An online DNP can help you reach the next level in your nursing career by providing you with high-quality education, skills, and experiences. You may be considering studying for one or just starting out and planning your educational and career journey. Here are just a couple of basic things to know about online DNP degrees:

What is a DNP degree?

A DNP degree is a doctor of nursing practice and is the highest level of qualification that a practicing nurse can hold. They are aimed at registered and licensed nurses that already hold a master’s degree and want to expand their knowledge and skills in the nursing industry. There is usually more of a focus on nursing on the global scale rather than the individual, with modules such as collaboration in healthcare delivery, epidemiology and environmental health, and diversity and social issues. There are many entry requirements that must be met, including having a master’s degree, 3.0 GPA, and an unencumbered license. These degrees are often accelerated and can be completed in under two years and feature a combination of distance learning and in-person clinical work.

Who is it for?

An online DNP is for registered nurses who already hold a master’s degree, and there are many benefits to completing one. If you want to progress your career or move into higher-level jobs such as executive or educational positions, a DNP degree can help you achieve this. They are also designed to be completed while you are still practicing, which means you can continue to work alongside the course.

If you are considering becoming a nurse, you will first have to complete other levels of education, including a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, as well as obtaining your license. Further qualifications such as a DNP or PhD are optional but can help you to advance up the career ladder.

Why study it online?

The advantages of studying an online DNP are numerous. It can allow you more flexibility and the ability to work at your own pace, control your learning environment, and work alongside your course. An online DNP can provide you with high-quality teaching in the comfort of your own home, combining this with clinical hours in a physical working environment.

Online learning can also help reduce the costs of study in areas such as accommodation, transport, and living costs. You will not have to worry as much about living on or near campus or commuting to classes daily, which can save you a lot of money and time. You can also gain and develop a lot of useful personal skills while studying online, such as time management, organization, self-motivation, and problem-solving.

What are the career outcomes?

A DNP degree can prepare you to work in high-level positions within the nursing industry, such as nurse practitioners or educators. Some of the positions that you may work in include patient care director, chief nursing officer, nursing program director, or dean of nursing. These jobs tend to fall into three categories:

Nurse practitioner

Nurse practitioners are APRNs that are qualified to treat certain medical conditions with or without a doctor, depending on the state in which you are practicing. APRNs are advanced practice registered nurses, and there are several categories, including certified nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwife, and certified registered nurse anesthetist. A DNP can help you prepare to work as a CNP.

Nurse educator

If you are interested in teaching and helping to educate the future generations of nurses, then becoming a nurse educator could be the perfect job role for you. You can work in a variety of educational settings while also maintaining your clinical practice. Your tasks can include teaching, assessing and evaluating students, acting as a role model for them, designing and implementing curriculum and updating old ones.

Nurse executive

This is less of a hands-on role and is largely administrative. Nursing executives help to shape their healthcare organizations, such as hospitals or nursing homes. As well as focusing on the patients, you can also be responsible for developing and implementing policies and procedures for healthcare staff, advocating for patients and staff, and creating budgets for healthcare facilities.

There are a wide range of positions and careers that a DNP degree can prepare you for, and it is a beneficial qualification to have if you want to advance up the nursing career ladder. As well as the technical skills you will learn, the personal skills are just as important and are transferable in many different roles and industries.