Home Forums DNP Professional Growth Navigating the jobs search as DNP who is not an APRN

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    Has anybody here had any trouble finding jobs as a DNP without an APRN license? I recently graduated from my DNP program at Capella University. This program is more focused on leadership and administrative-facing positions. I have been applying for academic roles, and it is frustrating to be turned away because I’m a nurse practitioner. I would appreciate any insight. I would also love to hear your stories. Thank you!


    I am in the same situation working toward a DNP without an APRN license. I currently work in nursing academia teaching in the undergraduate program and plan to continue working there once I complete my degree. Although in academia there is still a slight favor toward the PhD as the “gold standard” degree for faculty I have seen a shift in the last several years with more DNP faculty joining my university. I think with the decrease in enrollment in PhD programs and an increase in enrollment in DNP programs in a few years the DNP will be the dominating terminal degree in academia. I also chose to pursue a DNP versus a PhD since nursing is a practice focused degree and I work with undergraduate students going into entry level nursing practice. I also work part time for an academic medical center, and I have also seen the trend of directors and managers seeking the DNP (without the APRN) for the focus on practice component. However, my only caveat to this is most of the DNP graduates worked up from within the company rather than getting hired from the outside. I wish you the best of luck in your search for a career, I think there are a lot of opportunities out there!


    As the profession of nursing continues to grow and evolve, I can see that there is still much confusion and misunderstanding about how these roles and degrees exist and what each one can bring to the table. I would assume that administrators in academia would be slightly more aware than perhaps in the practice setting but maybe that is not necessarily true. One perspective that I can bring to this discussion is the idea of finding the right fit for the open position and considering the goals of the candidate in question. If I was the administrator responsible for filling these vacant faculty positions, I might wonder if an NP with a DNP degree applying for a faculty position is wanting to teach or do clinical practice. I assume that APRNs would likely want to be in the clinical practice setting and depending on what the open faculty position entails, this may or maybe not be a fit. Finding the right fit is essential for increasing employee satisfaction and ultimately securing longevity and decreasing turnover. I hope that insight helps and I wish you luck as you seek to find your perfect position.

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