Nurse Practitioner Programs: Dnp Vs Msn
One of the first and most important decisions you need to make before applying to a Nurse Practitioner program is whether to pursue a Master of Science in Nursing degree or a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree.
Each can lead to the same job title, but the additional doctorate-level credentials can make a significant difference in the position and type of organization you work within, your marketability, the respect you receive from physicians and other professionals, and the salary that you can earn.
While obtaining your DNP degree is being encouraged by the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties as the appropriate minimum education for nurse practitioners, candidates for Nurse Practitioner education also need to weigh the additional investment of time and money that the terminal degree carries.
Nurse Practitioner Salary And Job Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics , the job outlook for NPs is considerably higher than many other professions:
- Nurse Practioner jobs are expected to grow by 45%
- The average salary for a Nurse Practitioner was $117,670 — more than double the average annual salary for all other occupations according to the BLS.
Make Sure You Meet The Admissions Requirements Before You Apply To An Np Program
To apply for an MSN or DNP program, you may need to meet the following requirements: A Bachelors degree in nursing An active registered nurse license Multiple years of clinical or work experience Minimum GPA and GRE scores
However, if you dont have a background in nursing, you may still be able earn your MSN through an accelerated program that will allow you to graduate faster. Making sure that you are qualified for an advanced practice program should be on the top of your list of things to do when applying to NP school.
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Johns Hopkins University Baltimore Maryland
Johns Hopkins University offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice Adult-Gerontological Acute Care track geared towards improving outcomes for acutely and critically ill older adult patients and provided within the framework of Hopkins extensive resources, clinical sites and faculty. The curriculum includes nursing theory, research, nursing informatics, statistics, and ethics.
How Long Does It Take To Earn A Dnp Degree Vs An Msn Degree
The amount of time that it takes to earn either of these Advanced Practice Registered Nurse degrees depends initially upon the level of education that the nurse has already achieved.
|Starting Level of Education|
|Master of Science in Nursing||—||2-4 years|
Every candidate must begin with an active Registered Nurse license in order to even apply to a program, but RNs can have either an ADN or a BSN .
Some applicants may have a baccalaureate degree without having taken nursing classes, in which case an additional year of prerequisite courses will be required no matter whether they pursue the MSN or DNP degree.
For those Registered Nurses who have their Associates Degree in Nursing, the course work required to earn an MSN will take three to five years, while the DNP will take five to six years to complete.
For those Registered Nurses who have their bachelor’s degree in nursing, earning an MSN will take two years, while the DNP will take three to four years.
Nurses who have already earned their MSN and who wish to earn a DNP can complete the required coursework in two years.
Also Check: University Of Virginia School Of Nursing
Attend Nurse Practitioner School
You may choose to pursue a Master’s of Science in Nursing and/or a nursing doctoral program. To attend nurse practitioner school, you need a BSN and experience in the nursing field. Some programs offer RN to MSN bridge programs for those who have not yet received a BSN. Ask your program or school if this option is available to you.
Consider receiving your NP specialization in an area such as family or adult medicine. Only a few Dermatology NP degree and certificate programs exist in the United States, so choosing a related specialty can help you learn the basic skills needed to be a DNP with the option to learn more targeted skills later in your career.
Related: How To Become a Nurse Practitioner
Hot Topic: What Advanced Degree Is Best For Nurse Practitioners
While many nurses use an to obtain their NP certification, change is in the air for NP schooling requirements. The AACN recommended back in 2004 that the new nurse practitioner school requirements include the by 2015.
The argument for the higher education requirement focuses on the comprehensive nature of the NP job description. Advocates for the higher level say it is needed to ensure NPs have the clinical expertise from the start of their practice.
Not all nursing organizations believe a higher requirement is necessary. For instance, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education has said it will keep on accrediting all MSN programs and has no intention of changing its policy. They feel the MSN is more than adequate. They also do not want the MSN programs to be phased out since they help train other nursing pursuits as well.
As of this publication, the main exam boards have not raised the education requirement to exclude MSN program graduates. However, several nursing associations recommend students pursue the DNP since the shift could happen in the near future and employers are more likely to hire nurses with a DNP background.
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Secure National Certification And State Licensure
All NPs, CNMs, and CNSs must have the requisite credentialing prior to seeking work. State credentials vary by region and professionals should contact their local Board of Nursing for details.
