DNP Programs Nebraska

Residents in rural Alaska don’t have access to primary care as they should. According to the Center for Health Policy at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, there are 11 rural counties that lack a primary care physician. Thanks to policy changes granting nurse practitioners the autonomy to practice, nurses can now fill the void in primary care and practice without a doctor’s oversight. The adoption of this law is a welcome relief to nurses in Nebraska with a master’s degree or doctor of nursing practice. They are able to practice to the full extent of their training without a signed agreement from a doctor. The estimated 1.8 million residents in rural Nebraska are also huge beneficiaries of this legislation. With primary care within their reach, they can get diagnosed, treatment, and medication from nurse practitioners within their locality.

The comprehensive training provided by the master’s program has been sufficient to prepare nurse practitioners to deliver primary care that is as good as that delivered by doctors. As well it should be since the hours nurses put into a master’s program is more than students completing a master’s in other fields. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) by its recommendation of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is seeking to change the standard for entry to help nurse practitioners better collaborate with other health care professionals – who may have more training and education – in the best interest of the patient. DNP graduates will have an education that is comparative to or in advanced of other health professionals holding a doctorate degree.

The DNP is a practice doctorate that includes a clinical preparation that compares to other intra-professional education. This extended preparation leads to better healthcare outcomes. The AACN has published reports that link higher nursing education to better care. Registered nurses who desire a clinical-based education to maintain practice on the clinical end should choose the DNP instead of the Ph.D. that emphasizes research. In Nebraska, as in most states, nurses can obtain licensure to practice as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse with a master’s degree. Those who want the knowledge and skills to diagnose complex illnesses should enroll in the DNP program.

Reasons to Get A DNP

Completing a DNP program can take up to six years, but the investment will broaden your career prospects. The degree is not essential for all advanced practice nursing jobs, but it will increase your chances of qualifying for leadership roles and other opportunities on the clinical side of nursing. The emphasis of the DNP curriculum is to prepare nurses for advanced clinical practice with a specialty focus. Students learn how to use research to improve practice in a clinical setting. Primary benefits include higher salaries, career advancement, and recognition of educational achievements.

Nurses who have earned the DNP degree are always in demand. The aging population and abundance of health care issues in the system create demand for highly-trained nurses. Better patient outcomes have long been associated with higher education, so those who complete the DNP will be in the greatest demand. They will have the specialized training, knowledge, and foresight to incorporate research in diagnosis and treatment, and positively impact care in their local area and the medical field at large.

Higher degrees often attract better salaries. Nurse.org, using data from the BLS’ May 2016 Occupational Outlook report, listed General Nurse Practitioner as the second highest paying nurse job. Those who complete the DNP earn as much as 23% more than their MSN counterparts. The DNP will increase your earning potential and help you qualify for positions at prestigious hospitals to attract the best salaries. Keep in mind that there are other factors that influence salary in general –even the salary of someone with a DNP degree. Your area of specialization, experience, geographical location, and employer are some of those factors. Certified Nurse Practitioners can earn up to $109,570 annually.

Nursing today requires greater knowledge and skills than previous times. The complexities of diseases, the epidemic of obesity, use of advanced technology in healthcare, and changing policies all demand higher proficiency from nurses at every level. These and other factors influence the AACN’s mandate for nurse practitioners to hold a doctorate by the year 2015. The Institute of Medicine also recommended doubling the number of nurses with a doctorate by 2020. These and other organizations recognize the power of the nurse practitioner’s role and want to motivate this group of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to embrace collaborative leadership to improve health service delivery. Also, the broadening body of knowledge within healthcare necessitates further training from those at the head.

A nurse practitioner’s function includes the diagnosis and treatment of acute, chronic, and episodic illnesses. Execution of this function involves the interpretation of test results, referring patients to specialists when needed, and medications. Although the master’s degree prepares students to fulfill this fundamental role, graduates face a sharp learning curve to meet the expanded role in research, policy development, and collaborative leadership. The DNP curriculum produces graduates with these competencies who can quickly adapt to employers’ heightened expectations.

Your decision to proceed beyond the MSN would depend on your personal and professional goals. If your principal interest is to deliver primary care in a variety of healthcare settings, the master’s degree will meet the state’s requirements for licensure. However, if your goal is to increase your scientific knowledge and utilize research to improve your delivery of care and qualify for positions in teaching and leadership, then the DNP should be the natural step. APRNs practicing with an MSN degree can complete the DNP requirements with one additional year of schooling.

DNP Admission Requirements Nebraska

There is a growing demand for qualified APRNs who are prepared to meet the challenges within the United States healthcare system. The DNP is an evidenced-based, terminal practice degree designed for nurses to expand their leadership and expertise in a chosen area to deliver care at the patient or community level.

There are two primary tracks for pursuing the DNP degree: the MSN to DNP or the BSN to DNP. APRNs entering the program can complete the requirements in as little as one year –with the transfer of credits and clinical hours. Entry at the BSN level requires a commitment of four to six years to meet the DNP requirements. If you have the time, resources, motivation, and self-discipline, you can complete the program much sooner.

The clinical-based DNP includes core courses and specialized courses. It must also include at least 1,000 clinical hours (post-baccalaureate) to prepare students for the DNP competencies. On average, you will spend the majority of the program focusing on the area of practice that you choose.

At the conclusion of the program, graduates would have the competencies to use theory and scientific understanding to organize practice, evaluate information systems, collaborate inter-professionally, and use the principles of population health to improve healthcare. Successful graduates will be eligible to sit a certification exam in their chosen area of practice.

Admission Requirements – Post-BSN Entry

Many DNP programs will admit students who have a bachelor’s in nursing but have not achieved their master’s yet. Those applying through this pathway must demonstrate their ability to meet the program’s strict requirements. Once admitted, students will complete the designated MSN courses (including the core and clinical requirements) in addition to the final 35 credit hours in the DNP program.

General admission requirements include:

  • A BSN degree or equivalent from an accredited school of nursing – accredited by the ACEN or CCNE
  • Hold a minimum GPA of 3.0 or above
  • Proof of an active and unencumbered registered nurse license
  • Submit a personal statement of educational and professional goals.
  • A curriculum vitae or professional resume
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts of all college-level courses

Admission Requirements – Post-BSN Entry

MSN entrants will need to complete 31 to 35 credit hours to complete the requirements for the DNP degree. Course content will include economics, leadership, health policy, evidence-based practice, organization systems, epidemiology, and the practicum for the DNP scholarly project.

General admission requirements include:

  • An MSN degree or equivalent from an accredited school of nursing – accredited by the ACEN or CCNE
  • Hold a minimum GPA of 3.0 or above
  • Proof of an active and unencumbered registered nurse license
  • Submit a personal statement of educational and professional goals.
  • A curriculum vitae or professional resume
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts of all college-level courses

Tuition costs approximately $531 per credit for resident students. Students must also budget for fees, books and equipment, living expenses, liability insurance, and other required costs.

DNP Programs Nebraska

Lincoln, NE DNP program
Bryan College of Health Sciences
5035 Everett Street, Lincoln, NE 68506
402-481-3801

Omaha, NE DNP program
Clarkson College
101 S. 42 Street Omaha, NE 68131
402-552-3100

Creighton University College of Nursing
2500 California Plaza, Omaha, NE 68178
402-280-2000

University of Nebraska Medical Centre
2nd and Emile, Omaha, NE 68198
402-559-4000

Nebraska Methodist College
720 N. 87th Street, Omaha, NE 68114
402-354-7000

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