Home Forums DNP Professional Growth The Discouragement Received From Nurse Colleagues When Pursuing DNP

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  • #41244
    Ricky Bonar
    Participant

    Hi Avery, I think you have brought up a valid point. It does seem to me as well to be a recurring theme. Remember, negative comments are usually made to self validate in order to justify a missed opportunity. Some people see it as a blessing and some will realize that they wish to have the same opportunity as you but if that is not possible the “safe” way to respond is to validate themselves by justifying the mootness of pursuing a DNP degree; and I said “safe” because it is generally frowned upon for anyone to demonstrate jealousy. Because it can be difficult to predict how people will react to my personal pursuits I have kept my admission into the DNP program to myself.

    #41248
    Elizabeth Lopez
    Participant

    Hello Avery,
    I have been in many conversations where my coworkers’ have brought up the topic on future goals and I talk about my goal of pursuing a DNP degree. The responses are many times full of negativity. Because of the negative feedback I get from coworkers I have become a lot more hesitant to share my educational goals at work. Some of the responses have included commenting on how I will owe so much on loans and have a very difficult time finding employment despite completing a grad program. It is very disappointing to realize that within our own field of practice so many still lack insight on the purpose of a higher education. Most do not know the purpose of obtaining a DNP and how it leads to having the professional knowledge to take part in making changes to the healthcare system. There are many coworkers that talk about wanting change in the health care system, but they don’t realize that the change will only happen if we take the initial steps to be part of the change. Despite the negative responses from others, I take every opportunity to educate coworkers, family, and friends on the purpose of a DNP. I educate them that a nurse with a DNP purpose is to improve healthcare and be able to provide quality and evidenced based services to diverse populations and in turn improve patient outcomes and therefore be part of a change in healthcare. On a more positive note, I am pursuing the PMHDNP and I work with psychiatrist that always have words of encouragement and tell me that they believe NP are the future of healthcare. So, despite the many negative comments I hold on to the positive ones and will continue to move forward.

    #41306
    Andrea M Whitchurch
    Participant

    I haven’t necessarily received negative comments, so much as a questioning of general confusion as to a DNP not being strictly a Nurse Practitioner. As soon as I say that I am enrolled in a DNP program, the assumption is that I and becoming a Nurse Practitioner. Of course, I go on to explain that the DNP is the degree and that there are 4 different roles associated with the degree. When I first told my brother, he assumed that it meant I was going to be a doctor-as in a physician. Hopefully, as more and more DNP’s graduate and enter the field, this confusion will be cleared up.

    #41333
    Alma Rodriguez
    Participant

    Hello Avery,
    I have come across people that have brushed off the importance of a DNP degree once i have mentioned it to them. Thankfully I have also come across people that have praised my decision to go back to school and continue my education because they know the importance nurses make and can only imagine how much more knowledgeful we will be as we are equipped with more information and more skills in our pockets. I have come to the conclusion that the people that are naysayers don’t fully understand the importance in education and it is not someone I will probably go out of my way to ask for advice on education. I did a lot of research prior to applying to the program and realized this was something that I wanted to do for myself as well as my patients. I have also encountered people that have made comments such as “why dont you just go to medical school” or “you still won’t be a doctor”. I take this time to educate those people that I don’t want to do either of these, or I don’t understand why our community still believes that healthcare is a hierarchy system where physicians are at the top instead of a multidisciplinary team where there are many people working together for the same goal. I will continue to continue to contribute to changing people’s negative view on the DNP degree.

    #41360
    HIERONIMUS E. SOLO
    Participant

    Hi Avery,
    Thank you for asking this question/concern, I believe this has been one of the most common thing most of us DNP pursuers encounter when planning on or starting our graduate school. In my opinion, DNP level of nursing hasn’t been around for so long, thus not very many people truly know and understand the role of DNP nursing, thus it often seem like a glorified nursing title with a sprinkle of Doctorate title on top. Little did they know that DNP nursing are so much more than that; often times in a certain settings such as urgent care, primary care, or clinics, have overlapping duties with physicians. I believe one of the best ways to respond to these discouragements is to be confident and sure about the path you’re choosing, educate yourself about the role, job growth, and demand of DNP nursing in the healthcare today, and calmly educate them. However, the one thing that confuse me the most is when fellow nurses are the ones who are giving the negative responses. I understand the importance of having solid experience in their specialties, but the way the graduate school is designed, it is entirely possible for nurses to work full time while enrolling in a DNP program. For example, if one starts to take 1 or 2 core classes as soon as he/she earned their BSN license while working and gaining experience, he/she would have finished all of the needed basic requirements in 2-3 or more years and then start the clinical portion of the DNP program with about 3 years experience already in hand. Plus, such nurses who are young, driven, and goal oriented are likely to be driven to try harder in their school and workplace. In my opinion, there is absolutely no issue to start a graduate program as early as possible if you know you are an open minded, a quick learner, and a motivated person.

