What Can You Do With a Doctorate in Nursing Practice?

DNP degree student working at a hospital

Earning a doctorate in nursing can be a great way to position yourself for possible career advancement as an experienced RN. You can take your passion further in this way by earning a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree online.1 This degree can prepare you for many different careers and responsibilities in the healthcare profession.

Conduct Research

A doctorate in nursing can qualify you to enter into clinical research. A clinical researcher works with other medical professionals to develop and conduct research and contribute to the academic aspect of the medical field. As a clinical research nurse practitioner, you carry out research that may help improve patient outcomes by improving the procedures healthcare professionals follow. DNP graduates can perform research in a variety of fields depending on their specializations, from helping to find cures for diseases to reviewing the impacts of common healthcare procedures and routine patient care.

Educate Future Nurses

After earning your DNP degree, you may be qualified to teach students who are preparing to enter nursing careers. DNP graduates with an interest in education may find opportunities at universities, hospitals and a wide range of academic and research institutions. You may find this to be a great career option if you want to combine your passion for healthcare with a passion for teaching.

Work To Become a Healthcare Field Leader

A Doctor of Nursing Practice degree can prepare you for roles in healthcare leadership. You may assume responsibilities that include ensuring that a medical facility is running smoothly and that administrative systems and hospital operations remain organized and follow existing standards and regulations. You may also be responsible for learning about the newest innovations in technology and healthcare to help keep your medical facility up to date. Those with a DNP background may also play a role in budgeting, helping medical facilities make the best use of their available resources and learning what other resources might be available to them.

Become an Advanced Practice Nurse

If you prefer the patient care aspect of the nursing field, you might want to leverage your DNP to become an advanced practice nurse. Medical facilities may benefit from the specialized training and skills found in a doctoral nursing program. With this type of degree, you can consider a career working in family practice, acute care, midwifery, pediatrics, anesthesia or in one of many other areas.2

Advocate for Healthcare as a Lobbyist

You may be able to combine a passion for policy and a heart for healthcare by becoming a healthcare lobbyist, working to change and improve healthcare regulations and laws. As a healthcare lobbyist, you might work for a medical organization, insurance company or government agency. Your responsibilities there would include staying up to date on the latest news and trends regarding healthcare and representing the interests of your organization and profession with legislators.

You can prepare to take on a wide range of careers when you enroll in the DNP degree at Grand Canyon University. This rigorous program offers you a solid foundation for specializing in many areas as a healthcare professional, educator, researcher, executive or advocate. To learn more about the College of Nursing and Healthcare Professions, fill out the form on this page.

1 While all courses are completed online, you will need to attend clinical, practicum and immersion hours in person locally.

2 Hilton, L. (2022, May 11). Nurses With DNP Degree Are Sorely Needed in Health Care and Education. Nurse.com. Retrieved Sept. 22, 2023.

Approved by the Associate Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions on Oct. 16, 2023.

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.

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