10 Reasons To Take Your Nursing Career To The Next Level With A DNP Program
If you are a nurse who is beginning to think you’re ready to take on greater responsibility, expand your knowledge and capabilities, and move your career on to the next level, then one of the best ways to achieve it is to study for an advanced nursing degree.
With a wide variety of career paths and specialisms available to experienced nurses, going back to studying can be a great way to develop yourself as a nurse and move onto a path that interests you. Online nursing degrees are very widely available these days, and as well respected in the healthcare industry as qualifications attained on campus at a nursing school or university. This makes it a lot more accessible for nurses looking to move onwards and upwards to combine studying with working in their current roles or to balance doing an advanced degree like a DNP with things like home and family commitments.
One of the biggest reasons for a lot of people to invest in advanced degrees is to be able to earn a lot more money, and nursing is no exception. People who follow DNP routes, such as the family nurse practitioner (FNP) route, can typically earn salaries in the six figures. There are other nursing specialisms that can attract high salaries, but the most common and most sought after are certainly those open to people who have achieved the DNP qualification.
Have A Bigger Role in Healthcare in Your Community
As well as the patient-facing work of DNP-level nurses, there is also a lot more opportunity for nurses at this level to have a say in healthcare policy. If you like the idea of being able to advocate for new types of treatment to be brought into your workplace or region or to have a say in how the healthcare institution you work in is run, then getting the DNP is a good way to do it.
Reach the Peak of Nursing
The DNP is the highest level of qualification in nursing, and while there are different routes, depending on if you want to be an FNP and work with people of all ages, or focus on one area of medicine like pediatrics, gerontology, or midwifery, the DNP level is seen as the peak of the nursing profession. If you’ve been a nurse for a long time and are ambitious about where you’d like that career to take you, then getting the DNP is essential!
Play an Essential Role in the Community
High-level nurses effectively do much of the same work as GPs, including diagnosing and treating patients and following patients through specific courses of treatment or through key times in their lives such as pregnancy. While all nurses are valuable to the community around them, these DNP-qualified nurses have a high level of autonomy and are often the public face of the healthcare families receive, making this a very rewarding job.
Have Your Pick of Great Job Opportunities
Nurses who have the DNP level qualification in their chosen field, or have become FNPs, are extremely highly sought after. This means that whatever the type of working environment you prefer, from major hospitals to clinics in rural areas, you should have no problem finding a job opening that is right for you.
Easy to Relocate or Work Abroad
As another effect of the qualifications being so highly sought after in the healthcare industry, you can also be fairly certain that you will be able to find a suitable and enjoyable position almost anywhere you go. If you would like to relocate in the future, or even work overseas, then this qualification should enable you to do it. While different countries have different qualifications and requirements, the DNP is something that is recognized worldwide, and so should enable you to move fairly seamlessly into working overseas if you can also meet any additional requirements.
An Interesting Study Path
Of course, you don’t just do the DNP to get the qualification. It will also give you plenty of new knowledge and experience, including in things that relate directly to treating patients, but also in things like leadership. This makes it a very interesting course most people really enjoy studying.
A Chance to Specialise
While many people choose the fairly generalist role of FNP, specialist routes are available for the DNP. If you have one field of medicine you especially care about working in, then the route you choose can allow you to fully move into that specialism. There are other ways to specialize in your nursing career, naturally, and some people end up specializing more through the experience they ended up getting due to what their work threw at them rather than because they picked a specific field to study, but the stage of starting the DNP can be a good chance to set your nursing career in the direction that appeals to you most.
Become an Authority in Your Field
Nurses with the DNP certification are not the only nurses who get to take on leadership roles, but if you want to be seen as an authority in your field of medicine in your area, and to lead other nursing staff and healthcare workers, then having this highly respected qualification will certainly help.
Another advantage to studying for the DNP is that you will meet other students and make strong connections as you progress. This is the case even if you are doing your degree online, as there are plenty of chances for you to interact with and get to know other students. This can lead to some great friendships and professional connections.