HomeEducationThe many career benefits of earning an online Doctor of Nursing practice

The many career benefits of earning an online Doctor of Nursing practice

Your knowledge and expertise as a qualified nurse will have taken you on a journey of caring for people, advocating for change, working with communities and making a difference in many people’s lives. 

With your Bachelor of Science degree in nursing and your master’s degree in a health or business-related discipline, you will have gained recognition in the medical field as someone who is reliable and skilled and highly regarded when it comes to excellence in patient care, healthcare management and leadership. With your current qualifications in mind, now may be the time to consider an acceleration of your professional status with a doctorate degree in nursing practice (DNP).

Why a DNP and not a Ph.D.?

As opposed to the academically oriented Ph.D. in nursing practice, a DNP qualification is practice-oriented and the highest degree possible in nursing. It enables you to build on your clinical and business leadership skills and introduces you to the domains of healthcare system management and clinical operations. A DNP qualification widens your opportunities for promotion into a leadership or management role in nursing and enhances your nursing expertise in providing optimum patient care. There are many directions you can take, and the choice is yours.

Reputable institutions, such as Baylor University, offer a Nursing Leadership degree designed to advance your nursing career by enhancing your business acumen and leadership skills. With 100% online coursework and no required campus visits, Baylor University’s Executive Nurse Leadership program allows you to complete your doctoral project in your local area, enabling you to continue working at the same time. You will have the opportunity to network with other students and experts in your chosen field, creating lasting connections as you move forward in your professional career.

Scope of practice as a DNP-prepared nurse

A doctorate in nursing offers many options when deciding which area of nursing you would like to work in. If you choose your doctoral project carefully when completing your DNP studies, you should gain valuable insights into the direction of work you would like to pursue.

Your expertise in a clinical setting may help you secure a leadership position in nursing or hospital administration. Alternatively, you may choose to become involved in the informatics side of healthcare, taking charge of a team of system specialists and adding your expert knowledge to the mix when implementing changes in the information structures within your environment. Below are some of the options available to DNP-prepared nurses:

Assist in the struggle for equity in healthcare

Get involved in the struggle for healthcare equality within clinical settings. Your involvement in this area can take place within your organization or on a wider scale as you lend your expertise as a DNP-prepared nurse to committees for change in the various socioeconomic, religious and cultural environments. Nurse leaders can make a difference by setting goals, creating mission statements within their immediate environments, creating awareness of various cultures and formalizing ongoing training programs.

Research and development

Assist scientists, educators and innovators in research and development projects as they investigate and implement new methods and procedures in the medical space.

Policy making

Use your leadership and analytical skills to make a difference in your organization’s policies and procedures or extend your expertise to cover ground in a wider setting. DNP-prepared nurses who are passionate about optimum patient outcomes can seek employment at clinical, state or federal institutions where they can use their extensive nursing knowledge to advocate for and effect policy changes within the various state and federal healthcare systems.

Evidence-based practice

Most institutions today make use of evidence-based practices (EBP) to ensure ongoing quality and consistency in patient care. EBP involves extensive research into historical data, analyzing current and previous procedures and their results in terms of patient outcomes. The combination of this research and the practical experience and knowledge that a DNP graduate has to offer, alongside taking into account patients’ needs and wishes, creates a good grounding for the implementation of evidence-based practice. A DNP graduate with experience in nursing leadership can evaluate these procedures and effect changes where required.

Advanced nursing skills

Nurses who wish to specialize in a particular field of nursing may decide to study for a doctorate in nursing. With the highest nursing qualification and their choice of specialization, DNP-prepared nurses can remain involved in direct patient care as adult gerontologists, pediatric nurses and women’s health nurses, among other areas.

A powerful skillset to carry you into the future

Enhance your current business skills and learn how to incorporate data-driven strategies into the daily operations of the clinical operation, effecting improvements in the financial and human resources functions. Your advanced business and systems knowledge will enable you to prepare and support your organization for future developments as you embrace the constant changes in the technology and medical fields.

As a competent nurse leader, you can promote cost-saving strategies and advocate for the safety of your nursing staff and their patients. Safety in a clinical environment means following good nursing practices, ensuring the security of patient information, maintaining the organizational infrastructure, setting benchmarks for safety levels and analyzing situations that could cause safety breaches. Improving safety conditions builds confidence in both staff and patients.

DNP-prepared nurses promote good relations with other medical professionals, strengthening communication channels and collaboration between multiple disciplines while supporting an ethos of holistic healing within the organization.

Changing lives

If titles such as chief nursing officer, director of nursing, or doctor of nursing in obstetrics/acute care/women’s health interest you, these are some of the interesting and rewarding fields of work that await DNP graduates. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, DNP graduates are being recognized by employers as providing an important contribution to the field of expert nursing. DNP graduates have a unique set of skills to offer the medical field, and the demand for their expertise continues to grow. 

Find your niche in a top nursing position at a clinical facility of your choice and utilize your expert leadership and management skills to effectively improve and support the organization, its staff and patients in the fast-paced, dynamic environment that is healthcare.

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