scholarship, which will reduce the tuition to $650 per credit hour. Registration fees, lab fees, textbooks, supplies, and other miscellaneous costs will apply.

DNP Programs Delaware

New Castle, DE DNP Programs:
Wilmington University
320 North DuPont Highway, New Castle, DE 19720
877-967-5464

Newark, DE DNP Programs:
University of Delaware
210 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19716
302-831-2792

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