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

Viewing 11 posts - 41 through 51 (of 51 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #46415
    Jackie
    Participant

    Hello Avery,
    I am sorry you have encountered a negative experience when telling your coworkers or other healthcare professionals that you were studying to earn your DNP degree. I can imagine how these conversations can make you feel hesitant. Despite this post being written since 2020, I hope you obtained your DNP degree.
    I have received the same hesitation from friends, but surprisingly not from coworkers. My work institution has been very supportive from the beginning of my DNP career, especially being a full-time student and working full time. My unit director, administrators, healthcare professionals, and coworkers encouraged me to pursue this degree. Despite being a little overwhelmed some days, their constant positive remarks on my ability and worth helps me get through when I am stressed. When I have questions or concerns about a particular topic, I can easily discuss it with them. However, regarding my friends, they do not see the reason for me pursuing my education and knowledge and putting a pause on my life (ex: marriage, kids, and vacations). The way I see it, there is a time and place for everything. My views may not align with their life views, but obtaining my DNP degree is a huge asset for my education, leadership, research, and knowledge. People will have different opinions or negative comments on how a person does things in life, but we should not let their views deter us from our original goals. I wish you the best in your DNP career and hope you continue striving for all your goals!

    #46419
    Amber
    Participant

    Avery,
    Your post gave me some solace in knowing I am not the only one experiencing this! I work full-time in PACU and am currently enrolled in a BSN-DNP program, and am a mom. I am constantly asked about my program progression and immediately met with, “I am content where I am; I have nothing to prove.” “I have no desire to go back to school.” “I’m fine where I’m at, but good for you.” Initially, I would be offended or disheartened because most people saying this to me were friends. What’s crazy is it started to make me feel insecure and doubt myself and question my decision or ability. I am also getting mom-shamed because my son is 3yrs old. I am told that I am robbing him of time with me.
    I had to step back and realize they were projecting their insecurities and their comments had nothing to do with me.
    I hope you were able to build a village of supportive, positive people that helped you make it through school!

    “Some people are in such utter darkness that they will burn you just to see a light. Try not to take it personally.”
    ― Kamand Kojouri

    #46431
    Hassan
    Participant

    I really do run into this often when I am working, but I am always open and ready for this discussion. They have told me that it is silly to go for a terminal degree in nursing, that it really doesn’t lead to anything. I feel like this is a justified response, but one begotten of old ideas and opinions. There was a time where going for such a degree would be seen as very limiting and almost unnecessary, and I believe much like many things in nursing some things have a hard time modulating to the times. I do tend to lean on much of what I have learned in my classes as evidence, in a bid to at least expose them to newer views and perspectives on the role of APRNs. It does eventually fall on us to educate others on what the role of an APRN is, the categories and even the variance of practice opportunity. We can turn moments like these into a bit of practicing why we do what we do, so that eventually when we do reach our goals we will be able to better stand and say I am. One day I feel these views will be a thing of the past and our field will be better for it.

    #46442
    Soh
    Participant

    Hello Avery,

    I am currently in my first year of my DNP program in Southern California. I am pursing an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner degree. Since I have started I have received some doubt from my colleagues and friends. The main question was if it was worth taking out loans from my private institution. They were questioning if I would make enough to make this doctorate degree worth it. NP salary does depend on where you plan to work in the future so I can’t say that I would be making a significant amount more than my current pay. However, my purpose and my reasons for wanting to further my education is valid enough. I hope more and more nurses will continue to pursue an APRN degree to solidify our roles for the future. The role of the APRN is still developing and needs alot of work. The more people we have that are involved would make our voices stronger and would allow the public to understand our roles even clearer. Nurses have a unique role as patient advocates and the role development course I am taking currently has opened my eyes to the impact APRNs can have for both the hospital and the patient. This topic clearly arises from the fact that most people are still ignorant of the role of the DNP. More education and exposure to the role of the APRN is necessary. Thanks for bringing this topic up.

    #46448
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi Avery,
    Thank you for sharing your post! I am sorry that you are getting a negative reaction. It seems like people are unclear of what role a DNP will play where you work. I have been fortunate enough that my colleagues are very supportive of my pursuit of DNP. It has been my family that has questioned why I want or need to go back. Of my family, my brother mainly wanted to know how much DNP school would cost me versus what the compensation is for a DNP. He had questions about if I would refer to myself as a doctor and how I would have time for my family and friends. My husband is very supportive and when I told him that I was going back to school for my DNP, his first response was “Why?” and “Can’t you take a break from school? You have been going to school for the last how many years?” My husband has been through all the triumphs and tribulations of working full time and going to school full time as well as raising two boys. There have been plenty of times when I started to think those same thoughts and I remind myself that I am doing this to show my boys how to work for things you want. I hope since this post is a few years old that you have completed your program and are off working in the field making a way for DNP to follow.

    #47572
    Sudi
    Participant

    Hi Avery, I am so sorry for all the negative feedback you have received from coworkers and classmates when you mentioned that you are studying to earn your Doctorate in Nursing Practice. I identify with you. I have received negative comments about pursuing a DNP degree as well. I am so happy that I got into the DNP program. Our hospital offers reasonable tuition reimbursement and additional financial aid when classes are taken in their school. I am sorry you didn’t receive a positive reception from your co-workers. I encourage you to pursue your dreams because they are your life and future.

    Becoming an advanced practice nurse with a DNP degree improves patient care and advances our nursing profession. As DNPs in clinical practice, we can reduce the workload of primary care doctors and allow more access to healthcare for different patient populations. Since the U.S. has the poorest performance on access to care. As DNPs in education, we can be essential in educating future nurses. The advantages of DNP educators include practical knowledge of nursing, a focus on applying evidence-based practice, and education and experience in nursing leadership. The DNP can prepare nursing students for the rigors and challenges of nurse leadership roles. As DNPs in administration and executive positions, many outstanding opportunities exist for the DNP to shape healthcare policy and advocate for patients through professional nursing organizations. We can collaborate with different organizations to improve public health and healthcare policy at the state, federal, and international levels.

