Doctor of Nursing Practice by 2015

An Examination of Nursing Schools' Decisions to Offer a Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree

Published In: Nursing Outlook, v. 63, no. 2, Mar.-Apr. 2015, p. 219-226

Posted on on March 15, 2015

by Grant R. Martsolf, David I. Auerbach, Joanne Spetz, Marjorie L. Pearson, Ashley N. Muchow

Read More

Access further information on this document at Elsevier

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

BACKGROUND: The American Association of Colleges of Nursing recommends that nursing schools transition their APRN programs to doctoral of nursing practice (DNP) programs by 2015. However, most schools have not yet made this full transition. PURPOSE: To understand schools' decisions regarding the full transition to the DNP. METHODS: Key informant interviews and an online survey of nursing school deans and program directors. DISCUSSION: The vast majority of schools value the DNP in preparing APRNs for the future of the healthcare system. However, other important factors influence many schools to fully transition or not to the BSN-to-DNP, including perceived student and employer demand, issues concerning accreditation and certification, and resource constraints. CONCLUSION: Multiple pathways to becoming an APRN are likely to remain until various factors (e.g., student and employer demand, certification and accreditation issues, and resource constraints) yield a more favorable environment for a full transition to the DNP.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.