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Reflect on the differences between DNP and PhD degrees.

THE DOCTORAL DEGREE AND PROFESSIONAL NURSING PRACTICE

This is a graded discussion: 100 points possible

A doctoral degree carries a certain set of expectations associated with the completion of advanced educational attainment. Earning a DNP degree is no exception. What are the expectations associated with a DNP-prepared nurse? How might these expectations differ among nursing staff without a DNP degree?

The role of a DNP-prepared nurse is multifaceted; they can serve as nurse educators, policy and legislation advocates, direct nursing care supervisors, or advanced practice nurses responsible for tracking, installing, and monitoring initiatives aimed at improving nursing and healthcare delivery. Regardless of the expectations associated with a DNP-prepared nurse, throughout your program of study, you will hone the skills necessary to enact each of these roles. Consider which role you are most excited about. What do you hope to accomplish in the realm of professional nursing practice with your DNP degree?

For this Discussion, reflect on your personal motivations to pursue a DNP degree. Consider the expectations associated with the DNP-prepared nurse, including how these may differ with a PhD-prepared nurse. Reflect on the DNP degree requirements, including your practicum/field experience and completion of your Doctoral Project. Then, think about how you will demonstrate the alignment of the AACN DNP Essentials to the completion of these program-of-study milestones.

TO PREPARE:

· Review the Learning Resources and reflect on the reasons you have chosen to pursue a DNP degree. How do you anticipate that earning this degree will support your professional goals?

· Reflect on the differences between DNP and PhD degrees. How may this relate to your decision to pursue the DNP degree?

· Review the degree requirements for completing your DNP at Walden. Specifically, consider the focus of the Doctoral Project and practicum experiences as discussed in the  DNP Essentials document. Keep in mind that you will be required to identify a site or sites for completion of your DNP project and your practicum hours required for the degree.

· DNP programs require 1000 practicum hours post baccalaureate degree. 400 of those hours are earned while in the DNP program. 600 or more hours are earned in the MSN or in NURS 8601 during the DNP program. (I have met this requirement 600 or more practicum hours).

· After reviewing the  DNP Essentials document and the DNP Project Process Guide for the DNP project, reflect on what it means to address an organization’s needs to attend to a gap in practice or implement a practice change. What is the difference between a gap in practice and a practice change? How does your role as the DNP-prepared nurse contribute to meeting a stakeholder need?

Post a brief explanation of the role of the nurse with a practice doctorate. Be specific. Explain the expectations associated with obtaining this degree, including how these expectations might be different for a nurse who holds a different degree. Then, explain how these considerations relate to your motivation to pursue a DNP, including a brief description of how your role as a DNP-prepared nurse will meet a potential organization’s need to address a gap in practice or implement a practice change. Discuss any experiences you have had in addressing a gap in practice or a practice change within an organization. Be specific.