Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Do You Need A Doctorate To Be A Nurse Practitioner

Must read

Earning An Msn Degree

So You Want to Be a NURSE PRACTITIONER [Ep. 25]

Educational requirements for professionals in the nursing field are on the rise. In 2010, the Institute of Medicine released its report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, in which the organization recommended increasing the number of nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree to 80 percent by 2020. In the past, nurses who wished to advance in the workplace earned a BSN to set themselves apart. But as the degree becomes increasingly common, the Master of Science in Nursing has increasingly taken its place as the standard for nurse leaders which includes aspiring nurse practitioners.

The general MSN is a graduate-level degree that typically takes about two years to complete, though the exact length of the program will depend on your course load. The classes in these nurse practitioner programs are designed to provide you with the advanced practice skills required to assume leadership positions, generally in a chosen specialty within the scope of nurse practitioner practice. If you are interested in a career as an NP, you will typically look for a program that offers an MSN program with a nurse practitioner concentration or specialty.

When it comes to obtaining acceptance in a nurse practitioner program, California residents and out-of-state applicants alike are generally expected to hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, possess current registered nurse certification, and already have some experience working in the nursing field.

Getting Into Nurse Practitioner School: Expectations For Prior Experience

Nurse practitioner schools typically like to see nursing experience. In fact, the average new nurse practitioner has spent about a decade out in the field. This isnt a mandate, however. The stated minimum may be just a year or two. In some cases, it will be none.

There are different types of nursing practitioner, and some are more open to newcomers than others. A nurse would-be practitioner who will be working with vulnerable populations can expect to demonstrate nursing experience that is relevant to the specific population and setting. In other words, a neonatal nurse would be well poised to become a neonatal nurse practitioner. Primary care and acute care represent separate specialties. Primary care tends to be the most friendly to those whose careers have been built on the basis of something other than direct patient care. While nurse practitioners often practice more or less independently, they have the responsibility to consult with others as the need arises. Those in primary care have the luxury of time when it comes to healthcare decisions. Fortunately, from the standpoint of a person building his or her career, family nurse practitioner represents an area of high need.

Nurse Practitioner Prerequisite Courses

A licensed RN will not generally need to demonstrate a lot in the way of specific coursework. It is generally assumed that these requirements were met at the pre-nursing or nursing level. The admissions department, though, may want to see coursework in statistics, completed in the relatively recent past. There are statistics courses designed specifically to address the needs of healthcare professionals. However, the student may be allowed to matriculate on the strength of other statistics coursework.

A career changer, on the other hand, may need to provide transcripts for a number of specific prerequisite courses . Typical requirements include the following:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Nutrition
  • Psychology

Having a strong anatomy and physiology background is crucial. The student will likely need a two semester sequence of anatomy and physiology or two discrete courses before matriculation advanced physiology and pathophysiology will be included in the NP course of study.

Grades are a factor, but this isnt medical school. The minimum GPA may be a 3.0. Weakness in one area is sometimes negated by strength in another. Whatever his or her background, the future nurse practitioner should be aware that the process is competitive. When assessing readiness for application, one may want to take into account the description of the typical admitted student, not just the minimums.

You May Like: Miami Dade Associates In Nursing

Become A Nurse Practitioner Without A Bsn

Nurse practitioners are primary and specialty care providers who sometimes work independently or in collaboration with other health professionals. They often work in a specific health care area, like pediatric, psychiatric and geriatric health.

You dont need a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or a nursing background to become a nurse practitioner.However, you will need an advanced or graduate degree to become licensed as a nurse practitioner. There are registered nurse to Master of Science in Nursing programs as well as direct-entry MSN programs that dont require a BSN.

If you have a desire to work in health care within a meaningful role, you might be interested in a career as a nurse practitioner. The following information outlines how to pursue a nurse practitioner career without a BSN.

What Are The Steps To Become A Nurse Practitioner

What personal skills do you need to be a Nurse?

Put simply, there are a few vital steps toward becoming a Nurse Practitioner :

  • Step 1: Earn an advanced degree: either a Master of Science in Nursing or a Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Step 2: Earn national certification in a patient population focus area
  • Step 3: Earn state Advanced Practice Registered Nurse licensure

But when it comes to the degree youll need to become a Nurse Practitioner, many nurses wonder: do I need an MSN? A doctorate? Will I one day need a doctorate? Well cut to the chase: currently, nurses do not need to obtain a doctorate to become a Nurse Practitioner. Will that change? Lets take a look at the facts we know today.

Also Check: Azusa Pacific University Family Nurse Practitioner

How To Become A Nurse Practitioner: Degrees And Requirements

Becoming a nurse practitioner is a popular and exciting career choice. Nurse practitioners deliver primary and emergency care to patients, diagnose and treat illnesses, and prescribe medication. In 23 states, NPs have full practice authority, meaning they can practice independently without the supervision of a physician.

