In the time frame of 13 years, 553 DNP programs were established, according to this article. Within those thirteen years however, only 15% of them were clinical-based programs. The numbers and statistics show a concerning revelation; as the need for more primary care providers grows, the number of primary care providers being educated and trained is not proportionate. My question is, why are there more non-clinical programs than clinical ones? The demand is not there, so why are more educational opportunities being made if there isn’t necessarily a need for it?
Reading through the article, I found it surprising that advanced clinical care, as an DNP essential, is not explicitly listed. Under most circumstances, in order to be accepted into a DNP program, clinical practice/ experience is required. Immersed experience in the clinical setting is one of the best ways to incorporate learning throughout the DNP program and should be utilized after graduation as well. It seems that DNP programs are more similar in this regard to a PhD program, where the emphasis is heavily on research. If we fail to reach the demands of preparing NP’s for the roles upon graduation, then what are we doing? Where are we going in this direction then, if not to go out and help the people we sought to serve? One of the quotes that stood out was towards the end, “Leaders of nursing education programs, and more broadly, of our profession, have a responsibility to improve the health of the public by making choices that serve the public’s interest, not the short-term finances of the school.” (Carter & Mundinger, 2019).