As we enter a new year, most of us are happy to keep 2020 well in the past. With the COVID-19 outbreak dominating last year, many of us have used the pandemic as a chance to reflect on our lives and situations. Most of us have utilised our time by doing DIY projects to keep ourselves moving and in these times we have made indoor plant hangers and many more. But, if you’re a nurse and work in healthcare, you may have dreams and aspirations to climb the career ladder and enter advanced roles. However, in order to do this, you will need to obtain a DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice).
With 2021 now upon us, it is the best time to think about the future and go back to school to enhance your skill set and knowledge base. To help make up your mind, here are eight reasons why nurses should look into online nursing programs and consider obtaining a DNP this year.
Advanced Skill Development
No matter what kind of nursing role you’re currently in, there are certain transferable skills that you must already possess to perform at your best. Whether it’s knowing how to communicate with patients and your peers, managing your time effectively, or attention to detail, those who embark on a DNP can expect to build on their already learned skills. If you’re interested in a leadership position, you will gain valuable characteristics that will help you take charge and guide and motivate others. Any degree you pick will help you sharpen your skills and give you a more complex understanding of the business of healthcare.
Get a Salary Boost
For those who are seeking nursing leadership roles, the responsibility and pressure you are under will come with higher pay. When compared to registered nurses who possess a BSN, or nurse practitioners with an MSN degree, those who obtain a DNP can expect their salary to be over $100,000 each year which is enough to keep just like we keep rick of firewood. While a salary boost shouldn’t be your sole motivation for embarking on this degree, it should be noted that the time and money you invest in the course will pay off.
Earn the Highest Level Degree Possible
DNP degrees are terminal, meaning that it is the highest form of education you can obtain in the nursing sector. Not only will achieving this degree give you a huge sense of accomplishment, but you will also earn the credentials to become one of the top experts in your field. And for those who would like to go into leadership positions, you will have the qualifications required to get started. Understandably, as this degree is the highest level of education, you need to remember that they are not easy to earn and will take up a lot of your time. This means that you must stay motivated and committed to your learning to get the results you want.
Learn the Latest Technology
As each year passes, technology continues to advance. Whether it’s in retail, hospitality, business, or healthcare, nursing professionals at the top of their field need to be kept up to date and in the know of the latest trends and technology. Regardless of what DNP specialty you pick, you will have the opportunity to obtain comprehensive knowledge in medical research that will enhance your career. You will also find that the majority of DNP degrees feature a technology learning module in their curriculum.
Have the Opportunity to Teach
One area of the nursing field that is experiencing a significant shortage in numbers is nurses who have the qualifications needed to teach at a university level. If you are passionate about inspiring future nurses and want to use your expertise and knowledge to help others, becoming a nurse educator may be the perfect career path for you. Obtaining a DNP will give you this opportunity and even if you decide against becoming a nursing professor or teacher, you will still have the skills needed to mentor future generations.
Influence Healthcare Policies
Once you obtain a doctoral degree, you will have substantial credibility in your field. This is a vital component in shaping public health policy. While healthcare policy may not be the first thing you link with nursing, the development of policy is crucial to the healthcare field as a whole. To ensure that healthcare standards and procedures are being met, there will need to be effective and functional policies in place. Some nurses decide to apply their expertise from their DNP qualifications alongside their experience as a clinical nurse to influence healthcare policies.
Focus on a Specific Concentration
Before you pick your online dnp program, there are a range of concentrations that you must look into first. For example, you may be interested in a neonatal nurse practitioner track, or a family nurse practitioner track. For those who want to stand out from their organization as a proven nurse leader, you can embark on an executive nurse leadership program. Whatever course you pick, make sure you read into the curriculum to get a better idea of whether it’s the right path for you. The last thing you want is to put your hard work and efforts into a degree that doesn’t reflect your capabilities.
For nurses who want to climb the career ladder and enter senior roles, you may be hesitant to take the plunge and embark on a DNP. However, from the moment you start your course, you will notice a surge in confidence and self-esteem that will push you forward and keep you committed to your learning. Should you struggle at all during your DNP, there are people available who can help assist you and get you back on track. If you would like to enter a leadership role, being confident in your abilities is vital, especially if you want to gain the trust and respect of your peers.
In today’s health care industry, there has never been a stronger need for nurses with advanced degrees. And with the demand far outpacing the supply, now is the best time to consider studying for a DNP. Not only will you reap all the benefits above, but you will also be at the forefront of the nursing profession, helping to make a positive impact on patients’ lives.