A career in nursing may be challenging, but it’s also infinitely rewarding. Indeed, working in the healthcare industry in any role offers an immense amount of job satisfaction. In addition to this, qualifying as a nurse gives you a range of career opportunities to explore.
The first step in your career may be obtaining a BSN or MSN and practicing as a Registered Nurse. From there, enrolling in a DNP program could be the ultimate way to reach the pinnacle of your profession. While delivering enhanced patient care is one reason to become a Doctor of Nursing Practice, there are many other benefits associated with obtaining a DNP postgraduate degree, including:
1. More job opportunities
With jobs in the healthcare sector expected to grow by 15% by 2029, the industry is expanding much more rapidly than others. It’s estimated that at least 2.4 million new jobs will be created in this time, which is good news for qualified healthcare workers.
As you might expect, the better qualified you are and the more experience you have, the more likely you are to secure job offers. If you want to progress your career and take on more senior roles, having additional qualifications is almost a requirement. Indeed, having your DNP qualification will set you apart from other candidates and make it far easier for you to land your dream role in healthcare.
2. Choice of specialisms
As you undertake your DNP, you’ll have the opportunity to build upon the skills you gained during your BSN and/or MSN study. With convenient and flexible online DNP programs, you’ll even be able to apply these enhanced skills in your current role while you obtain your qualification. In addition to this, you can also choose a specialise in a particular area.
From executive nurse leadership or nurse-midwifery to pediatrics or family nurse practitioner, there are many options to consider. By choosing to specialize in a particular area, you can focus your career on the elements of healthcare that interest you the most. Furthermore, you can use your skills to enhance your knowledge and patient care within your chosen specialism.
3. Increased earning power
As you climb the career ladder, you can expect your salary to increase too. Statistics show that nurse practitioners with a DNP qualification earn around $135,830, on average. This is a significant increase compared to the average, national RN salary, which is estimated to be approx. $75,510.
When you consider that an online DNP program can be completed in as little as two years, practicing RNs can significantly enhance their earning power by completing a Doctor of Nursing Practice program. Indeed, aspiring nurses can even fast-track their career progression by enrolling in BSN to DNP programs from the get-go.
4. More responsibility
As you gain experience and obtain advanced qualifications, you will be able to take on more responsibilities within your roles. The DNP qualification is the most advanced nursing degree out there, which ensures that successful graduates will be able to reach the top of their profession.
Obtaining a DNP qualification enables you to deliver more hands-on patient care, without direct supervision. In fact, some states permit qualified nurse practitioners to set up and run their own practices. In addition to prescribing medications, ordering tests, interpreting test results and arranging appropriate care for patients, you may want to take on the role of advising on specific conditions as a clinical nurse specialist, for example.
Alternatively, you can use your DNP qualification to segue into education, if you choose to. As a nurse educator, for example, you’ll be delivering training to the next generation of healthcare professionals. In doing so, you’ll be using your clinical expertise, practical experience and advanced knowledge to help equip future RNs, NPs and DNPs with the skills they will need.
5. Shape the healthcare sector
A DNP qualification gives you the option to take on more managerial roles, if you choose to. By following this path, you’ll be able to play a crucial role in shaping the future of nursing and the healthcare sector as a whole.
With a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, you’ll be given more responsibility on a day-to-day basis, which enables you to be involved in decision-making within your team and your working environment, whether it’s your own practice, within a doctor’s office or at a hospital.
However, your role as an industry leader doesn’t have to stop there. While men are underrepresented in nursing, it is women who are typically underrepresented in leadership roles within the healthcare sector. As the majority of nurses in the U.S. are women, elevating nurses to leadership roles is one way to redress the balance.
Of course, combating inequality isn’t the only benefit to be derived to promoting nurses to more leadership roles. With a wealth of experience and knowledge, giving nurses the opportunity to shape the healthcare industry can only lead to improvements across the sector, both for patients and practitioners.
Pursuing a career in nursing
If you want to enhance the lives of millions, deliver enhanced patient care and take on increasing clinical responsibility, then a career in nursing could be the ideal option. For people with a naturally empathetic nature, a penchant for science and medicine, as well as an analytical mind, the demands of the job provide a challenging yet fulfilling career path.
From a practical perspective, nursing gives you the opportunity to work in any state in the country, as well as internationally, if you choose to. By joining a growing industry, you can be confident that the ongoing demand for competent, qualified nurses will ensure there are a variety of positions available as you progress through your career.
By enrolling in a Doctor of Nursing Practice program now, you can obtain the qualification you need to enhance your career prospects and fulfil your personal goals. Whether you aim to operate as a sole nursing practitioner or as part of a larger team, the skills, recognition and experience gained via DNP study will ensure you’re well-equipped to succeed.