Healthcare professionals currently face an exciting transitional moment. Not only have aging baby boomers and their increasing need for care stimulated nationwide demand for nurses and other direct-care workers, but also, as a wave of baby boomer healthcare professionals begin to retire, their high-level positions are opening up for the next generation of healthcare leaders.
For nurses seeking to advance their careers, a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree may help with learning the skills required for pursuing the highest tier of nursing positions. Some DNP programs accept students with BSN degrees, often awarding them both MSN and DNP degrees upon completion. Nurses with BSNs eager to pursue leadership positions may find the right fit in online BSN to DNP programs. An online BSN to DNP curriculum is intensive, but choosing a specialized focus can help you get thorough preparation for your intended career path.
Skills, Concepts, or Opportunities a BSN to DNP Degree Can Provide
An online BSN to DNP curriculum can provide students with the skills and expertise necessary to:
- Fill the leadership gap in the current healthcare landscape. As the healthcare industry grows with an influx of new workers, there’s a strong demand for skilled leadership to help oversee their less experienced colleagues. In this landscape, DNPs are highly valued and sought after for a range of high-level positions.
- Apply evidence-based research. BSN to DNP programs place a strong emphasis on evidence-based practice, the guiding approach to decision-making about patient care. BSN to DNP students become well-versed in combining their research knowledge with their clinical expertise and understanding of the patient’s values in order to provide the best possible care.
- Prepare for an executive, decision-making role. As technology and automation enter further into healthcare, it’s seen as more important than ever that the people in charge of hospitals and healthcare organizations have extensive medical knowledge and clinical experience. Because BSN to DNP programs deliver a well-rounded education that combines research, clinical care, and systems organization training, DNPs are in high demand for executive-level roles that involve overseeing the many moving parts of a hospital or health organization.
- Educate fellow nursing professionals. Nursing careers have seen steady growth over the past several years, which has led to an influx of new nursing students eager to join the profession. The curriculum provided with a DNP degree can help you start down the path of teaching the next generation of nurses at the college or graduate level.
Common Courses for BSN to DNP Students
The contents of an online BSN to DNP curriculum may vary slightly by university, but a typical program will offer courses that focus on the following key topics:
Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing. Evidence-based practice, or EBP, is an approach to decision-making about patient care that incorporates three pillars: clinical expertise, patient values, and research evidence. To strengthen their EBP skills, students learn how to apply evidence, how to gather new evidence when needed, and how to determine patient values and preferences.
Advanced Health Assessment. This course prepares students to perform comprehensive health assessments, incorporating health history, physical and psychological changes, and psychosocial variations. These assessments are important for determining health and risk status, developing health promotion strategies, and establishing care priorities. Students will apply concepts in the field, logging a required number of documented clinical hours for the course.
Ethics for Advanced Nursing Practice. In this course, students familiarize themselves with ethical principles and decision-making models for nursing practice at the highest level. Using evidence-based nursing and interprofessional literature, students analyze the kind of ethical dilemmas that arise in advanced nursing practice.
Organizations Theory and Systems Leadership. In this course, students will learn about organizational leadership and change management by analyzing organizational, management, and social science theories. The course trains students in systems thinking, preparing students for potential careers in systems management.