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 RAND.org on March 15, 2015
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.