Nurses that want to take their career to the next level have the opportunity to expand the skills and knowledge gained from their BSN to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. The DNP is an advanced degree that teaches nurses the entirety of healthcare leadership and advanced practices. The DNP is known as a “practice doctorate,” because graduates use their education and experience in leadership roles on the hospital and clinic floor, rather than the classroom as professors and researchers.
Overview of a BSN to DNP Bridge Program
- Students prepare to work in leadership roles as advanced practice nurses, clinical experts, health care executives, and policy experts.
- Students study complex problems in nursing practices such as: how to use research to determine solutions, the prevention of disease, primary care, family medicine, advanced diagnosis, and pediatric care.
- Coursework includes classroom and clinical skills in leadership and role development, advanced statistics, epidemiology, results oriented research and evaluation, and advanced clinical practice.
- The curricula features the fundamentals of advanced care as well as specialty courses and instruction in nursing theories and nursing research.
- Prerequisites of an BSN to DNP program might include an interview, documentation of RN license, bachelor’s degree, GRE, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose.
Steps to Obtain a BSN to DNP
- Earn an Associate’s Degree in Nursing or a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing.
- Receive a Registered Nurse Certification.
- Enroll and complete a BSN to DNP program from an accredited school like Capella University, Georgetown University, Kaplan University, South University, or University of Cincinnati.
- Obtain DNP certification and proper licensure, which varies by state.
The job setting will vary depending on what specific job you get. Private practices, outpatient care centers, nursing homes, hospitals (intensive care unit), neonatal unit, internal medicine clinics, ambulatory care, and family practice offices are all possible options. While it is not often a prerequisite to find a job, membership with a regional or specialty nursing organization can increase your employability. The online community Doctors of Nursing Practice is a great resource for these associations, scholarship and grant information, and other general DNP resources.
The average salary of a DNP varies by location, experience, and the type of employer you have. For more information on your earning potential, please refer to our nursing job outlook page.