The path to becoming a nurse practitioner may look a little different for everyone, but in general, there are specific academic and licensure credentials you must obtain. From your bachelors through your graduate degree, you can expect to be in school for at least seven years. After you earn your graduate degree, you must also pass a national certification exam. This blog post outlines the responsibilities of nurse practitioners, discusses how to become a nurse practitioner, and provides a brief overview of the current job landscape and opportunities.

The Groundswell Toward Full Practice Authority For Nps Makes The Push For A 2025 Dnp Migration Imperative

Arguing for the DNP presents something of a double-edged sword for NP advocates. While its difficult to argue that more training and more clinical education arent a good thing for anyone in the medical field, NPs and other APRNs have already been fighting to establish themselves as being well-qualified to practice and prescribe independently with nothing more than an MSN.

While requiring a DNP for licensure obviously answers this argument, if the initiative doesnt succeed it could provide ammunition for entities such as the AMA who seek to restrict APRN practice authority. If NPs themselves believe the role needs a higher education requirement, it tends to work against the argument for independent practice authority, and boosts the AMA position that NPs should only function under MD supervision.

If the push to move to a DNP as standard fails again, it may only reinforce the perception that independent practice for NPs should continue to be restricted.

The argument works in the other direction as well though. For the additional education a DNP offers to have any practical advantages, NPs would have to be allowed to put it to use in the field by being granted independent practice authority as a matter of course. Many states still restrict NP practice authority to levels below their capabilities when they come out of MSN programs, so proactively moving to the DNP standard could be the very thing that convinces state law makers to authorize that expanded practice authority.

Also Check: Baccalaureate Of Science In Nursing

Internships Research Opportunities And More

Decker College’s Innovative Simulation and Practice Center, accredited by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, provides advanced-practice graduate nursing students with regularly scheduled clinical activities to assess and manage common healthcare disorders through the use of standardized patients. Decker’s Kresge Center for Nursing Research provides PhD students with opportunities for hands-on learning during all phases of the research process under the supervision of nursing scientists.

Students in the Advanced Standing DNP program can take advantage of a diverse and vigorous curriculum that includes courses on information technology and patient care and healthcare policy for healthcare advocacy. Under the guidance of a committee, students will complete a DNP Scholarly Project that meets the criteria of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s “Essential Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice.” This project will focus on a change that impacts healthcare outcomes either through direct or indirect care it will include planning, implementation and evaluation components.

What Are The Benefits Of Seeing A Nurse Practitioner

How to Become a Nurse Practitioner

While it can be tempting to want care from someone with the title Doctor, nurse practitioners are equally skilled and knowledgeable in their field. Nurse practitioners are typically not as booked as doctors, and can fit patients in sooner, providing relief without long delays or wait times.

Nurse practitioners see a variety of patients, meaning that their knowledge and experiences are varied and may be better suited to creating preventative care plans. Their role is to help patients feel comfortable, healthy, and looked after throughout any sort of medical procedure or exam routine or otherwise.

NPs are sometimes referred to as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses because of their extensive background and practice in taking care of patients at their bedsides, be it at a hospital, clinic, home, or surgery center. However, its important to note that a nurse practitioner is a type of advanced practice registered nurse.

A nurse practitioner is a fantastic addition to a care team and acts as a complement to your primary care doctor. NPs can take care of the following medical needs:

  • yearly check-ups
  • diagnosing seasonal illnesses
  • treatment of sore throat, allergies, or the flu

During the global COVID-19 pandemic, nurse practitioners are providing exceptionally valuable services by alleviating the load on physicians, surgeons, and emergency rooms. They can offer COVID-19 testing and diagnosis of symptoms.

Read Also: Accelerated Nursing Programs In Charlotte Nc

Dnp Salary Vs Np Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics APRN Salary Reporting, Nurse Practitioners had a median annual salary of $107,030 in 2018. Wages were generally higher for NPs working in hospitals and outpatient care centers than those working in physicians offices and educational settings.

Since a DNP is a credential and not a dedicated career path, these statistics are based upon a mix of NPs with MSN degrees and DNP degrees. That said there are particular specializations that may be available to DNP-holders that may not available to NPs:

These figures illustrate an important point: a DNP does not guarantee a nurse higher pay. In some cases it is possible for a nurse with a DNP degree to work either in a specialization or setting for less pay than another NP with an MSN degree.

That said, nurses with a combination of a DNP degree and appropriate work experience would typically qualify for the higher end of the nursing pay scale than nurses without their doctorate. The difference between the highest- and lowest-paying positions can be significant. For reference, the Bureau of Labor Statistics APRN reporting shows the highest 10 percent of APRNs in 2018 earned annual salaries in excess of $182,750 while the lowest 10 percent earned less than half that amount.

