Bachelor of science in nursing to doctor of nursing practice program can fast-track a nurse’s career by speeding up the time it takes to attain a doctor of nursing practice degree, a terminal nursing degree.
BSN to DNP Program
A BSN to DNP program is designed for nurses who want to begin their careers as advanced practice nurses (APRN). BSN to DNP programs provide comprehensive training and knowledge related to nursing practice, theory, and research methods.
A BSN to DNP program includes core nursing courses and specialty courses. Nurses must complete academic courses and a minimum number of supervised clinical hours. The program functions as a bridge that allows nurses to earn a DNP degree, one of the highest degrees for a nurse.
Requirements of a BSN to DNP Nursing Program
In order to qualify for a BSN to DNP program, candidates must have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), a GPA of 3.0 or above, a score of 500 or better on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), and a valid nursing license or eligibility for nursing licensure,
In addition, interested candidates are required to submit a personal essay, letters of recommendation and give an in-person interview. Nurses interested in enrolling in a BSN to DNP specialty program need clinical hours even if they enroll in an online program. Required hours vary by individual program and state requirements, but it is usually 500 hours of mandatory clinical rotations in most cases. If becoming a DNP interests you, visit https://academicpartnerships.uta.edu/programs/doctor-of-nursing-practice.aspx to learn more.
Reasons to Complete a BSN to DNP Program
Some of the key reasons why a BSN to DNP program would be a good option for nurses include the following:
1) Attain a DNP degree in less time.
A BSN to DNP program allows nurses to achieve a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree in much less time by skipping a separate master’s degree program. Most BSN to DNP programs include MSN coursework.
For example, an accelerated online BSN to DNP program can enable experienced nurses to advance their careers by earning a Doctor of Nursing Practice in as little as 40 months with a curriculum focused on nursing, healthcare policy, and organizational management and with the option of choosing from different specializations.
2) Position yourself for leadership roles in nursing.
A DNP degree strongly focuses on nursing leadership, providing a springboard to jobs at an executive level and jobs that can influence healthcare policy and advocate for better patient care. Since the curriculum of a BSN to DNP program is so comprehensive, it can enable nurses to acquire skills that are beyond the clinical aspects of care.
By honing leadership skills, the degree can open management opportunities and prepare nurses to run and manage a healthcare facility or clinic. Hence, a BSN to DNP program makes the role of a nurse more dynamic by enhancing their skills in different areas. This can enable nurses to take on a more organizational route if they so desire and acquire leadership positions in administration, informatics, information systems and healthcare policy.
3) Narrow your focus.
Most BSN to DNP programs offer concentrations allowing you to specialize in a nursing niche.
There are several different specialties of BSN to DNP programs. These include Nurse Practitioner (NP), Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), Certified Nurse Midwife (CNW), Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP), Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP), Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Pediatric (Primary Care) Nurse Practitioner (PNP) and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP).
A focused curriculum on a particular specialty can increase nurses’ command in a particular area and improve their expertise and knowledge.
4) Educate and mentor the next generation of nurses.
With a DNP degree, you have the opportunity to take up roles in nursing schools, colleges and universities, educating the next generation of nurses or being part of mentorship programs at hospitals and medical facilities. This can be especially useful as the healthcare sector is already facing a significant shortage of skilled nurses.
In addition, many experienced nurses are also retiring, further aggravating this problem. By becoming more qualified through a BSN to DNP program and by mentoring and preparing the next generation, nurses can play an important role in improving the quality of care and addressing the issue of shortages.
5) Earn a premium salary.
A DNP is an apex degree at the top of the nursing education hierarchy. Unfortunately, most nurses take many years to reach it. But with an accelerated BSN to DNP program, you can earn a higher salary much sooner.
The average salary of a nurse with a DNP degree is approximately $107,000, while a BSN nurse can earn around $86,500, and an MSN nurse has the potential to earn approximately $96,000. Hence, the more qualified you are, the better your salary.