    #41502
    Rafael Cruzado
    Participant

    Hi Avery,
    Please do not be discouraged! I am sorry you have negative feedback from other people about your determination to go back to school. This is your journey, and you should choose to enjoy it. In my personal experience, I can share that I work for a teaching institution where learning is always encouraged and celebrated. When I decided to go back to school, I shared it with co-workers and family. I did not receive one negative comment about it, but only words of encouragement and support. It took me several years to decide to go back to school, then the pandemic came, and I had to put it off for some time before applying for the program I am in now. The first word of support came from a former preceptor who wrote a recommendation letter. When I received the acceptance letter from the school, this former preceptor was happier for me than myself. In the end, this is your journey, so share your struggles with people who care about you, not the ones who might envy you or feel stagnant with their own lives. I hope this helps and by now you are continuing with your schooling.
    Best wishes!

    #41506
    Rania Qaqish
    Participant

    Hi Avery, I am glad you brought this up because I definitely deal with this issue when talking to my peers about pursuing my DNP. I feel like the response is typically negative from people that work in healthcare. My family and friends are very supportive and excited for me. However, when speaking with other nurses they usually have a negative response about pursuing my DNP. I definitely think there’s a way to go with the profession of nursing receiving the respect and credit it deserves. This can be done by educating our peers and patients about the role of DNPs and their educational background. I also believe that too many nurses are burdened with school loans. It’s actually sad that a profession that gives back to its community and is so selfless, requires their nurses to be stressed with a ridiculous amount of loans. I have also learned to cope with negative opinions and focus on my goals and positive thoughts. We need more well prepared APRN’s for this overwhelmed healthcare system. My hope is that over the next few years APRNs will be valued and utilized effectively.

    #41697
    Rosemary Benavides
    Participant

    Hi Avery, this is a topic that definitely stood out to me. I believe that many nurses have, or will experience this type of discouragement at some point in their nursing career. I myself have also experienced forms of discouragement, or judgmental comments from some peers when I tell them I am pursuing my DNP. As we already know, the nursing profession is always evolving. Some of the most recent concerns in the nursing profession and in healthcare include a shortage of nursing faculty and a shortage in medical providers. There is now a strong urge, or push for nurses to purse advanced practice nursing degrees due to the increased shortage of medical providers. DNPs are qualified leaders and healthcare providers. Thus, nurses who pursue their DNP will help provide optimal patient care and assist in the shortage of providers. The other concern involves the role of the DNP as an educator. The lack of faculty nurses can also be addressed by encouraging DNPs to pursue careers as academic educators. As future DNPs, it is our responsibility to educate our peers and others on the importance behind pursing a DNP graduate degree and all the benefits that it provides for the advancement of the nursing profession.

    #43927
    YuJin
    Participant

    Yes, my coworkers were questioning why I would go to DNP instead of a master’s degree for a nurse practitioner. We rarely see any DNP in my work setting but there are many new nurse practitioners working with a master’s degree NP license. I made the decision to go for the DNP based on the information that DNP will be entry-level for the nurse practitioner, and I did not want to restart studying to get the DNP after my master’s NP degree. I did not need to rush to practice as a nurse practitioner. I thought that it will be my last schooling if I restart studying. So, I chose to study for a terminal degree for an NP license. There is common negativism about a doctorate degree in nurse practitioners. The title doctor is somewhat not correlated with nursing practice. in a health care setting, the doctor is referring doctor in medicine. There is resistance in the medical field to granting the doctor title to nursing practice. American Medical Association resolution in 2006 stated that nurses and other physician providers who hold a doctoral degree and identify themselves as doctors will create confusion, jeopardize patient safety, and erode the trust inherent in the true patient-physician relationship. Time has passed and nursing organizations have constantly responded to the negativism of doctorate degrees for registered nurses. Still, there are negative encounters with doctorated nurse practitioners, but DNP needs to educate others about the title and degree and the need for the doctorate degree for the evolution of the nursing profession and improving the quality of health care for the community.

    #43938
    Andrea Lee
    Participant

    Hi Avery,
    I did receive many comments “why” spend that money and “what’s it ping to do for you.” I did however have wonderful support from my husband and children. I will add however that it has not yet helped advance my career which is a bit disappointing.
    Andrea

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