3 Reasons To Earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice

By Lauren Abraham, a 2021 GCU graduate in, Bachelor of Arts in Communications

Female DNP wearing white coat in hospital

Nurses make a positive difference in the lives of their patients every day. Pursuing a career in nursing can be very rewarding. Combined with the other benefits of the profession, such as salary and job stability, the nursing field has a lot to offer.

Many benefits come with advancing your nursing education. For example, nurses can earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) to apply current research to clinical practice and positively impact their profession. Interested in furthering your nursing education? Continue reading to learn about the benefits of earning a doctorate degree.

What Is a DNP?

The Doctor of Nursing Practice, also known as DNP, is a degree program that prepares you for roles within patient care and nursing practice. The courses you take while earning this degree allow you to learn evidence-based practice and leadership skills. As a DNP, you may provide direct medical care to patients. If you decide to become a nurse practitioner you can diagnose patients, prescribe medications, order imaging tests and do bloodwork.

Expand Your Nursing Knowledge

The DNP, available as an online nursing program,* guides advanced-practice registered nurses, nurse informaticists and nurse leaders in applying current research to their careers. This is achieved through peer discussion and in-depth application-based activities in which learners integrate didactic learning into their current or future practice environments. These practices equip nurses with the knowledge and skills suitable for the highest level of nursing practice. Some courses within the DNP degree include:

  • Emerging Areas of Human Health
  • Scientific Underpinnings Patient Outcomes and Sustainable Change
  • Leadership for Advanced Nursing Practice
  • Health Care Informatics

If you are studying within a DNP degree you will be involved with programs of clinical discovery and learn more about coaching people or families through treatment of health-related illnesses and transitions. Within your learning you can also discover important skills and competencies in nursing including healthcare research.

Specifically, individuals in this nursing degree program partake in practice activities that provide greater depth and application to learning. You'll expand your theoretical knowledge by studying course topics, such as healthcare information technology, emerging areas of human health, data analysis and population management. As a result, you will gain a deeper understanding in a wide variety of areas in the field.

Career Opportunities

Earning a DNP degree opens the doors to various job opportunities that will allow you to enhance your knowledge and experience within the healthcare field. Some job positions you can get with this degree include:

  • Psychiatric mental health nurse: Specializes in mental health and cares for patients of all ages that are being treated for illness, stress or mental distress.
  • Family nurse practitioner: An advanced practice registered nurse that focuses on family healthcare services with people of all ages, including adults, children, adolescents and seniors.
  • Adult gerontology nurse practitioner: A healthcare provider whose primary focus is to treat patients who struggle with their mental, physical and social affects health.
  • Neonatal nurse: A nurse practitioner who provides primary care for patients who suffer from chronic pain and need critical care. The age of patients ranges from infants to toddlers.

Make a Positive Impact

Nurses who earn their Doctor of Nursing Practice can use current research to improve patient outcomes. Based on your knowledge, you will have the opportunity to expand current theoretical and scientific foundations of healthcare practice, including the discipline knowledge base, the design and evaluation of clinical solutions as well as clinical and organizational change leadership.

There are some important benefits you can receive while earning a DNP degree, including the following:

  • Advanced skill development: Getting a DNP degree can benefit nurses by helping them develop skills within their MSN programs. In addition, the curriculum allows them to experience tasks they will be accomplishing in their future careers. Other skills you can develop include becoming knowledgeable of the business environment and settings within healthcare, for example economical competencies that are usually needed for senior roles.
  • Leadership skills: The DNP program prepares you for advanced positions that oversee nursing staff or run operations within a healthcare facility. By becoming a strong and capable leader, you will be able to motivate other nurses to benefit the outcomes of patients.
  • Mentorship skills: Learning to provide guidance toward nurses who will be the next generation of healthcare providers can be very rewarding. Having these qualities can improve your reputation and performance as a nurse but, most importantly, allow the best care and treatment of patients throughout the field.
  • Career opportunities: When you earn a DNP degree, it allows an open door of possibilities for careers, including executive healthcare positions.
  • Research: Research projects are a large component of the DNP program. Since many advanced nursing positions are involved in project-based tasks, this is an invaluable skill. Graduates of the program are equipped to translate existing research into solutions to improve outcomes and promote change leadership in healthcare organizations. They can become the driving force behind positive changes made to the healthcare system. They also can apply their knowledge and skills to real-life situations and propose lasting solutions to solve many problems of today.

Advance in the Field

Nurses who earn their DNP may work in a clinic or hospital as a nurse executive, continue their practice as an advanced practice registered nurse, or serve as a nurse educator with further training. They are prepared to become leaders in the field, making a positive difference in the lives of others. Due to their extensive knowledge and ability to use research in problem-solving, they are extremely valuable in the workplace and are provided with more career options.

The opportunities are endless for those who want to earn their Doctor of Nursing Practice. Earning a DNP allows nurses to reach their full potential and become leaders who make a positive impact in the field of nursing.

Grand Canyon University’s College of Nursing and Health Care Professions offers a wide variety of degree programs to individuals who want to fill evolving healthcare roles as highly qualified professionals. For more information, fill out the Request More Information form at the top of the page.

*100% online classes; (clinical, practicum, and immersion hours completed locally)

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.