DNP Programs Washington

Since the implementation of the full practice for ARNPs in Washington took effect in 2009, nurses within the profession have experienced great success in delivering high quality and affordable care to populations in rural and medically underserved areas. Full-practice authority allows ARNPs to assess, diagnose, interpret diagnostic tests, and prescribe medications independently. The Institute of Medicine and the National Council for State Boards recommended full practice status in 2010 to provide patients with direct access to the full host of services that nurse practitioners can provide and end the disparities that patients encounter when they seek healthcare.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree prepares registered nurses to function in this advanced clinical role. As the state attracts more advanced practice registered nurses from surrounding states where practice is reduced or restricted, the DNP degree reduces competition and inspires patients’ confidence in the level of care provided. Moreover, investing the time and financial resources to earn the degree is an investment in the future as leading groups seek the make the terminal degree the minimum educational preparation for advanced practice.

Under the Affordable Care Act, hundreds of thousands of Washington residents gained access to medical care, which increases the burden on the primary care workforce. ARNPs have a significant role in the delivery of care to underserved areas thus relieving the burden on the declining number of primary care physicians in these areas. Those trained at the Doctoral level have the knowledge and expertise to communicate effectively with other medical professionals and fill wide-open gaps in the healthcare system.

Full practice authority benefits patients as well as practitioners. Patients everywhere can visit a nurse practitioner and access the full host of services that the provider is trained to offer at the point of care. It removes the bureaucracy of a physician’s signature or other protocol, and allows the practitioner to initiate treatments and order tests to restore health. Full practice also decreases costs caused by the duplication of services and protects patients’ rights to see their healthcare provider of choice.

For the period 2014-2015, approximately 104 people graduated with a nursing doctorate in Washington – an increase of almost 40% on the previous years. The increase in graduation numbers is a direct response to the shortage of nurse faculty, researchers, and primary care providers. With over 6,554 licensed ARNPs as of March 2016, Washington is poised to provide these highly educated nurses as effective leaders to improve the health of residents in the state.

Reasons to Get A DNP

With so many educational paths to choose from, registered nurses might doubt the feasibility of pursuing study beyond the standard associate, bachelor’s or master’s degree if they’re enjoying a rewarding career with their current education. Taking that extra step to ascend to the pinnacle of the profession requires drive, commitment, and vision as the tangible benefits are not always obvious. Thanks to the visionary spirit of those that went before, the advantages of the DNP degree are becoming clear to some, who are enrolling in the program to improve their careers and the lives of the patients they serve.

Many healthcare organizations believe that the DNP places nurses on an equal footing with their counterparts in the industry. The degree gives them the confidence and insight to collaborate effectively with physicians, physical therapists, dentists, optometrists, and other healthcare providers when the need arises.

As the primary care sector experiences troubling shortages, advanced practice nurses will help to close the gap. An estimated 25 percent of nurses with a BSN degree will move on to graduate study, and the DNP is fast becoming the preferred terminal degree. Some universities in Washington and many others across the United States are already closing down the master’s degree program and replacing it with the DNP to better equip students for advanced practice.

Schools of nursing have also been experiencing shortages of qualified faculty. As a direct response to the growth within the nursing profession, enrollment in schools of nursing have increased. The small pool of nursing faculty cannot meet the demand that the influx of new students create, so there’s a need for more faculty to fill vacant roles. The aging of current faculty creates further problems by reducing an already small pool of willing educators. The lure of clinical opportunities with better salary and benefits also negatively impact the education sector. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) believes that DNP graduates can help alleviate the nursing faculty shortage – but that requires the graduate to take additional courses in education and take a pay cut (in relation to clinical practice) if pursuing a full-time nurse educator position. However, many clinical nurses opt for a dual role and serve as part-time members of faculty.

The program prepares nurses to achieve the highest standards. With enhanced clinical expertise and the ability to analyze care models to provide cost-effective and evidence-based care, graduates are clinically competent leaders prepared to meet the challenges within the industry and effect positive changes. The AACN’s eight essentials included in the curriculum equip students with new skills sets in leadership, healthcare policy, information technology, and evidence-based practice, enabling them to become better practitioners as they approach clinical challenges in new ways.

