In reading the piece written by the journal’s editor-in-chief regarding the future of nursing I was impressed with the sweeping reform goals. I was somewhat disappointed however by the expert committees’ #6 goal. Not that I disagree that nursing needs to increase the number of PhD-prepared nurses. Instead I was disappointed that yet again nursing has failed to recognize the importance of the DNP prepared clinician.
While research focused nurses promote the growth and support of nursing theory our profession needs to finally demand that practicing NP clinicians are as equally educationally prepared as our healthcare counterparts (MD, PT, etc.). Instead as a profession we continue to support a multi-level NP education system that by design keeps our profession from the ability to demand equality in practice issues.
As a long time (25 yr APN) NP provider I understand the resistance to this movement. Having said this, I also know that obtaining my DNP has not only given me an expanded view of healthcare needed to address the global issues facing our profession, but has also prepared me to be a clinical patient healthcare expert. Nursing needs to promote and increase both PhD and DNP practitioners as these are opposite sides of the same coin. Both are required one to perform research the other to institute and support clinical findings that promote and enact nursing research findings then recommending additional care gaps for future research.
Just my thoughts and reflections on future nursing profession goals. The importance of and contribution by nurses to positive patient outcomes has long been downplayed within the healthcare system. As the rest of our country moves towards equality nursing needs to recognize that our fight for professional equality is long overdue.
Sharon Hendricks, DNP, AGACNP-BC/FNP-C/CNM