4 Things to Consider When Studying a DNP Program Online
You may be a licensed nurse looking to take the next step in your career or be a student wondering about becoming a nurse. There are many different careers within the nursing profession and different licensure and qualifications levels that will open up other opportunities for you. A DNP is a valuable qualification to undertake, as it will provide you with a lot of technical skills, knowledge, and experiences to help boost your career as a nurse and make you stand out in your workplace. Here are just a few things to consider when studying an online DNP program.
What is a DNP program?
DNP stands for Doctor of Nursing Practice and is one of the two doctorate degrees in nursing that are studied in the USA. An online dnp program allows registered nurses to further their education and skills, and opens up a large range of career options. There are many different types of DNP programs that can take you in various directions. Clinical nursing practice tracks include neonatal nursing, midwifery, and pediatrics. Non-patient treating tracks such as Executive Nurse Leadership allows you to develop your business and leadership skills, making you stand out in your workplace and help shape the future of nursing.
The study a DNP program, you must be a registered nurse with a BSN or MSN, as a DNP prepares you to work in the highest level of nursing, building on your previous qualifications and knowledge, and allowing you to help shape the future of nursing. There are several routes you can take to gain your DNP. One is a BSN to DNP, and the other is a post-Master’s DNP. Which one you choose will depend on a range of factors, including your previous degrees and qualifications, and the amount of time you have.
A BSN to DNP program from Baylor University takes just over three years to complete and is for registered nurses who already have a Bachelor’s degree in nursing. During the course, you will study for both a Master’s and a Doctorate. The post-Master’s DNP is for RNs who already have a Master’s degree, and takes around two years to complete. Within these options, there are different tracks to choose from, depending on your interests, eligibility, and experience. Some are studied 100% online, whilst others combine placements and in-person teaching with online study.
Why study online?
There are plenty of benefits of choosing an online study option. Many online courses are designed to be studied alongside your existing commitments, such as a job or family. If you are a working RN, you can complete your DNP around your existing career. Furthermore, they can build upon skills and qualifications you already have, in order to boost your career or fast track you along a certain path. One of the main benefits of studying online is that it can help reduce the costs involved in being a student. Education can be very costly, from tuition fees to accommodation, but online learning allows you to reduce some of these expenses. You are studying online, which means that you can do this remotely, and don’t have to worry about finding somewhere to live on or near a campus.
Furthermore, you can save money on travel as you don’t have to commute to classes every day. This means you also have more time to rest and relax, and don’t have to worry about traffic making you late, or having nowhere to park! Online study also helps you boost your soft skills, such as organization, motivation, and time management. Soft skills are non-technical skills that improve your performance in the workplace. You will probably already have many of these useful skills, but while studying online, you can help develop them even further. One important skill is motivation and the ability to self-motivate. When studying from home, you will have to be very disciplined and focused in order to not get distracted. It can be hard to study whilst you are balancing other commitments such as family or work, so motivating yourself to study is a valuable skill to have. Keep in mind your end goals, and make sure you are organized. Breaking down tasks can help them seem more manageable, as well as ensuring you do not forget anything. It is also important to choose to study something you are passionate about, as you are more likely to be committed and motivated to complete the course.
Depending on which track you choose, you could work 100% from home, or there may be a mixture of in-person and online teaching, as well as placements. This gives you the opportunity to put what you have learned into practice whilst also learning online when you can. Online study options give you great flexibility as well as the opportunity to learn at a high-quality institution.
There is a vast range of DNP programs available to you that can lead you in many directions upon completion. A few of the DNP tracks you can choose include:
Midwifery– the health and science profession dealing with all elements of childbirth, from pregnancy to the postpartum period, as well as providing primary care services to women including gynecology and family planning.
Pediatric– providing healthcare to children and adolescents. There are two tracks to choose from within a pediatric DNP, a primary care track and a primary/acute care track.
Family– family nurse practitioners provide healthcare to people of all ages, improving patient outcomes for individuals, families, and communities.
Neonatal-leading nursing care for infants during the first 2 years of their lives, in a variety of healthcare settings, including neonatal ICU units.
Executive Nurse Leadership– build your leadership and business skills in order to help shape the future of nursing, lead others, understand business and healthcare models among many other skills.
There are many different tracks to choose from, and it is important to check your eligibility to make sure you are choosing the right course for you. A DNP program can give you many valuable skills and experiences to help you develop a rewarding nursing career.