National Certification Boards
- Nurse practitioners :
- American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
- American Nurses Credentialing Center
- American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
- National Certification Corporation
- Pediatric Nursing Certification Board
- Dermatology Nursing Certification Board
- Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission
- Orthopaedic Nurses Certification Board
- Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation
University Of North Carolina At Charlotte
Students at this university in Charlotte can choose from concentrations in adult/gerontology acute care or family nurse practitioner in the MSN program. The two-year adult/gerontology acute care program includes attendance in summer sessions and requires completion of a minimum 600 clinical practicum hours. Courses in health assessment, health policy and planning, advanced care of acutely ill patients, and advanced care and health promotion make up part of the required 47 credit hours in courses.
The Family Nurse Practitioner Across the Lifespan program also includes attendance in summer sessions and features courses such as pharmacotherapuetics, family theory, and primary care for children and adults. An internship is offered in the final summer session. Individuals who already have a Master of Science in Nursing can complete a 21-credit-hour post-master’s certificate program in this concentration. This program requires 600 clock hours of supervised clinical experience.
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What You Should Know About This Degree
When considering this career path, its important to understand the difference between nurse practitioners and registered nurses. While similar, the qualifications and responsibilities of each position are different.
A registered nurse needs at least an associates degree in nursing from an accredited nursing program. A registered nurse must also obtain a nursing license by passing the National Council Licensure Examination , plus a state license in the state in which they practice. A nurse practitioner is a type of advanced practice registered nurse . After obtaining a registered nurse licensure, qualified candidates must also earn a masters degree from an accredited nursing program to become a nurse practitioner.
Registered nurses and nurse practitioners both collaborate with other healthcare professionals to deliver services to patients, often within a specialization such as cardiology or critical care however, registered nurses typically provide basic healthcare services to patients, while nurse practitioners deliver advanced medical care. Nurse practitioners also have more autonomy than registered nurses, with some states allowing them independent practice authority or the ability to diagnose and treat patients without supervision from a physician.
Get Your Graduate Degree
You must complete an NP educational program that has been approved by the College of Nurses of Ontario Council before you may register in Ontario as an NP. These programs are at the graduate level and usually result in a masters degree or post-masters diploma/certificate. If you do not graduate from an approved program, you must be assessed by the Colleges Registration Committee.
If the NP program you graduate from is not Council-approved, the Registration Committee must assess your competencies. This process begins when you submit your application packet for registration as an NP in Ontario. The Committee will focus on your demonstration of knowledge of the NP Core Competencies as defined by the Canadian Nurses Association. Further information may be required from you as your application is evaluated, such as a resume, job description or a list of medical directives you have used.
Because the College of Nurses of Ontario does not assess credentials, only competencies, course requirements for NP programs have not been specified. However, if you look at the NP core competencies, you can surmise that the following topics must be covered in any NP educational program. These competencies are common to all specialty certificates:
Specialization for NPs
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University Of South Carolina
The University of South Carolina is a public sea-grant research university located in Columbia, South Carolina. Chartered by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1801, the university was originally called South Carolina College. Due to the strain of the Civil War, the school was forced to close for several years during which it operated as a hospital. An act of legislation changed the direction of the institution in 1865, and it reopened a year later as the University of South Carolina. It is the flagship institution of the University of South Carolina System and offers over 350 different programs of study to a student body that exceeds 34,000. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges and holds several specialized accreditations in several fields such as law, psychology, nursing, and more. Through the 14 colleges and schools that make up the university, students can earn degrees from the associates to doctorate level, with various certificate levels in between.
To learn more about USC Columbias program, check out the program website.Freshman Retention Rate: 88%Final Score: 163/200
Earn A Bachelors Degree In Nursing
The first step to becoming a nurse practitioner is to earn a bachelors degree. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing is recommended, given that some graduate-level programs, such as the one offered by the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences, require an undergraduate degree in nursing rather than in a related field such as public health. The core curriculum of a BSN program includes courses in anatomy, pharmacology, mental health, pathophysiology, statistics, and more.
The BSN degree also requires that students complete clinical training hourstypically, three clinical learning hours for every one hour of classroom instruction. Depending on your background and personal situation, you can take various paths to accomplish this:
Get Your RN License
In order to practice nursing and/or enter a graduate nursing program, you must first obtain your licensure as an RN by applying to the appropriate nursing regulatory body and successfully completing the NCLEX-RN examination, as well as meeting any other requirements of the state in which you intend to practice. To sit for the exam, you must have completed an associate degree in nursing, a hospital-based diploma program, or your BSN.
Gain Valuable Work Experience
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Consider A Dermatology Residency Or Fellowship Program
Though few dermatology NP residency and fellowship programs exist in the United States, consider applying to one to build specialized skills in dermatology. These programs offer typical 40-hour workweeks and compensation and may include lectures or classes in addition to direct patient care. Many programs last one year.
