The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree can be a powerful tool for nurses to wield in a dynamic and changing workforce. In light of the current physician shortage, the DNP degree can be the right choice for RNs who want to advance both their education and their qualifications to become the advanced practice specialists that can help fill the gap.
The Primary Care Shortage
By 2030, the U.S. will face a projected shortfall of between 7,300 and 43,100 primary care physicians. This looming gap can be filled by advanced practice nurses who have earned a higher level of education.
The DNP Degree
The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree is a practice-focused doctoral degree designed to prepare nurses for advanced roles, including autonomous practice. Today’s nurses choose to pursue this degree for many reasons, including:
- The DNP degree prepares highly skilled APRNs, faculty and other advanced practice nurses who can address the primary care shortage
- The degree can better prepare nurses for advanced clinical practice, leadership, management of health care delivery systems, and to influence health policy
- The advanced education provides nurses with the knowledge and skills to meet the challenges of an increasingly complex health care system
The degree can be earned on a fast track: a post-master’s DNP can be earned in one or two years of full time learning. A post-BSN DNP can be earned in three or four years of full time learning.
Thanks to all of the factors noted above, the number of DNP programs across the nation is continuing to grow. Learn more about the DNP degree and the opportunities it can bring in the below infographic: