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!
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