Why Should You Choose a DNP Program Rather than MSN?

To become an advanced practice nurse, you will have to complete a post-baccalaureate program, such as a master’s degree (MSN) or a doctoral degree (DNP).

Nurses with either DNP or MSN are legally allowed to work as Nurse Practitioners, Clinical Nurse Specialists, Certified Nurse-Midwives or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists.

Because nurses have several educational routes to become APRNs, it can be confusing to determine which one to choose and why.

Your decision should be based on your goals and preferences.

Let’s see the primary differences between DNP and MSN.

There is no higher degree in nursing than DNP or a doctoral degree in nursing, so it is a terminal degree.

Both DNP and MSN nurses can work in the roles mentioned above, but education for DNP nurses can be a bit longer.

DNP education is comprehensive and includes leadership and administration alongside clinical education.

The education for DNP nurses is focused on evidence-based practice and interdisciplinary leadership training.

DNP nurses are highly important for the healthcare system, as they have knowledge and skills to improve problems and issues using a systematic approach.

The nurses with DNP continue their APRN career in other fields of nursing such as leadership and administration.

They can work as a Director of Nursing Practice, or help developing new policies for organization improvement.

Obtaining a doctoral degree in nursing for all advanced-practice nurses is recommended by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing

Improving the knowledge and nurse status will help to resolve clinical issues and eventually, lead to better patient care outcomes.

But MSN degree isn’t yet to be discontinued.

Advanced-practice nurses can complete the MSN program and start working in one of the four ARRN roles mentioned before.

If you are thinking about which pathway to choose, ultimately, you should rely on your ambitions, goals, and work environment preferences.

The field of nursing offers plenty of jobs and opportunities for career development, and you will probably be able to find the one that meets your expectations and needs.

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