Discussion The Doctoral Degree and Professional Nursing Practice
Every doctoral degree comes with certain responsibilities. When people see the title of doctor, inherently trust and respect result. Starting on the journey to a doctoral degree comes with a lot of responsibility to the profession, patients, community and self. The long and winding road will likely have bumps. Nursing has evolved and now provides two different avenues to meet the continually growing need for doctoral prepared nurses. While nurses who have a love for lifelong learning look to their future it is important to understand how an individuals goals align with each doctoral degree. Phd and DNP have different goals related to the future of nursing.
A PhD in nursing has a focus on research and teaching which means there is also a focus on ensuring funding via grants for the institution (Cleary & Hunt, 2011). Research requires a great deal of time and energy which translates to a long time before the information generation translates into practice changes. Nurses who pursue this avenue are often working to leave their mark on the world and this can take many years to accomplish. Due to the extensive time, effort, and costs associated with a PhD, completion is also an obstacle (Cleary & Hunt, 2011). It is not for the faint of heart as the research process requires an immense amount of work. As a result of this long lead time, the new doctorate in nursing was born (Sperhac & Clinton, 2008).
The DNP was born out of a need to impact practice and patient care swiftly. Patients need to have better care today and nurses are expected to deliver this care. Nursing has a focus on evidence and data thus this lends itself to a focus on the practice side of nursing (Sperhac & Clinton, 2008). Integration of data and evidence-based practice provide credibility to the nurse thus leading to better outcomes for patients. The DNP also allows the exploration of more clinical based issues to be identified and explored more quickly as the DNP has access to needs as they are identified in the clinical setting. Innovation is expected of the DNP as they apply the research of the PhD. DNP prepared nurses can also engage in research and apply the outcomes readily. Recent changes in the global climate have accelerated the need to apply information rapidly. The COVID-19 pandemic has stretched many practitioners to the breaking point and has also opened the doors to new areas of research and application (The Impact of COVID-19 on the Nursing Profession in the U.S. | AONL, n.d.).
Nursing is more than a profession to most who are successful. As I look at my career progression over the last twelve months, I would never have imagined the changes I would encounter or those our world would encounter. I am fortunate that nursing is my chosen passion as it is agile and able to meet the constant changes to which we have grown accustomed. The year 2020 was labeled the year of the nurse and to me this means the year of transformation. As a result of this transformation, I personally examined my goals in a new way. Given the chance to gain insight my lifelong goal of being the best nurse I can, has driven me to pursue my terminal degree in nursing. As an operating room nurse who turned to an informatics nurse the Doctor of Nursing practice is the degree for me as my journey in nursing is anything but standard. If not now, when. I am here to seize the day.
Cleary, M., & Hunt, G. E. (2011). Demystifying PhDs: A review of doctorate programs designed to fulfil the needs of the next generation of nursing professionals. Contemporary Nurse : A Journal for the Australian Nursing Profession, 39(2), 273–280.
Sperhac, A. M., & Clinton, P. (2008). Doctorate of Nursing Practice: Blueprint for Excellence. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 22(3), 146–151. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pedhc.2007.12.015
The Impact of COVID-19 on the Nursing Profession in the U.S. | AONL. (n.d.). Retrieved March 29, 2021, from https://www.aonl.org/resources/impact-of-covid19-on-nurses
NURS 8000 Discussion: The Doctoral Degree and Professional Nursing Practice
In response to the continuous changes in health care today, nurses are charged with staying well informed on many rapidly evolving aspects of patient care. They are also expected to contribute to the improvement of health care quality. Engaging in doctoral education is an admirable way to position oneself for accomplishing this goal, and it can lead to new professional opportunities.
Why did you decide to enroll in graduate school? What informed your decision to pursue your chosen degree? How will earning this degree influence your career?
This week, you consider the characteristics of various programs, including the DNP and the PhD. The focus of the DNP degree is on clinical practice, whereas the focus of the PhD is on research. In conjunction with other professional colleagues, DNP- and PhD-prepared nurses often collaborate to analyze critical issues and find appropriate ways to address them.
This first Discussion provides an opportunity for you to examine what it means to earn a doctorate and how your selected degree program relates to your professional goals.
Consider the reasons you have chosen to pursue an advanced degree. How do you anticipate that earning this degree will support your professional goals?
Reflect on the comments shared by the experts in this week’s media regarding the value of a DNP degree and the various roles available to DNP-prepared nurses, as well as the characteristics of the PhD program and opportunities for PhD-prepared nurses.
Based on the information presented this week, have you developed any new ideas or goals for your future? If so, what are they?
By Day 3
Post a cohesive response that addresses the following:
What does it mean to be a nurse with a practice or research doctorate? What are the expectations associated with this degree? How might this be different for a nurse who holds a different degree?
How do these considerations relate to your motivation to pursue a doctoral degree right now?
Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.
By Day 6
Respond to at least two of your colleagues in one or more of the following ways:
Share an insight from having read your colleagues’ postings, synthesizing the information to provide new perspectives.
Validate an idea with your own experience and additional research.
Make a suggestion based on additional evidence drawn from readings or after synthesizing multiple postings.
Expand on your colleagues’ postings by providing additional insights or contrasting perspectives based on readings and evidence.