NUR 800 Week 1 Discussion: The Doctoral Degree and Professional Nursing Practice

NURS 800 DNP: Professional Opportunities for Doctorally Prepared Nurses
NUR 800 Week 1 Discussion: The Doctoral Degree and Professional Nursing Practice SAMPLE
Owing to the relatively new emergence of DNP-prepared nurses, the impact on the health care setting is widely “unknown” (Beeber et al., 2019). The Doctor of Nursing Practice opens the door to several roles the DNP-prepared nurse can possess. The DNP-prepared nurse can apply their education in the Advanced Practice role (APRN) encompassing nurse practitioners, certified registered nurse anesthetist, clinical nurse specialists or clinical nurse midwives (AACN, 2006). Education, administration, and leadership roles are also available positions the DNP-prepared nurse would be able to engage in (Beeber et al., 2019). Although, they may find themselves holding multiple roles at the same time. The most important role a DNP-prepared nurse can take is that of bridging the gap in health care for their community; this response will be the best way to help DNPs reify their role and impact on health care.
 The DNP-prepared nurse is held to a very high set of expectations. Some expectations are for the DNP to provide advanced health and physical assessments, hold knowledge of advanced physiology and pathophysiology, and possess advanced knowledge of pharmacology, as well as diagnostic and practice management decisions (AACN, 2006). They are to apply this knowledge through clinical judgment, critical thinking, and evidenced-based nursing practices and interventions (AACN, 2006). The DNP-prepared nurse should have functional knowledge of health care systems, health policy issues, and the abilities to apply changes in health care (Edwards et al., 2018). 
 My motivation to achieve my doctorate is to help fill the void in the psychiatric health care setting. It is difficult for the organization I work for to find psychiatrists who will not only serve a difficult and often violent population but, also do it for far less than what they could acquire in private or corporate health care settings. Living in a conservative state which does not believe mental health care is a priority does not lend itself to a myriad of resources. The State is now turning its eye to the APRN, a cheaper and easier option when short on medical and psychiatric doctors. 
I work for the San Antonio State Hospital. Our hospital capacity is just under 300 patients. For the entirety of that population, we have 3 medical doctors and 12 psychiatrists. Ideally staffed, we would have 5 medical doctors and 15 psychiatrists. Although the numbers don’t reflect a large disparity, the fact is, its huge. Obtaining my DNP would allow me to single handedly reduce their case load to 75, a difference of 25. That could understandably be the difference between positive patient outcomes and potential burnout and loss of staff or worse, negative patient outcomes.
 At the beginning of 2020, we were learning about the creeping virus that was causing serious harm to those infected, COVID. My peers, team members, and leadership were scared. Staff spoke of walking out if they were to be assigned to care for a patient with COVID. I suggested to administration that we should open an admissions unit, for the sole purpose of quarantine.  At this point, our patients would only be exposed to the virus through one of two vectors: new patients and staff members. I was so grateful that they heard my idea, and implemented it. We were the first hospital in the city to set up a quarantine unit.
Achieving my DNP would help me continue to make an impact on my facility and community. I am incredibly lucky to have an administration that will listen to anyone who has an idea that promotes patient safety and positive patient outcomes. Unfortunately, I am young in my career, and they care closer to retirement. I may not have the same administration in five years. I want to be a DNP-prepared nurse to serve, and to advocate for those who do not have a voice. I want to become a DNP-prepared nurse to be heard. 
Works Cited:
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). (2006) The essentials of doctoral education for advanced nursing practice.
Beeber, A. S., Palmer, C., Waldrop, J., Lynn, M. R., & Jones, C. B. (2019). The role of Doctor of Nursing Practice-prepared nurses in practice settings. Nursing Outlook, 67(4), 354-364.
Edwards, N., Coddington, J., Erler, C., & Kirkpatrick, J. (2018). The Impact of the role of Doctor of Nursing practice nurses on healthcare and leadership. Medical Research Archives, 6(4).
NUR 800 Week 1 Discussion: The Doctoral Degree and Professional Nursing Practice
The Doctoral Degree and Professional Nursing Practice

Why did you decide to enroll in graduate school?
What informed your decision to pursue your chosen degree?
How will earning this degree influence your career?

This week, you consider the characteristics of various programs, including the DNP and the PhD. The focus of the DNP degree is on clinical practice, whereas the focus of the PhD is on research. In conjunction with other professional colleagues, DNP- and PhD-prepared nurses often collaborate to analyze critical issues and find appropriate ways to address them.
This first Discussion provides an opportunity for you to examine what it means to earn a doctorate and how your selected degree program relates to your professional goals.
To prepare FOR The Doctoral Degree and Professional Nursing Practice :

Consider the reasons you have chosen to pursue an advanced degree. How do you anticipate that earning this degree will support your professional goals?
Reflect on the comments shared by the experts in this week’s media regarding the value of a DNP degree and the various roles available to DNP-prepared nurses, as well as the characteristics of the PhD program and opportunities for PhD-prepared nurses.
Based on the information presented this week, have you developed any new ideas or goals for your future? If so, what are they?

Post a cohesive response that addresses the following:( 1TO 2 PAGES )

What does it mean to be a nurse with a practice or research doctorate? What are the expectations associated with this degree? How might this be different for a nurse who holds a different degree?
How do these considerations relate to your motivation to pursue a doctoral degree right now?

NUR 800 Week 1 Discussion References to follow
Required Readings
Zaccagnini, M. E., & White, K. W. (2014). The doctor of nursing practice essentials: A new model for advanced practice nursing (2nd ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett. [Vital Source e-reader] (DNP STUDENT ONLY)
“Imagining the DNP Role” (pp. xvii–xxviii)
Houser, J. (2015). Nursing research: Reading, using, and creating evidence (3rd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett.
[For PhD students ONLY]
Chapter 1, “The Importance of Research as Evidence in Nursing”
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). (2006). The essentials of doctoral education for advanced nursing practice. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from
[For DNP students ONLY]
“Introduction” (pp. 3–7)
Cleary, M., Hunt, G. E., & Jackson, D. (2011). Demystifying PhDs: A review of doctorate programs designed to fulfill the needs of the next generation of nursing professionals. Contemporary Nurse: A Journal for the Australian Nursing Profession, 39(2), 273–280.
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.
[For PhD students ONLY]
Conn, V. S. (2014). Prepare to launch: Optimizing doctoral education to ensure career success. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 36(1), 3–5.
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.
Conn, V. S., Zerwic, J., Rawl, S., Wyman, J. F., Larson, J. L., Anderson, C. M., Markis, N. E. (2014). Strategies for a successful PhD program: Words of wisdom from the WJNR editorial board. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 36(1), 6–30.
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.
[For PhD students ONLY]
Foster, R. L. (2012). Doctoral education and the future of nursing. Journal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing, 17(2), 77–78.
NUR 800 Week 1 Discussion Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.
Sperhac, A. M., & Clinton, P. (2008). Doctorate of nursing practice: Blueprint for excellence. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 22(3), 146–151.
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.
[For DNP students ONLY]
Laureate Education (Producer). (2012g). Welcome to Walden [Video file]. Retrieved from
Laureate Education (Producer). (2011b). Introduction: The doctor of nursing practice [Video file]. Retrieved from
Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 2 minutes
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