Article Education/Practice| Volume 63, ISSUE 2, P219-226, March 2015

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Doctor of nursing practice by 2015: An examination of nursing schools' decisions to offer a doctor of nursing practice degree

Published:January 16, 2015DOI:



      The American Association of Colleges of Nursing recommends that nursing schools transition their advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) programs to doctor of nursing practice (DNP) programs by 2015. However, most schools have not yet made this full transition. The purpose of this study was to understand schools' decisions regarding the full transition to the DNP.


      Key informant interviews and an online survey of nursing school deans and program directors were performed.


      The vast majority of schools value the DNP in preparing APRNs for the future of the health care system. However, other important factors influence many schools to fully transition or not to the postbaccalaureate DNP, including perceived student and employer demand, issues concerning accreditation and certification, and resource constraints.


      Multiple pathways to becoming an APRN are likely to remain until various factors (e.g., student and employer demand, certification and accreditation issues, and resource constraints) yield a more favorable environment for a full transition to the DNP.


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      Linked Article

      • Is it time to re-examine the pipeline for advanced practice nursing practice?
        Nursing OutlookVol. 63Issue 4
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          We read with great interest and concern Dr. Broome's editorial “Collective Genius” (Broome, 2015) and the article by Martsolf, Auerbach, Spetz, Pearson, and Muchow (2015) in the same issue. As Dr. Broome so elegantly stated, we firmly believe that nursing is well positioned to address the multiple internal and external forces, such as clinical preceptor availability and optimal teaching/learning strategies for graduate clinical education, to ensure adequate production of advanced practice nurses (APNs) in the future.
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