If you are a registered nurse looking to take the next steps in your career, completing a DNP program can help you do this. DNP programs can provide you with a huge range of specialist skills, knowledge, and experiences in different areas of nursing. There are many options to choose from, and undertaking a DNP program can help you to specialize in a certain area, become a great leader in your workplace and even help shape the future of nursing. Here are a couple of ways a DNP program can help boost your career.
What is a DNP program?
DNP stands for Doctor of Nursing Practice, and it is one of the two doctorate degrees that can be studied for in nursing in the USA. There are many different tracks that you can choose to study, which allow you to specialize in a specific area, such as pediatrics or midwifery. If you are a registered nurse and want to further your career, completing a DNP program is the next step. An online DNP program has multiple benefits, as many are designed for actively practicing RNs, meaning you can work and study at the same time. Learning online allows you to receive a high level of education whilst maintaining your other commitments and developing personal and interpersonal skills that come with the unique challenges of studying online.
Is it for you?
DNP programs are for registered nurses who already hold an MSN or a BSN. There are several options when it comes to studying for your DNP. One option is enrolling in online bsn to dnp programs, and the other is a post-Master’s DNP program, which can also be studied online. DNP programs help to prepare you for the highest level of nursing in clinical practices, or for roles outside of caring for patients, such as Executive Nurse Leadership.
An online BSN to DNP program from Baylor University takes just over three years to complete. This version of study is for registered nurses who already hold a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, and during the course, you will complete both a Master’s and a Doctorate. If you already have an MSN, then you can study for a post-Master’s DNP at Baylor in 2 years.
Online study benefits
Many online DNP programs are designed to be completed whilst you are still working, which makes them a great, flexible study option. As well as the ability to study whilst maintaining your other commitments, online study has plenty of other benefits. These include reducing travel and accommodation costs and building upon other important and valuable personal skills.
Soft skills are non-technical skills that affect your performance in the workplace. You will most likely already have a vast range of these skills, including time management, motivation, conflict resolution, and communication, and studying online can help you develop them even more. Time management is a huge part of studying, especially remotely, as you will need to make sure you are organized and can complete your studies alongside your other commitments. Setting yourself clear goals to work towards is a great way to stay organized and motivated. Breaking down tasks can make them seem more manageable and will also make you less likely to forget to complete something. Furthermore, the ability to self-motivate is very valuable, and studying something you are passionate about can mean that you are more likely to stay focused and committed. It is easy to become distracted when working from home, so discipline and focus are further useful skills that online learning allows you to develop.
Furthermore, the costs involved in studying can prevent some people from pursuing further education. When you study from home, there are plenty of ways to reduce or even remove certain costs, as well as receiving support from your institution. As you are learning from home, you may not have to worry about finding somewhere to live close to campus, or spending money and time commuting to classes. This can help ease the financial impact substantially, as well as saving you time, and allowing you to use your time more efficiently.
Online study is a great alternative to in-person learning, as it is flexible and affordable. Additionally, many of the DNP programs at BU do not require a GRE or GMAT, which again saves you money and time. They also work to provide placements for you that are near to your home. Not only do placements allow you to put your knowledge into practice, the site in which you are placed can also be a potential employer upon completion of the course.
There are different types of DNP tracks that you can take, and each will give you the knowledge and skills to expand your career in that direction. Here are a couple of the options available:
Midwifery- midwives assist with all aspects of childbirth. They provide care during pregnancy and in the post-partum period, as well as gynecology and family planning services.
Executive Nurse Leadership- if you want to develop your leadership and business skills within the field of nursing, a DNP-ENL can provide you with the skills and knowledge to do this. You could work to become a Chief Nursing Executive or a Vice President of Nursing, using your wide range of skills such as understanding of business and healthcare models in many tasks, including to shape policies, manage nursing staff and train new recruits.
Pediatrics- provides healthcare to children and adolescents. There are two tracks in the pediatric DNP; primary care and primary/acute care. An online DNP program can help boost your career by providing you with high-quality education, knowledge, skills, and experience to prepare you to stand out in your workplace. Whether you want to specialize in a specific area of patient care, or focus on the leadership and management side of nursing, an online DNP can help you to do this. There are also different entry requirements and eligibility criteria for these courses, so it is important to check these to make sure you are studying a course that is right for you.