What Can I Do with a DNP?

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Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) graduates are seen as experts, trail blazers, and leaders in so many aspects of the healthcare field. With the crossroads of advancements in medicine, medical research, and technology DNPs are heavily relied on for setting the tone and in many cases informing the direction of a particular healthcare setting or specialization. The short of it is that what a DNP chooses to do with their advanced degree highly depends on their interests. At this point in their career, they have a fair amount of hands on experience that was, in most cases, paired with their education and subsequent work experience, and they have tried on at least a few interests in the healthcare field. They may choose to pour their skillset and career goals into the healthcare lobby, healthcare administration, academia, or a myriad of other possible paths. 

What Are Some DNP Nursing Jobs?

Nursing Faculty: The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) have expressed public concern regarding what appears to be a growing shortage in Nursing Educators. This has been expressed through a variety of nursing organizations, policy makers and media outlets, and has fared well for DNP graduates in Nursing Education, as they are assured employment should not be hard to come by. This position holds a big responsibility, as nursing faculty not only educates the next generation of nurses, but in turn plays a large role in setting the tone for the knowledge base that nurses will go into the field imparting. They are also responsible for publishing work, conducting research, and of course being available to their students. 

Lobbyist for Healthcare: Graduates of Doctorate in Nursing Programs that come out fired up about health care policy both in the US and the world often choose to go into the healthcare lobby professionally. This might mean they work at government agencies, professional nursing organizations, or even insurance companies and are instrumental in transforming legislation that relates to healthcare. Some DNP graduates that go into this field have previously engaged with coursework that relates to law. It is hard to find an exact figure as far as an average annual income for lobbyists go, but it appears to be in line with a political scientist who makes close to $100,000 annually. 

Nursing Clinical Researcher: Research for clinical nursing is a vast field that graduates can engage in to use their experience to create evidence exposing how a current or evolving practice can make improvements to patient outcomes. This is a great way to have a lasting impact on the medical field and play an important role in creating more evidence based best practices. 

Healthcare Executive: Sometimes members of the healthcare team are referred to as medical service managers among many other similar titles. These professionals are responsible for coordinating, strategizing, and captaining the ship of a healthcare organization or medical facility. They are also in the running for a six figure salary. 

DNP Job Outlook 

The baby boomer generation is living longer than their predecessors, which means there is more demand for experts in every field of nursing, which of course includes gerontology, nursing education- with all specializations (especially in response to the shortage in nursing faculty), among other executive positions. To say the least studies show that DNP holding nurses are in such great demand that unemployment is very unlikely. Their need is especially clear when the question is raised:

What Does a DNP Do?

The answers are endless, but the common theme is, they lead. They are who we look to to trust that the healthcare industry will continue to evolve with the times. They are the hope that our families are in good hands when it comes to emergencies, routine health screenings, or longer term care issues. They are who we trust also to ensure that underserved populations will not linger in the shadows, but be treated with the humanity that ensures they receive quality health care they deserve. 

As you can tell by the DNP nursing jobs listed above, this is a terminal degree, meaning you cannot go any further in the field. Right beside a DNP degree is a PhD in Nursing. All graduates of a DNP degrees will walk away with the ability to:

  • Research and uncover trends in the world of healthcare
  • Conduct research that specifically relates to patient care
  • Transform and allow research to evolve from evidence based practice regarding new treatments
  • Understand the ins and out of leadership, administration, and management as they relate to the business of healthcare 

Ready to start your journey?

Ready to start your journey?