Another compelling reason for pursuing the DNP degree is the newfound eligibility to apply for higher-level nursing jobs or leadership roles within hospitals and other medical organizations. As a sought-after educational credential, the DNP will grab employers’ attention and convict them of your ability to perform the job.

DNP Admission Requirements Washington

The proliferation of DNP programs in response to the AACN’s call for an educational framework to prepare clinical nurses at the doctoral level paves the way for suitably qualified nurses to enroll in a program of their choosing. Colleges and universities in Washington were quick to respond to the AACN’s call. In 2016, there are four universities offering the program and others are in planning stages.

The DNP curriculum is practice focused that is designed especially for nurses who want to deliver the highest level of clinical care. For those seeking positions beyond the realms of clinical care, but want to positively impact the delivery of care, the DNP can prepare them to work as leaders, administrators, health policy specialists, nurse educations, public health advocates and much more.

All graduates become capable of translating evidence-based care into practice to improve systems of care and the outcomes of patients and communities.

Interested persons must choose population focus or an administrative, educator, leadership, public policy, or another role from the onset.

There are several pathways to the terminal degree to support the continued educational needs of a diverse group of nurses.

Admission Requirements – Post-Baccalaureate Entry

Registered nurses with a bachelor’s degree can enroll in the BSN-DNP program to prepare for national certification and state license in an ARNP role. They may also opt for a population or organizational focus. Washington State recognizes three ARNP roles – Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Midwife, and Nurse Anesthetist, so programs in Washington target these three primary areas with included population focus.

Students entering through this pathway will need to complete 78 to 84-course credits and select a clinical concentration to apply for licensure as an ARNP in the state.

Requirements for admission:

  • A baccalaureate degree in nursing from a program accredited by the CCNE or NLNAC.
  • A college GPA of 3.0 or above.
  • A copy of your license to practice as a registered nurse.
  • A written statement of career goals – must align with the program focus.
  • Official transcripts of all college coursework.
  • A current curriculum vitae or resume.
  • A Washington State registered nurse license.
  • Documentation of relevant experience in the field of nursing.
  • A passing grade in graduate level statistics
  • Three letters of recommendation from academic and professional sources.
  • An interview with the program coordinator.

Admission Requirements – Post-Master’s Entry

The conventional post-masters DNP program is designed for registered nurses and ARNPs prepared at the master’s level. The training enables them to increase their clinical expertise in the current ARNP role and population focus, prepare for national certification in an additional population focus, or prepare for an organization role – such as administration, nurse education, health policy, leadership, or public health. Depending on the population or organizational focus, students must complete 40 to 66-course credits to graduate from the program.

Requirements for admission:

  • A bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited program.
  • A master’s degree in nursing from a program accredited by the CCNE or NLNAC.
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher from the bachelor’s and master’s program.
  • A written statement of career goals – must align with the program focus.
  • Official transcripts of all college coursework.
  • A current curriculum vitae or resume.
  • A Washington State registered nurse license.
  • Documentation of relevant experience in the field of nursing.
  • A passing grade in graduate level statistics
  • Three letters of recommendation from academic and professional sources.
  • An interview with the program coordinator.

The published cost of tuition on a university’s website is subject to change and will give you a general idea of the cost of attendance. For a more detailed outline of the cost, you must contact a financial aid specialist who will calculate the costs and deduct any financial aid that will reduce your out-of-pocket expenses. The approximate tuition at Washington State University is $8,878. Fees such as the background report, application fee, name badge, health fee, immunizations, CPR/First Aid, books, and course fees are not included in the tuition.

DNP Programs Washington

Seattle, WA DNP Programs:
University of Washington
1410 NE Campus Parkway, Seattle, WA 98195
206-543-8736

Seattle University
Address: 901 12th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122
1-206-296-6000

Spokane, WA DNP Programs:
Gonzaga University
502 East Boone Avenue, Spokane, WA 99258-0102
800-986-9585

Washington State University- Spokane
103 East Spokane Falls Boulevard, Spokane, WA 99202
509-324-7360

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