DNP as Industry Standard
For a long time, the nursing profession used the Master of Science in Nursing as the preferred degree option for nurse leaders. In 2004, however, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) approved the DNP as the preferred level of advanced preparation for nurses. The AACN’s member universities built their nursing programs to progress from bachelor’s to master’s and doctoral degrees by 2015. The numbers of DNP candidates and graduates have increased each year since implementation.
Nurses are encouraged to get DNPs in Florida and other states for several reasons. The AACN argued that nurses were not aiming for the highest possible degree like doctors, dentists, optometrists, and other medical professionals. The intersection of demanding clinical environments, new technologies, and market forces make advanced preparation critical for nurse leaders. As nurse leaders retire or leave the field, DNPs can also step into faculty positions that are essential to training future generations of nurses.
Nurse.org notes that jobs requiring advanced nursing degrees are projected to grow 31% by 2026. The roster of DNPs is estimated to grow from 203,800 in 2016 to 268,000 in 2026 thanks to programs like the online DNP from Baylor University.
Pursuing Baylor’s Online DNP
Baylor University’s online DNP attracts the best of the best with high standards for admission. Baylor University places a premium on experience and does not require completion of the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Examinations (GRE). A summary of admission requirements for each track is listed below:
- Executive Nurse Leadership: Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with a non-nursing graduate degree, two years of director experience, a graduate course in statistics, and a resume
- Family Nurse Practitioner: Minimum 3.0 GPA, a BSN, current RN license, and one year of nursing experience.
- Neonatal Nurse Practitioner: Minimum 3.0 GPA, a BSN, current RN license, and two years of experience as an RN in a newborn intensive care unit.
- Nurse-Midwifery: Minimum 3.0 GPA, a BSN, current RN license, and one year of experience in delivery or other applicable settings.
For more details on admission requirements, please visit: https://onlinenursing.baylor.edu/programs/dnp.
Course options challenge candidates to learn more about their selected specializations. Neonatal Nurse Practitioner candidates complete classes like nursing management and development physiology. The Executive Nurse Leadership path features courses on resource attainment, strategic financial concepts, and creating excellence in professional practices. No matter the specialization, the online format makes it possible to complete a DNP in Florida bearing the Baylor name.
National publications place Baylor University among the best universities in the nation. Forbes placed Baylor University No. 202 in Top Colleges 2019 including a No. 108 in Research Universities. U.S. News & World Report ranked Baylor University No. 42 in Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs in 2019. Graduates of Baylor’s program benefit from this reputation as they advance in their nurse leadership careers.
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Building a Nurse Leadership Career
Nurses who held DNPs in 2017 earned $14,000 more on average than bachelor’s degree holders nationwide, according to Lippincott Solutions. In Florida, nursing salaries can vary significantly based on specialization. Glassdoor calculated an average salary of $69,270 for RNs in 2019 based on 51,991 reported salaries. The job listing site featured nursing supervisor, surgical nursing, and anesthetist positions with salaries exceeding $100,000 per year. Experienced nurses can unlock these positions by completing their DNPs from Baylor University.
Completing online DNP programs in Florida is only part of the equation for improving career prospects. Nurses can join professional organizations to stay current with trends in the field and network with fellow practitioners. The Florida Board of Nursing maintains a list of national and state organizations that are valuable to nursing professionals. Memberships with the Florida Nurse Practitioner Network, the Florida Association of Nurse Practitioners, and other groups open doors to future job opportunities.
DNP programs in Florida help graduates develop the comprehensive skill sets necessary for success in Florida hospitals. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing argued in a 2011 report that nurses need advanced education to revolutionize healthcare in the 21st century. This report concluded that nurses at all levels should be involved in management decisions based on their experiences with patients. A DNP can help any nurse translate their clinical experiences into valuable leadership lessons.
Nurse.org’s nine ways to develop leadership skills in nursing include the following suggestions:
- Developing interview skills
- Seeking constructive criticism
- Express curiosity and show the ability to learn
The most important suggestion, however, is not to wait to go back to school. Nurse.org argues that early-career nurses should pursue advanced degrees to show their ambitions. Baylor University offers robust support for students opting for Florida DNP programs at all stages of their professional development.