A Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree prepares a nursing professional to take the NP licensure exam and pursue a career as an NP. A nurse practitioner is a medical professional who provides health care exams, administers treatments and prescribes medications to patients under the supervision of a physician. However, many NPs simply see and treat patients in a physician’s office with complete independence. Whether or not an NP is able to prescribe medication and order certain tests or treatments without the approval of a physician depends on the medical board regulations in the state in which they practice.

And while some states allow professionals with an MSN to take the NP licensure exam and become an NP, many states’ medical boards are considering changing the entry-level requirement to a DNP.

Doctorate in Nursing
doctorate in nursing
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You can also use a DNP to pursue teaching at the collegiate level, pursuing nursing and medical research roles, taking on nurse leadership roles or becoming a health care administrator.

Another type of doctorate in nursing degree is the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing. This degree is a scientific study- and research-based degree that prepares nursing professionals to teach nursing and related subjects at the collegiate level as well as conduct research in the field. In this program, you typically complete specialized coursework in your specialty or research focus and write a dissertation.

Lastly, you can also pursue a Doctor of Nursing Science at some institutions. This program involves completing specialty coursework as well as designing and conducting a research project on a topic within your specialty. This degree can also prepare you for roles like nurse educator, researcher and health care administrator.

Here are the earning potentials for roles you can pursue with a doctorate in nursing degree:

  • Nurse educator: Glassdoor reports that these professionals earn an average base pay of $86,748 per year.
  • Research nurse: The BLS reports that medical scientists, which includes nurses in research, make a median salary of $91,510 per year.
  • Health care administrator: The BLS reports that medical and health services managers, including administrators, make a median salary of $104,280 per year.

A doctorate in nursing degree program typically takes two years to complete, though this timeline can increase if your specialty requires years of clinical observation and practice or more time to complete and defend your dissertation.

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By Admin