Currently, there is a no mandate for nurses to pursue the Doctor of Nursing Practice. Still, there’s a growing awareness of the benefits it offers that is leading many to enroll in the program to obtain this terminal degree. According to the American Association of the Colleges of Nursing (AACN), an overwhelming number of colleges and universities are offering the program and producing thousands of clinical experts each year. There are several reasons for the exponential growth in admissions, but key reasons include the AACN’s Position Statement recommending that nursing programs gradually replace the master’s degree with the doctorate degree for advanced practice nurses and the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation of doubling the number of nurses prepared at the doctorate degree. The IOM made the recommendation in the landmark report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. Other reasons for increased interest could be attributed to seismic reforms on the delivery of care with an emphasis on health care outcomes, reaffirmation of the DNP for the nurse practitioner role, and financial support in the form of scholarships and grants for students pursuing the DNP degree.
Advanced practice nurses want to positively impact patient care. Those who pursue the degree demonstrate their commitment to patients, communities, and the profession of nursing. Graduates have the potential to develop interventions that will drastically increase outcomes through the use of evidence-based practice. Through the study of topics like health policy, information technology, legal issues, and population health, students will have a broader understanding of the workings of the health care system. They will lead the way in breaking down barriers to care and advocating important policies that will change the lives of patients.
Current advanced practice nurses and even those considering advanced practice are mostly convinced on the matter, considering when and how to enroll in the program rather that if they should. Employers and other professionals are also taking notice of the valuable contributions of these expert clinicians and they’re willing to adequately compensate and work along with the growing DNP workforce in the interest of patient health.
Reasons to Get a DNP
Nurses can take their career to the next level by pursuing the DNP degree. If you’re on the fence, there are several key reasons why you should continue your education to this terminal degree and advance your career. The DNP curriculum covers a wide range of topics, beyond the scope of the master’s degree, to help graduates improve patient care. Students learn how to translate research into practice, lead and manage teams and use healthcare information technology to improve patient outcomes.
The DNP gives advanced practice nurses an extra advantage by helping them develop the expertise to determine best practices and the ability to translate research to usable solutions. The fast pace and constant changes within healthcare require nurse leaders who can adapt to the changes and provide solutions to complex healthcare issues.
The DNP program emphasizes the use of evidence-based practice, so students develop the know-how to develop action plans to improve the quality of care and patient satisfaction outcomes. They receive the training to spot and provide immediate solutions to clinical problems through the development of new care models and the standardization of practice across teams.
Information technology as it relates to healthcare plays heavily on the DNP curriculum. Consequently, graduates will understand the role of information technology in the promotion of evidence-based practice and high-quality care.
DNP graduates are capable advocates to influence healthcare policy on a local, regional, and national level. The emphasis on leadership produces leaders who have the knowledge to advocate for change in multiple healthcare settings and patient with leading organization o promote health and prevent disease. Through partnerships with the right organizations, they can obtain funding to improve the healthcare system and the delivery of care.
DNP students gain critical project management skills that will give them a practical understanding of the role and function of the multidisciplinary team. The graduate does not work alone, but with other healthcare providers for the benefit of the patient. The special insight the program provides enables the graduate to work with the right expert at the right time to improve patient care and lead the team if necessary.
With DNPs at the helm, the profession of nursing stands to benefit in more ways than one. DNP leaders not only have a vested interest in the profession but also have the skills and knowledge to move it forward and a practical understanding of the issues nurses face at the lower end of the spectrum. Using their skills in healthcare administration, the DNP leader can function as an agent of change to improve the lives of nurses. Additionally, as more graduates emerge from the program, there will be a larger pool of capable and qualified candidates to educate the next generation of nurses. Nursing schools across the nation are turning away hundreds of eligible candidates each year due to a shortage of faculty and lack of resources to educate the volume of applicants. DNP graduates can function as full-time or part-time educators to help alleviate the problems caused by a shortage of faculty.
Graduates of the DNP program experience almost immediate career benefits, such as better jobs, greater opportunities, and higher salaries. A comparison of the salaries of DNP prepared nurses and those prepared at the master’s level reveals higher pay for DNPs that amount to more than $8,350 a year. One reason for the difference in pay is the role the DNP plays. Many of them qualify for leadership positions, which contributes to better pay.
