Determining the Role of the Nurse With a Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree

Authors: Anna Song Beeber, PhD, RN, FAAN | Cheryl Jones, PhD, RN, FAAN | Carrie Palmer, DNP, RN, ANP-BC | Julee Waldrop, DNP, PNP-BC, CNE, FAANP, FAAN | Mary Lynn, PhD, RN

Topics: Nursing, Workforce Supply

Research Center: Carolina Health Workforce Research Center

September 1, 2016

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree was spearheaded by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing to address the shortage of nursing faculty in academia and to improve clinical care. Nursing has been described as one of the most versatile occupations in the health care workforce, yet little is known about the flexibility that DNP-prepared nurses bring to the workforce when compared to advanced practice registered nurses without doctoral preparation. Researchers assessed the role and flexibility of the DNP-prepared nurses in practice based settings.

This policy brief investigates in which non-academic settings nurses with DNPs are employed, and identifies the terms of their employment and what types of roles DNPs fulfill within those organizations. Researchers found that DNPs are flexible and provide supplemental care.

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