What Aprn Roles Are Affected

Nursing association recommendations that encourage nurses pursuing an advanced practice role consider a doctorate instead of a masters can be confusing. Is a doctoral degree required or not? The answer depends on the nursing role youre seeking.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists are the only APRN-level job with a definitive change in directive. Right now, an MSN degree is sufficient, but youll need a doctoral degree to earn APRN licensure in the field after 2025. While a DNP is a popular option, students can also choose to earn another doctoral degree, including:

  • Doctor of Philosophy

Current degree requirement: MSN or higher

Upcoming changes: No changes announced

When you can enroll in an MSN program: Anytime

When you need to enroll in a DNP program: N/A

When youll need a DNP to practice: N/A

Recommended Reading: Nursing Schools Near Harrisburg Pa

What Is An Np

Nurse Practitioners are specialized professionals in the nursing field that deliver both primary and specialty healthcare to patients.This includes diagnostics, treatment, offering medical counsel, and prescribing medication. Of particular note is the fact that NPs have the authority to carry out the majority of their medical functions without the approval of a physician.

Unlike RNs, NPs specialize in a particular discipline and must complete training and licensing requirements specific to their specialization.

NPs have expertise that is in high demand across the healthcare industry. It is common for NPs to find work in locations like:

  • hospitals
  • clinics
  • schools

Nurse Practitioners fall under the category of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses . This title refers to the fact that to become an NP , nurses must first earn a license as a Registered Nurse . This requires either a diploma from a nursing program, an Associates Degree in Nursing , an Associate of Science in Nursing degree, an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree, or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

To advance from an RN to an NP requires a post-baccalaureate degree. The most common choice is a Master of Science in Nursing , although DNP programs for BSN-holders are becoming more common.

Job Opportunities As A Nurse Practitioner

Why Do You Want To Be A Nurse Practitioner?

Certified nurse practitioners can find abundant job opportunities in todays thriving healthcare industry. Nurse practitioners can fulfill leadership patient-care positions working in hospitals, community clinics, physicians offices, mental health centers, universities, employee health facilities, schools, military bases, and even government agencies. In addition to finding employment at these healthcare facilities, around 15% of NPs in the United States have opened their own independent practices or nurse-managed health centers to deliver patient care. The best job prospects for nurse practitioners can be found in rural and inner-city communities as healthcare organizations try to bridge the gap in areas underserved by physicians.

You May Like: Accelerated Nursing Programs In Delaware

Millions Of Americans Seek Out Nps For Their Health Care The Unique Ability Of Nps To Blend Clinical Excellence And Personalized Care With An Emphasis On Prevention Is A Key Reason Why Patients Choose Nps As It Turns Out Those Are Also Reasons Why More Individuals Are Choosing A Career As An Np

The NP community reflects the diversity of the U.S. representing a multitude of backgrounds, races, ethnicities, genders and life experiences. NPs can be found in every health care setting: from private NP-owned practices to large, multistate health care systems in outpatient primary care offices and the intensive care unit and from small frontier communities to large urban cities. Building on the strength of that diversity and continuing to meet the needs of patients and our health care system will require a robust NP workforce.

Whether you are just beginning your NP education or are a seasoned professional in a different field who is considering becoming an NP, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners® has the resources to help you plan for your future and join the ranks of over a quarter million NPs as we improve the health of our nation.

Do I Need A Masters In Nursing To Be A Nurse Practitioner

If you are a registered nurse, or a current nursing student, looking to become a primary healthcare provider, then you will need to pursue at least a masters degree to be a nurse practitioner. Although some nurses may be dissuaded by rising tuition expenses for attending graduate school, it is a great time to start the additional training needed to earn the designation of nurse practitioner. Due to healthcare reforms and an aging baby boomer population, employment for nurse practitioners is expected to skyrocket at the rapid rate of 33.7% before 2022. In order to determine whether pursuing a masters degree in nursing would be the right fit for you, the following is an overview of what you could expect by becoming a nurse practitioner.

Recommended Reading: Failed Nursing School Now What

How I Decided To Earn My Dnp

My certainty regarding the DNP did not come full circle until the beginning of my third year. At times, I did not exactly understand what I was doing, but at my core, I knew I wanted to help lift the profession to the next level.

I learned to trust the process and not only grew as a researcher, leader, and clinician but grew exponentially as a human being through the degree.

I feel equipped to educate new nurses, lobby for nursing policy, implement evidence into practice, and I have a better understanding of historical aspects of nursing that have led us to our current state.

The Scope Of The Term Doctor


Several roles allow for the title of “doctor,” including those who have earned a Ph.D., lawyers, veterinarians, pharmacists, and DNP-prepared nurses. The answer to the question of if a DNP-prepared nurse can be referred to as doctor is yes – however, there are different schools of thought on the matter, and restrictions of when and where the nurse may be referred to as a doctor.

Those who support using the title of “doctor” for DNP or Ph.D. nurses have a few reasons why it should be allowed. First, it’s a recognition of the level of expertise and clinical skills of a nurse. It represents that the nurse has achieved the highest degrees possible in nursing and should be considered an expert in his or her field. Second, it also can help build trust between the nurse and patient as the patient can be reassured of the nurse’s competency. This is especially true for nurse practitioners who practice similarly to physicians. Additionally, if other professionals can refer to themselves as “doctor,” why shouldn’t someone who earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice?

Recommended Reading: Nursing Schools In San Fernando Valley

More articles

Popular Articles