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

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    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!


    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


    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.


    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.


    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.

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