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I do not currently have that issue in the moment. When I tell my co-workers that I am currently studying for a DNP degree they seem to be interested in what the degree entails.
However, I do receive some comments from others like “Why don’t you just be a doctor?” or, “That’s going to take a long time to pursue”. It does get a bit frustrating sometimes trying to explain why I want to pursue further education in the field.
The roadblock to understanding and clarity of what the degree is, seems to be that others believe the DNP is just more letters to add to your name.
A lot of nurses, especially those who have been practicing for quite a while now, do not have much information regarding what the Doctor of Nursing Practice is. I tell my colleagues that while I enjoy being a bedside floor nurse, I also what to get into the world of nursing education, mentorship, and research application. When I explain this to them, it opens up their mind more about what the degree entails.
I am truly sorry that you feel discouraged by your colleagues, but I hope that one day you will be able to work with them or others as a DNP and educate them about what the role of the advanced practice nurse encompasses. Also, maybe they will see that the APRN can be a powerful collaborator and resource in the workplace.
Thanks for sharing.