Posted on: December 15th, 2021 by William David Wagner No Comments

A current debate encompassing the nursing community involves the question of the DNP as entry to advanced nursing practice. Nursing is competing with other professions to be acknowledged as an individual science with distinctive abilities and characteristics that distinguish them from other professions. I will present my perspective as a second year DNP student, in response to the discussion.
I received my MSN in nursing education and was looking forward for an opportunity to teach at the BSN level when the pandemic started. It became obvious after a few months that the health care industry would be forever impacted and nursing as a profession would have its identity within the media distorted in a negative direction. (We are not heroes, we have chosen to nurture and protect patients during their incapacitated time and we are just as vulnerable as any other care provider). Nursing professionals with MSN degrees include APRNs, CNSs, Clinical Executives, and Nurse Educators were all thrust into the role of care providers due to the overwhelming demand for nurses at the bedside and providers to help manage the onslaught of COVID-19 cases.
From the experience over the past 19 months, the absence of nursing leaders advocating for the nursing profession has become apparent. The MSN degree level provides training and experience in enhancing patient care, advancing nursing education, expanding evidence-based practice, and supplying leadership in nursing leaders. What has become crucial, given the current and ever-expanding nursing shortage, is the lack of DNPs to deliver leadership within organizations and be the voice for the nursing profession.
Nurses need advocates now more than ever because the authority of the DNP as the expert in nursing can generate collaboration, interprofessional relationships, and support nursing being in horizontal relationships with other professions. This degree opens your professional world to a myriad of new lenses, new options, and new agendas with which to advance nursing and make a true impact on the patients you serve and to the larger aggregate through your disseminated clinical scholarship (Dreher & Smith Glasgow, 2017).
Yet, of even more importance is the impact DNPs can have on the perception and development of nursing as a profession. Nursing leaders have got to support their colleagues in direct patient care and promoting nursing within the community and the country. We must encourage the best and brightest individuals to explore nursing as a career choice. This is what separates the MSN from the DNP. The influential leadership within health care organization, leadership roles within corporations, advocates in the national political arena, and strong voices within our own profession to motivate and unite nurses. We have battled to gain respect and egalitarianism in the medical community. Now as DNPs, our focus is to further nursing and work toward equality in practice and perception.
Dreher, H. M., & Smith Glasgow, M. E. (2017). DNP in role development for the doctoral advanced nursing practice (2nd ed.). New York, Springer Publishing

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