Why Choose a DNP?
Completing a DNP evolved from a luxury to a necessity for nursing leaders in the 21st century. In 2004, members of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) approved new standards that made the DNP the preferred education level for advanced nursing practice. These standards set 2015 as the final year for schools to make the transition from MSN to DNP degrees as the recommended terminal degree. From 2006 to 2018, the number of American DNP degrees grew from less than 50 to 348. DNP programs like the online path offered by Baylor University allow experienced nurses to meet these standards.
The AACN’s reasons for setting the DNP standard show why this degree type is great for nurses. DNPs have the medical, technical, and leadership skills necessary to take on the stresses placed on healthcare systems by an aging population. Nurses who have completed DNP programs hold academic credentials to serve as university faculty if they wish to train future nurses. The DNP also places the nursing profession alongside doctors, pharmacists, dentists, and other medical professionals who need doctoral degrees. Baylor University tops other Texas DNP programs in helping graduates achieve these goals.
Pursuing Baylor’s Online DNP
The Online DNP from Baylor University turns experienced nurses into healthcare leaders ready for the challenges of the 21st century. This entirely online program features Family Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, and Nurse-Midwifery tracks to accommodate various career paths. Current nursing leaders looking to make the big jump into hospital leadership positions can pursue the online Executive Nursing Leadership DNP.
Admissions requirements for the DNP program vary depending on a candidate’s chosen path. Candidates for the Executive Nursing Leadership DNP need to hold a Master of Science in Nursing (or) Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a master’s in a non-nursing health-related field (for example, MHA, MPH, MBA) and be certified in executive nursing practice (AONL, ANCC.) They also need to have two years of director experience with budgetary and financial responsibilities, strategic planning, and influential leadership. For the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Nurse-Midwifery, and Family Nurse Practitioner tracks, applicants need to hold a BSN or MSN from an accredited school of nursing. For more details on admission requirements, please visit https://onlinenursing.baylor.edu/.
Baylor University also customizes class options to fit their specialization. Students in the Nurse-Midwifery track complete courses like care of the childbearing family and the history of nurse-midwives. The Family Nurse Practitioner path explores topics like servant leadership and family healthcare management. No matter the track, the School of Nursing ensures that courses meet the high standards of the American Organization of Nurse Leadership (AONL).
Graduates of online DNP programs in Texas find employment in the state and beyond, thanks to the school’s stellar reputation and resources. Access to the nationally renowned Baylor University Medical Center separates this program from other Texas DNP programs. U.S. News & World Report placed the university’s online nursing programs No. 42 among the Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. Niche placed Baylor University No. 102 among 618 ranked schools for Best Colleges for Nursing in America. With an online DNP from Baylor, Texas nursing leaders open the doors to new career options.
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Building a Career in Nurse Leadership
A career in nurse leadership can be lucrative for graduates of Texas DNP programs like Baylor University. Glassdoor’s average of salaries for registered nurses in the Dallas-Fort Worth area was $65,875 in September 2019. This average falls below the $71,730 median salary reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in May 2018. The BLS projects a 12% growth in registered nurse jobs from 2018 to 2028, showing a consistent demand for nurses. Healthcare and medical management jobs are projected to grow 18% over the same period.
Salary prospects for DNP holders in Texas are far more promising than nurses with undergraduate degrees. Nurse.org states that the average salary for DNP holders was $135,830 in 2018, based on BLS data. DNP graduates who become chief nursing officers can earn up to $200,000 based on salaries reported to PayScale. Practitioners who move into academic positions might fall below this salary but stay well above the salaries paid to nurses without DNPs.
Baylor University notes that 85% of chief nursing officers reported high job satisfaction to AONL. Graduates of online DNP programs in Texas are able to help hospital systems in the state and around the country keep up with the demand for high-quality care.
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