Today’s health system demands quality care, patient satisfaction, positive outcomes, and safety. Those seeking an active role in leadership must have the leadership, clinical judgment, and insight to lead teams, coordinate care, draft policies, and advocate for the profession. With such as weight of responsibility, it is easy to understand why education at the doctoral level of not simply a luxury but a necessity.
DNP Admission Requirements Michigan
The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program provides students with the opportunity to gather and use an in-depth approach to nursing to work collaboratively with other professionals to optimize the health of patients, families, and communities. The goal of the program is to develop expert clinicians who will have a commitment to care, strong leadership abilities, the potential to advocate, and the insight to translate clinical research to improve healthcare outcomes. Graduates are capable of providing an advanced level of care, including direct care of patients, management of care delivered for populations, the development and implementation of healthcare policy, and the administration of systems. They are prepared to assume leadership and clinical roles in a practice or academic setting.
The DNP builds on the foundation of the master’s program to prepare students for the highest level of clinical practice. Registered nurses who completed a master’s program with a clinical focus will complete approximately 35 to 42 credits – depending on the coursework completed in the master’s program. In accordance with the DNP Essentials, all students must complete 1000 hours of practical experiences to demonstrate their attainment of the doctoral competencies. However, those entering the program through the post-master’s route will receive credit for up to 640 hours. The school will validate the practicum experiences during the admission process.
The DNP program consists of the two tracks, a post-Baccalaureate and a post-Master’s. Courses may be delivered in traditional, online, or hybrid formants. Students will need to complete the clinical practicum requirements with an approved preceptor in a local health care setting.
Admission Requirements – Post-Baccalaureate Entry
The post-baccalaureate offers registered nurses a fast track to the terminal degree. Students can complete the requirements in just three years with consecutive enrollment. The actual completion time will depend on the intended clinical specialty. Through the combination of theoretical and analytical work, students will develop the competencies in independent practice, collaborative leadership, population health, risk reduction, professional values, and clinical decision-making. Applicants must have a BSN to enter this program.
- A completed application for admission to the DNP program.
- Transcripts of all undergraduate coursework verifying completion of a baccalaureate program in a AACN accredit school.
- Meet the minimum GPA requirements – 3.0out of 4.0 (varies by program)
- A professional statement of educational and professional goals.
- A curriculum vitae or resume.
- A registered nursing license.
- Letters of recommendation.
Admission Requirements –Post-Master’s Entry
This post-master’s track is designed for registered nurses with a master’s degree in nursing. They must have certification as a nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse midwife, or certified registered nurse anesthetists. Students will complete the required credit hours in an online format with occasional campus visits and clinical site visits conveniently located in an available locality.
Basic requirements include:
- A master’s degree in nursing from an ACEN or CCNE accredited school.
- A current unencumbered Michigan RN license with no limitations.
- National certification in a clinical specialty.
- Evidence of clinical practice.
- Recognition by the State Board of Nursing with specialty certification in an advanced practice role.
- Professional letters of recommendation – number determined by the school.
- Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework.
- Professional portfolio, including a personal statement and curriculum vitae or resume.
- A sample of scholarly writing
MSN-DNP students must complete a minimum of 36 credits. At a base rate of $635.50 per credit at public schools, the average cost of tuition is an average rate of $396 per credit. The estimated tuition is $22,878. Graduate students may be eligible for the grants and scholarships to reduce the total cost of attendance.
DNP Programs Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI DNP programs:
University of Michigan
400 North Ingalls, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5482
Detroit, MI DNP programs:
Wayne State University
5557 Cass Avenue, Detroit, MI 48202
University of Detroit Mercy
4001 W. McNichols Road, Detroit, MI 48221-3038
East Lansing, MI DNP programs:
Michigan State University
1355 Bogue Street, East Lansing, MI 48824-1317
Grand Rapids, MI DNP programs:
Grand Valley State University
301 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Livonia, MI DNP programs:
36600 Schoolcraft Road, Livonia, MI 48150
Rochester, MI DNP programs:
2200 North Squirrel Road, Rochester, MI 48309-4401
University Center, MI DNP programs:
Saginaw Valley State University
7400 Bay Road University Center, MI 48710