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Reflection on the Doctor of Nursing Practice

Reflection on the Doctor of Nursing Practice

The doctoral degree in nursing (DNP) is a degree whose main focus is stressing the importance of leadership in clinics. As opposed to other terminal degrees that concentrate on scholarly inquiry, research skills, and attaining high specialty levels, the course content of DNP programs focuses on data analysis and statistics, nursing philosophy, enhanced clinical skills, and leadership skills (Chism, 2017). This paper will explain the purpose and history of the degree, its current and future state, and how APNs with the degree can assist in transforming healthcare and DNP advantages.

The Purpose and History of the DNP Degree

For a long time, nurses in clinics have dealt with issues such as inadequate staffing, safety issues, mandatory overtime, and high ratios of patients to nurses when delivering direct patient care. These issues affected the needs of nurses, and those who wanted advanced education were required to get master’s degrees to address the issues. However, a master’s degree was not the best educational program to prepare nurses since it did not suit their clinical or practical needs. In 1979, Case Western Reserve University, located in Cleveland, started the first nursing program offering the nursing doctorate to bridge the gap (Cronenwett et al., 2011). It was later known as a DNP program offered by the Tennessee Health Science Center, and other universities, such as Columbia and Kentucky, followed suit. In 2010, research showed that the programs were offered in 35 states with a total number of 120 different programs.

A DNP degree prepares learners to evaluate clinical outcomes and to improve healthcare by delivering training based on the application of knowledge in nursing. DNP programs stress nursing leadership areas such as improvement of quality, managing systems, and making decisions that are driven by data (Cronenwett et al., 2011). These areas prepare learners to lead innovations in healthcare and design care delivery programs that are locally acceptable and economically feasible, thus impacting the outcomes of healthcare.

The Current State of the DNP

Today, DNP degrees are widely recognized as the preferred pathway for nurses who want to attain the highest levels of nursing practice. Recent national research conducted by RAND national study indicated that there is a universal agreement that the nursing community highly values DNP programs to prepare nurses for current and future healthcare needs (Auerbach et al., 2015). A DNP degree is considered the best degree for preparing APNs to go into clinical practice. However, several institutions are facing difficulties in defining the most suitable curriculum for DNP students and their roles. Also, the healthcare system has not yet accomplished the recommendations by AACN.

The Future State of the DNP

The ever-changing nature of the health system and its increasing complexity brings a dire need for nurses with DNP degrees in administrative leadership positions. The competitive healthcare environment heightens the importance of attaining excellent customer satisfaction and positive patient outcomes. The system is expected to adapt quickly to quality improvement initiatives, customer expectations, and regulatory requirements. Although C-suites in clinical settings tend to be experts in growth, operations, and finance, they alone cannot achieve these standards of satisfaction because they have little knowledge of direct bedside care of patients. Also, the chief nursing officer does not have the power to make decisions like the C-suites despite being responsible for patient and nursing outcomes (Ardenkjaer-Larsen, 2016). Future considerations will entail appointing a DNP to work in chief operation roles to ensure that there is an optimal patient-nurse relationship. Doctoral-prepared nurses will be the voice of the nursing profession because of the program’s ability to change policy and the system as a whole by focusing on the care aspect of nursing.

Ways in Which APNs Will Assist with Transformative Healthcare

Advanced practice nurses with DNP degrees will assist significantly with transformative healthcare by reducing the cost of healthcare, achieving improved population health, and also realizing better patient experiences. Since amplified complexities surround the care of patients, APNs who have undergone the DNP programs will be in a better place to assess, develop and implement health policies that aim to reduce the cost of healthcare for all people. At the novice level, APNs will start their career by analyzing research on health policy and reviewing the literature (DeNisco & Barker, 2013). This review will promote their awareness and understanding of key issues that surround the organization, payment, and delivery of healthcare.

DNP programs will also contribute significantly to health informatics, whereby APNs are prepared to integrate computer science, nursing science, and information science to gain knowledge and draw meaningful understandings from analyzing and collating patient data. Additionally, the same nurses will be capable of being leaders, autonomous makers of decisions, and independent providers of healthcare (DeNisco & Barker, 2013). These leaders will be able to meet the needs of high quality, safe, and affordable patient care and hence bring huge transformations to the healthcare system of America.

The Advantages of Having the DNP

As a Family Nurse Practitioner, I could integrate nursing science with psychosocial, biophysical, analytical, and organizational science. The integration will allow me to use science-based theories to understand the delivery of healthcare nature of health and to evaluate the effectiveness of my interventions, especially in writing prescriptions. Additionally, a DNP degree will greatly improve my clinical expertise and add certification in patient population focus. Research by the Advance Healthcare network in 2013 showed that nurses with DNP degrees earn 5,000 dollars more than nurses with masters (Butler, 2015). Apart from delivering direct patient care, a DNP degree will also allow me to influence healthcare positively by taking other leadership roles such as being a nurse educator, administrator and even as an advocate for family health.

Conclusion

The course content of DNP programs focuses on data analysis and statistics, nursing philosophy, enhanced clinical skills, and leadership skills. A DNP degree is beneficial not only to nurses pursuing it but also to patients and the community in general. DNP programs stress nursing leadership areas such as improvement of quality, managing systems, and making decisions that are driven by data.

References

Ardenkjaer-Larsen, J. H. (2016). On the present and future of dissolution-DNP. Journal of Magnetic Resonance, 264, 3-12.

Auerbach, D. I., Martsolf, G. R., Pearson, M. L., Taylor, E. A., Zaydman, M., Muchow, A. N., … & Lee, Y. (2015). The DNP by 2015: A study of the institutional, political, and professional issues that facilitate or impede establishing a post-baccalaureate doctor of nursing practice program. Rand health quarterly, 5(1).

Butler, K. M. (2015). A clinical doctorate provides graduates with enhanced knowledge to improve nursing practice and patient outcomes; advanced competencies for extremely complex clinical, faculty, and leadership roles; enhanced leadership skills; and parity with other professions (American Association of Colleges of Nursing [AACN], 2004a). All these functions are essential for educators. However, despite the preparation with the practice doctorate—doctor of nursing practice (DNP)—the role of the nurse educator is not… The Doctor of Nursing Practice, 175.

Chism, L. A. (2017). The doctor of nursing practice. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Cronenwett, L., Dracup, K., Grey, M., McCauley, L., Meleis, A., & Salmon, M. (2011). The Doctor of nursing practice: A national workforce perspective. Nursing Outlook, 59(1), 9- 17.

DeNisco, S. M., & Barker, A. M. (Eds.). (2013). Advanced practice nursing: Evolving roles for the transformation of the profession. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

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Question 


As a Doctor of nursing practice, Write a leadership exemplar, a professional reflection upon leadership experience(s), whether positive or negative, that helped you to become the leader you are or aspire to be.

Reflection on the Doctor of Nursing Practice

Reflection on the Doctor of Nursing Practice

Consider a clinical situation:
That taught you something new
That provided new understandings and changed your practice
Where you clearly made a difference
That made you notice something new
That opened up new ways of helping or new lines of inquiry
That was particularly demanding

Document this assignment in a 3 pages Word document. Include 4 references. 

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