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

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    Patricia Boyle

    Negative comments in life often come from individuals who themselves have insecurities in the area in which they are discouraging or talking negatively about. To be completely honest the very act of telling people I am in a doctorate program shocks myself. My experience with both telling others and remarking on others mile stone of being in a doctorate program has been extremely positive mixed with confusion and doubt. I love what the anonymous author stated about doctors wishing they had became nurse practitioners so that they could be involved with their family more instead of just education. I too have come across doctors who in addition to losing time with loved ones have substantial debt oppositely of nurse practitioners. Fear or discouragement often comes from a lack of education. I am excited when people ask me what a DNP is because I get the opportunity to explain the relevance of the doctorate nurse practitioner and the difference we are as practitioners. Often times when I am met with discouragement or confusion by other colleagues I encourage them to themselves get a doctorate. As nurses and lifelong learners we are one of the only professions that see education as a necessary part of our career. This element is instilled in us in our undergrad programs. We just need to refresh and remind our colleagues of its importance.

    Carolyn Ann Wilder

    I have not personally encountered anything like this but have heard from a close friend who is a DNP that she experienced being marginalized both prior to obtaining her DNP degree and afterwards. She worked to educate others about her role, her education, and what she could contribute to the team. It took time, repeated engagements, flexibility, and understanding on her part, but now she is very much a part of the team. I find this has been also the case for Nurse Practitioners I know and work with. Many people, in a wide range of professions, do not have enough information about the DNP to be able to make an accurate assessment of its value and need in healthcare. Hasn’t this been part of the struggle of nursing since its inception? We have pushed against barriers, regulations, laws, marginalization and yet, we have continued to be strengthened and persevere in the times of repeated challenge and have proved repeatedly that nursing is the most trusted profession in the United States. I think the best thing we can do it be patient, educate others, and demonstrate our worth.


    I agree with all your comments regarding the negative stigma of the DNP degree in clincal practice. Patricia says it best, individuals who themselves have insecurities in the area they are discouraging. I feel we as DNP’s need to talk about it more often and not be discouraged in expressing our views about how important the degree is to moving our profession forward to the future. WE have to educate others and show the difference and our worth.

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