DNPs represent future of advanced practice nursing

Strong leadership from excellent clinicians will define the future of health care. The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs at The University of Tulsa’s Oxley College of Health Sciences provide this education through rigorous instructional and clinical experiences that prepare nurses to give care and lead change into the future.

The School of Nursing offers cutting-edge advanced practice nursing programs that culminate with the DNP degree. Programs are taught by practicing clinicians and include active learning experiences using state-of-the-art human patient simulation and hands-on learning through facilitated time in on-site clinical environments. Students are matched with faculty and preceptors who will promote learning, freeing them to concentrate on learning opportunities rather than administrative work.

Brandon King, DNP, APRN-CNP, visiting assistant clinical professor in nursing and director of TU’s Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program, says that DNPs represent the future of Advanced Practice Nursing. “Nurse practitioners with a master’s degree will be competing with DNP-credentialed nurses for jobs and positions. DNPs add value to the health system by applying translational research methods and putting evidence into practice. It puts a formal credential with their training.”

Brandon King
Brandon King, director of TU’s Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program

King also explains that DNPs not only treat specific illnesses, but also seek to proactively treat and manage chronic diseases.  “Nurse practitioners can serve as an integral part of a patient’s primary care team,” he says, “and can help improve access to care — especially in urban or rural areas. Working in step with physicians, NPs are discovering new ways to making a difference in patients’ lives. The demand for advanced practice nurses will continue to grow.  There is plenty of need and opportunity in this area.”

DNPs can choose from two clinical tracks. Family nurse practitioners use a primary care approach to and see a general population to provide preventive care and care and management of chronic diseases. Acute care nurse practitioners diagnose and manage acute injury or illness and exacerbations of chronic disease. The post-master’s to DNP program provides a translational research component for those already trained as advanced practice nurses. While salaries vary by location and specialty, DNPs generally earn higher salaries than registered nurses.