Once nurses have completed their bachelor’s degrees and have a few years of experience, they may start wondering what the next step in their careers should be. Earning an advanced degree is a great way to advance your career while taking on more responsibilities. Nurses who are interested in top leadership positions in nursing should enroll in a Doctor of Nursing (DNP) program. Here are the top reasons why.
Become a Top Specialist
A DNP is the highest degree you can earn in nursing. While achieving the highest level of education in nursing can be ego-boosting, doing so can also make you a specialist in your field. This can open up lots of opportunities for you, some in areas you may not have thought of yet.
High Demand for Nurses with DNPs
DNPs are challenging and time-consuming to complete. However, there is a shortage of nurses who have the skills you get from completing a DNP program. By completing a DNP program, you will be in high demand and this will factor into your salary as well as your ability to choose the locations you would like to work in. Both of these can make the time spent and effort put into completing the program worthwhile.
Make a Difference in the World by Applying the Latest Research
DNPs that focus on academic studies and research alongside clinical training give graduates a great opportunity to apply this knowledge in settings that make a difference. For example, many nurses who complete their DNPs work as nurse practitioners where they apply the latest research trends, skills, and techniques to make a difference in healthcare. Many DNPs also focus on bridging what happens in healthcare settings to the latest research trends and techniques to enable the improved provision of care.
Advance Your Nursing Career
A DNP opens up a lot of career opportunities for nurses who want lifelong growth throughout their careers. A DNP is also a great option for nurses who want to keep learning, thereby opening up even more career opportunities. Typically, DNPs lead to leadership roles where nurses get to influence policy, budgets, and a lot more in their facilities and in public healthcare systems. Nurses who want to get into these leadership positions can complete one of the DNP leadership programs online at Baylor University. Nurses who are not interested in getting into leadership positions can also get into management, education, or other nursing sectors. In essence, a DNP is a great option for nurses who want to advance their careers to assume more responsibility and make a difference in the healthcare system.
Get a Salary Boost
As nurses get into leadership positions, they see increased responsibilities. These responsibilities come with higher pay. Nurses who hold a DNP command a salary that is 1.7 times that of nurses who hold a bachelor’s degree. Although most nurses are not looking at the salary they would get once they complete their doctorate, the time, financial investment, and commitment that it takes to complete a DNP, especially when not completed online, is significant enough to warrant the increased salary. That said, having a good salary is always a welcome bonus!
Educate Future Nurses
One of the biggest concerns right now in the field of nursing is the shortage of nurses. There are many reasons why this is the case, but several research bodies attribute this shortage to the lack of enough nurses with the right credentials to teach at the university level. Nurses who are interested in becoming nurse educators and bringing the next generation of nurses into the field can do so by earning their doctorates.
Nurses who do not want to get into academia can also help by becoming mentors. Nursing mentors are so important because they help increase the retention rate of new nurses, so fewer of them leave the field. Nurse mentors also help new nurses overcome the different challenges that come with nursing while pushing them to rise the ranks in the field of nursing. This way, they do their part in helping ease the nursing shortage.
Learn the Latest Technology
Technology has taken over most parts of our lives, and healthcare has not been left behind. The world is continually changing, and the medical field must remain in step with these changes. These include the development and deployment of new technologies as well as implementing practices that improve patient and healthcare outcomes. Having comprehensive knowledge about the latest technologies in the medical field enables nurses to be better at their jobs. Many universities that offer DNP programs also offer a technology component to go with the doctorate. This is especially true for DNPs that have different specializations.
Influence Healthcare Policy
While a lot of people do not think about healthcare policy as an important aspect of healthcare, it is. It is a critical part of healthcare and is also an important career path for those who would like to improve healthcare. The formulation, implementation, and maintenance of the highest healthcare standards require the input of healthcare professionals with a deep understanding of healthcare. This understanding is gained from extensive experience in healthcare.
Nurses who hold DNPs often use the knowledge gained from gaining the doctorate as well as their extensive experience and industry knowledge to influence healthcare policy by being in leadership positions that allow them to do so.
Learn Directly from Experienced Nurses
There is a lot of knowledge that never gets into nursing textbooks but is instead passed on by more experienced nurses. DNP students often learn from experienced nurses who have insights into nursing and modern healthcare that cannot be found anywhere else. There are also lots of unique opportunities for mentorship and career guidance that cannot be found anywhere else. Nurses who want to give back can become mentors or educators in the future.
Earning a doctorate in nursing practice can lead to a very rewarding career. It can open opportunities for leadership in the field or for going your own way and starting a practice. If you are considering a DNP, ensure you do your research to find a program that caters to your specific needs.