Highly-qualified nurses become eligible for unique and rewarding career opportunities, especially the ones with a DNP (Doctorate of Nursing Practice) degree. With time, the healthcare sector is evolving and becoming more complex. Therefore, there is a huge need for DNP graduates who can overcome industry challenges by harnessing the relevant technologies and staying on top of the latest trends.
By earning a DNP degree, you can serve in leadership positions and play a key role in improving the quality of patient care. As a DNP graduate, you can opt for different career paths as per your area of interest and skills. With a DNP, you can work as a scholarly researcher and a nurse executive as well in a clinic or healthcare institute.
From policymaker to an expert clinician, researcher to educator, this degree program provides you with different career options. To save time and effort and avoid confusion, you must have clarity about what you want to do after earning the DNP degree.
Let’s find out some career prospects that DNP graduates can consider and the requirements of this degree program.
Requirements and Cost of DNP
If you want to earn a DNP degree, you must know its requirements that can make the admission process easier for you. You must have a master’s degree in nursing or healthcare discipline.
The cost of a DNP degree depends on different factors. It can be different for online and on-campus degree programs. But if you leverage distance learning opportunities on the internet, then it can reduce your educational expenses.
In that case, consider enrolling in an online DNP program as it is less expensive than on-campus degrees. Additionally, it will save your travel expenses, something which is not possible in a traditional degree program.
It is also crucial to have advanced practice registered nurse licensure, recommendation letters, and advanced practice certification for the DNP program. Ensure that you have complete academic documents and keep all of them in a safe place that will make the admission process hassle-free for you.
Let’s find out some career paths that you can consider after earning the DNP degree.
- Clinical Researcher
If you want to work in the clinical nursing research field, then this career path can be the right choice for you. DNP graduates who work in clinical research use their skills and expertise to generate evidence that can help in improving patient care or supports the latest practices.
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While working as a clinical researcher, you can also be involved in the evaluation and development of quality improvement methodologies. It helps to improve patient outcomes and practice guidelines that positively contribute to the healthcare sector.
- Healthcare Executive
Healthcare institutes, hospitals, and care facilities require good leaders to be successful who can ensure operational efficiency to run their systems smoothly. A healthcare executive, also known as a medical services manager, is a leadership position that is ideal for DNP graduates. While working in this position, you have to strategize the healthcare services and keep track of the daily operations of healthcare facilities.
According to a statistical study, the demand for professionals is expected to increase by 28% by the end of 2031 in the healthcare management field. This growth rate is faster than other occupations, so as a DNP graduate, you must consider this field.
The salaries can vary according to the location and nature of work, but the average annual salary of healthcare executives is $101,340. The majority of these executives work in hospitals, while some of them also work in private and long-term care facilities.
Your primary responsibility as a healthcare executive will be to improve the quality of healthcare services. Also, you have to ensure the successful implementation of the latest practices as per regulations and laws.
As a healthcare executive, you also have to create work schedules by coordinating with your team and keeping them on a single page. You also have to keep an eye on budgets and prepare them according to the ongoing operations.
Healthcare executive is a challenging position because you need to be flexible to adopt the latest healthcare technologies and implement them to improve healthcare standards. Earning a DNP can provide you with hands-on skills and knowledge and prepare you to do justice to the responsibilities of a healthcare executive position.
- Nursing Faculty
One of the most prominent career paths for nurses with a DNP is nursing faculty. If you want to contribute to the healthcare sector by entering higher education, then this field is for you. It will enable you to prepare future nurses for the challenging and complex healthcare industry.
DNP graduates can choose theory-driven or clinical faculty positions as it also offers good earning potential. Before entering the nursing faculty field, you must know that you will be responsible for ensuring a good educational experience for students. The nature of your work can vary according to the requirements of the institution.
Mostly, you have to work as a student advisor, provide mentorship to future nurses, and publish research work in academic journals for students.
- Advanced Practice Registered Nurse
You can explore plenty of job prospects while working as an APRN (advanced practice registered nurse). It includes nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, and clinical nurse specialists. The job requirements of these positions can vary according to the organization and state where you intend to work.
APRNs can work in schools, hospitals, and clinics to offer their services. To become eligible for entry-level APRN positions, you must have a master’s degree. But for advanced-level positions, you require a DNP program that will help you advance in your career.
Some of the common responsibilities of APRNs include counseling patients, coordinating with doctors and physicians, and prescription and diagnosing.
To earn a DNP degree, you must know its prerequisites to take steps accordingly. Also, you should be clear about the career path you want to choose after having this degree program. Analyze your area of interest and capabilities that will help you decide whether you want to take a nursing faculty, clinical researcher, or healthcare executive role. Deciding beforehand will positively impact your professional career as you will have a clear direction to follow.