Obtaining a DNP degree can be a smart decision for a lot of nursing professionals. This advanced degree will allow you to work towards some of the higher positions in a medical facility, giving you more flexibility in your hours, more specializations when it comes to the work that you do, and even a higher salary.
Pursuing the DNP degree is going to take some time and effort, and not every nursing professional will want to work on this degree in the first place. Before you jump right in and decide that this is the right career for you, it is important to take a look at some of the career paths that you can choose as a nurse if you obtain your DNP degree.
Health Policy Analyst
One career that you can choose is to work as a Health Policy Analyst. These professionals are going to do extensive research on topics that are related to the impact of existing and prospective government policies on the industry of health care as a whole. There are many agencies that hire these professionals including nonprofits and government agencies.
These professionals are going to take the time to analyze the data they gather on different health care policies and supervise others as they collect the data. They can use different techniques to give them insights into what is going on and then they can use that information to help policymakers when making new laws and regulations.
This position will do the best if the professional has a DNP degree. You can also look for a degree in public policy or public health. You need to have very strong communication skills and strong research abilities to find out the necessary information and then make reports and present them to the necessary people.
There is a huge nursing shortage. While there are a number of reasons for this, one of the problems is that there are not enough professionals with the right degree who can step in and educate the next generation of nurses to take on the role. When you obtain your DNP degree, you will be able to do some of this work.
A nurse educator will be able to help design a nursing curriculum, teach students, and be there to educate those who need to become nurses in the future. They can work in the classroom as well as in a lot of clinical settings to help nursing students learn the skills that they need to do well at their jobs.
There are a number of skills that these professionals need to have. They must be able to teach students how to administer medications and even change dressings on patients. They work as mentors and coaches throughout the education of the student and can do a number of training sessions. They may be part of a professional nursing organization as well.
You need to have good interpersonal skills and communication skills to do well in this kind of nursing. Your goal is to prepare the student to do well as a professional in any medical facility in the future, and that requires good teaching skills to get it done. You can even work as an advanced clinical educator to help those students who want to work on a specialization.
Chief Nursing Officer
Another option that you can choose to pursue as a career when you are done with your DNP degree is a Chief Nursing Officer or CNO. These professionals are going to be responsible for the operation of all the different nursing activities inside a medical facility, which can be extensive based on how big the facility is.
These professionals will often ensure that the medical facility is keeping up with all of the regulations and standards that are required while providing the best care to all of the patients who come in the door. They can also work with other health care professionals, community groups, officials in government and business, and with the public.
This professional will need to be good at managing others. They will have some practical nursing skills as well as management and administrative skills and political skills for when they need to work with policymakers, patients, and community groups to name a few. They will be able to handle many departments and work to provide the best care to the patients.
Advanced Practice Registered Nurse
While there are some jobs that will allow you to work as an APRN with just a master’s degree, if you would really like to take on some of the higher roles in a medical facility and have some autonomy with the work that you need, then you should consider getting your DNP degree before you go after this career option.
There are a lot of roles that these professionals are able to take on. They will have the widest scope of practice for all types of nurses and in some states, they are able to diagnose conditions and even give the patient some of the medications that they need. Some of the duties that an APRN can take on include:
- Conduct research
- Work with doctors to come up with a care plan
- Prescribe treatment and medication
- Evaluate the response of the patient to the care plan
- Diagnose a variety of health problems
- Operate different medical equipment
- Analyze the results of different tests ordered
- Perform and order diagnostic tests as needed
- Create a care plan for the patient
- Do some of the physical exams on the patient
- Record the symptoms and medical history of the patient to provide the best level of care.
Choosing to Get a DNP Degree
As a nursing professional, you will need to weigh the benefits and negatives of going through the work to get a DNP degree. Take a look at some of the different career paths that are available for nursing professionals with a DNP degree to help you decide whether this is the right career for your needs.