Related: Common Residency Interview Questions
Best Bachelors In Nurse Practitioners
A basic nursing degree wont cut it anymore. Thats essentially what the nonprofit National Academy of Medicine said in its 2011 report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. The report made eight recommendations for the field, including, Increase the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree to 80% by 2020. It used to be that an associates degree in nursing or nursing certificate was enough, but thats no longer the case. Nurses need to have a bachelors degree to cover the basicswhich in turn can lead to further study for a nurse practitioner or another more advanced nursing role.
State legislatures hopped on the bandwagon, with several introducing so-called BSN in 10 bills, which require nurses to earn their bachelor of science in nursing within 10 years of acquiring their nurses license. So far, the law has only passed in New York State, but momentum is clearly going one way: back to school. These degrees will set you on the right pathwhether that means simply increasing your knowledge base and earning power, or as the next step toward a more advanced position like Nurse Practitioner. Let the 25 best bachelors programs in nurse practitioners guide you.
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Fulfill Safe Nursing Practice Requirements
One of the requirements to become registered as a NP in Ontario is to demonstrate safe nursing practice. This entails proving that you have been practicing nursing safely for at least two years of the past five years. At least one of those years must have consisted of you practicing in an advanced practice nursing role.
Your advanced practice nursing experience must include demonstration of the following advanced practice clinical competencies:
- Health assessment and diagnosis
- Health promotion
- Prevention of injury, illness and complications
Additionally, you must be able to provide an employer reference attesting to your fulfillment of the safe nursing practice hours requirement. This reference must include numeration of hours practiced, the safety of your practice, your role, a copy of your job description, and must meet the advanced practice competencies above.
How Do You Become Certified As A Nurse Practitioner
After completing an accredited nurse practitioner program, you’ll need to become certified in whatever NP specialty you have chosen. There are different certification organizations depending on what you’re specializing in. They include:
Each certification board will have different requirements, though all will require you to have completed an accredited nurse practitioner program and to pass a certification exam.
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What Are The Benefits Of Becoming A Nurse Practitioner
Becoming a nurse practitioner provides you with the opportunity to provide nursing care on an entirely different level. Becoming a nurse practitioner offers both personal advantages and benefits that go well beyond the individual. These include:
- The ability to work autonomously and independently
- The ability to treat a wide range of patients, diagnosing conditions, creating treatment plans and referring patients to specialists, as well as interpreting diagnostic tests and prescribing medications
- An expansive choice of work settings and conditions ranging from the ability to work independently, within the framework of a private practice, in collaboration with a physician or multi-disciplinary team of healthcare professionals, or even in a rural setting as the sole source of medical care for a community
- Higher compensation
Top Nurse Practitioner Programs 2022
Medically reviewed by Kathleen Gaines, MSN, RN, BA, CBC on 12/17/2021
Nurse Practitioners are Advanced Practice Registered Nurses who enjoy the respect of their peers, the admiration of their patients, and an extremely high level of job satisfaction.
Becoming a Nurse Practitioner requires a significant investment of time and effort. The position requires a minimum of a masters degree level of education, and it is becoming increasingly common for Nurse Practitioner students to choose to pursue a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree.
In 2004, the American Association of Colleges of Nurses developed a position statement suggesting that all schools move towards DNP programs in combination with an MSN degree for advanced practice nurses. The goal would be for all programs to have incorporated the new curriculum and suggested guidelines by 2015. Pre-existing advance practice nurses would enroll in fast-track programs to obtain their DNP.
While this still hasnt been fully enforced – it is highly recommended that all NP students enroll in DNP programs.
If you are beginning to explore becoming a Nurse Practitioner, you likely have many questions about which programs will provide you with the best education and position you for the greatest level of success.
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One & Two: Become An Rn & Earn Your Bsn
The typical first step to becoming a nurse practitioner is to get your four-year Bachelor of Science degree. While majors can vary, the degree that provides the most immediate career in nursing is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing . It is also important to note that most graduate nurse practitioner programs require a BSN for entrance.
Many nurses do not have four-year degrees. For instance, a popular path is to earn an , get an RN license, and begin work in a three-year timeframe. Others earn a licensed practical nurse / licensed vocational nurse certificate to begin their nursing careers. These full time jobs used to hinder the ability of nurses to advance their education, but now several online bridge programs provide solutions.
An requires intense coursework, but enables you to maintain employment while earning a BSN in as little as 12 months. These programs are competitive because RNs are seeking their BSNs in record numbers. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nurses , 36.8% of RNs held BSN degrees as of 2008. In 1980, only 22% of RNs had their BSN degrees.
can take as long as four years to complete. These programs require entrance testing and interviews in most cases. The length of the program can vary based on criteria such as previously earned college credits, part time or full time coursework, and specific institution-based requirements.
- Western Governors University