    As you can see, Avery, some people may not understand the potential of the DNPs and what impact we can make shortly, which may be why they opposed the idea of earning a DNP. Your decision to continue your education and pursue a DNP degree is something to be proud of. And what we can do as DNP candidates is to educate our colleagues about the impact we can make in the future as DNP graduates. They will see that the APRN can be an influential collaborator and resource in the workplace. I wish you the best of luck in earning a DNP. Thanks for sharing.

    #47625
    Alyssa
    Participant

    I am currently a DNP student expecting to graduate in 2026. I knew I wanted to go for my DNP before I was even accepted into a bachelors of nursing science program. I needed a year of ICU experience for my program and started the DNP program as soon as I finished my year. I was also discouraged from getting my DNP. Most of my colleagues said that it was not necessary to earn the doctorate and that the masters programs would be faster and cheaper. This is a true statement however, no one ever asked me why I wanted to get my DNP. They simply state their opinions as if I asked for their advice or recommendations. I would never say to someone working on their masters , why wouldn’t you just go fo you doctorate? I also get asked very often “well why did you not just go to medical school.” I think all of this stems from a lack of respect for the DNP degree. Funny enough, no one I have spoken to who has a DNP degree, has ever said they wish they just got their masters instead. As a future DNP I am excited to educate my friends, patients, and colleagues about the importance of the degree and help advocate for our vital role of the healthcare team . 

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by Alyssa.
    #47724
    Jennifer
    Participant

    Hi Avery! I have definitely had this happen. I have had people tell me to get my masters instead, or at least get it along the way to becoming a DNP. And I have also had people tell me they thought a DNP would be too specialized and I wouldn’t have a job after school. Most of the people speaking don’t know what the DNP schooling involves, or what jobs you would have after. In the past I haven’t really participated in the conversation. In the future, I think I would tell them why the degree is important to me. I would probably mention that I want to get the highest degree in nursing, and bring research and evidence to the bedside. But also, sometimes it’s not worth it to explain to certain people, they already have their own ideas of what they think about the degree. Just know you are not alone! You will find people that are encouraging, and stick with those people!

    #47863
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hi Avery,

    I have indeed received criticism and discouragement, albeit mild, when explaining I was pursuing my DNP instead of a Masters. The individual that I heard this from stated similar points to what you have said- namely that it is a longer program than an MSN, and will cost multiple times what they were paying for their program. I would say that those who respond in such a negative manner have not researched what a DNP program is actually trying to achieve, and instead they are only thinking about the end goal of the job title you get after passing your certification exam. Thus, their minds are closed off to even the idea of what a DNP can bring to the table, so-to-speak, before educating themselves on it.

    I try my best to use these interactions as a teaching opportunity and a way to spread truthful, positive information about the DNP degree as a whole, so that hopefully that individual will be able to speak to its benefits and when they next talk about it, they will state more pros than cons. This is to say though, it only will be able to win over the hearts and minds of those that are still on the fence. I have also heard of criticism from other professions that think the DNP degree is nursing’s way of trying to find parity with medical degrees (MD/DO) and its wrong to even do that. With these individuals, I simply respectfully disagree and move on, as in the long run, you’ll have the knowledge and satisfaction of your education when you’re on the job, and once you’re treating patients none of the negative talk will have any bearing on how you practice.

    #48025
    YeEun
    Participant

    Hi Avery,

    First, I am so sorry that you had to go through the discouragement when you’re trying to step closer to pursuing your dream goal in your career. I would be devastated if someone were to show negativity towards me. Fortunately, my co-workers have been encouraging with positive responses to me when I mentioned that I started DNP school. I feel like many nurses are trying to go to graduate school nowadays, so many nurses around me are rather encouraging than discouraging. It’s not as rare as it was before I should say. The majority of the nurses in the unit I work in are around the same age as I am (20s or early 30s), and they also have an idea that they want to go back to school. My nurse manager is actually also going to the same graduate school as I do, so she has been very encouraging as well. She actually offered me the day shift position because she thought it’d be better for me to work days rather than nights when I’m in school. One reason I do feel hesitant to openly mention that I am in school is that while the majority of nurses are in the early stages of our careers as nurses, there are those who have been working as RNs for many years. It does feel awkward to mention that I go to graduate school when I’ve only worked as a nurse a little over a year while they are more experienced than I am and have been working as nurses for 20-30+ years. They are very encouraging and happy for me that I am pursuing my career goal, but I just feel that way for some reason. But I believe that everyone has their own timings of what they want to accomplish in their careers! I hope you’re doing well if you’re still in graduate school, and don’t let others discourage you!

    #48041
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hello Avery, it is disheartening to hear this in our profession. But I must say this has happened to me as well. The nursing profession gets the short end of the stick in healthcare. We are at the forefront of it all and are easy to blame. I have had comments like ” the pay isn’t even good for all that responsibility”. My response is that if I was doing it for the pay I would have chosen a different career. APRNs are suited with the education and the experience to effectively care for our population. At times patients can relate better to an APRN than different members of the healthcare team. Our biggest asset is that we deal directly with patient care and we are able to make the change in future healthcare disparities. It is a shame that we constantly have to prove ourselves and our knowledge. However, I feel that as healthcare changes and more APRNs are in the field there will be a change. Most people I know Love seeing their NP at follow up visits it is our responsibility to educate those that still need the education on the need for APRNs.

Viewing 11 posts - 41 through 51 (of 51 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.