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[The AACN DNP] Essentials outline the foundational competenc
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[The AACN DNP] Essentials outline the foundational competencies that are core to all advanced practice roles, including the four nationally-recognized Advanced Practice Registered Nursing roles: nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, and nurse midwives. — American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2006) What does it mean to be a DNP-prepared nurse? What core function of advanced nursing practice do you hope to practice upon completion of your DNP? How will earning a DNP enhance your nursing practice? Questions such as these may represent some underlying consideration that led you to pursue a DNP. In your role as a DNP-prepared nurse, you will likely be called upon to perform advanced nursing practice skills that not only enhance patient care but will impact the delivery of healthcare, organizational standards, and quality improvement initiatives. This week, you consider the role of a nurse with a practice doctorate, including the expectations associated with obtaining a DNP degree. You reflect on your personal motivations for pursuing a doctoral degree and begin to examine how your proposed Doctoral Project and practicum/field experience will align to the AACN DNP Essentials. Reference: American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2006). DNP essentials. Learning Objectives Students will: • Analyze the role of a nurse with a practice doctorate • Analyze expectations associated with obtaining the DNP degree • Analyze personal motivations for pursing a doctoral degree • Explain the role of the DNP-prepared nurse in meeting organizational quality improvement needs • Evaluate alignment between the AACN DNP Essentials and completion of Doctoral Projects • Evaluate alignment between the AACN DNP Essentials and completion of a practicum/field experience ________________________________________ Learning Resources Required Readings (click to expand/reduce) ________________________________________ Discussion: The Doctoral Degree and Professional Nursing Practice A doctoral degree carries a certain set of expectations associated with the completion of advanced educational attainment. Earning a DNP degree is no exception. What are the expectations associated with a DNP-prepared nurse? How might these expectations differ among nursing staff without a DNP degree? The role of a DNP-prepared nurse is multifaceted; they can serve as nurse educators, policy and legislation advocates, direct nursing care supervisors, or advanced practice nurses responsible for tracking, installing, and monitoring initiatives aimed at improving nursing and healthcare delivery. Regardless of the expectations associated with a DNP-prepared nurse, throughout your program of study, you will hone the skills necessary to enact each of these roles. Consider which role you are most excited about. What do you hope to accomplish in the realm of professional nursing practice with your DNP degree? For this Discussion, reflect on your personal motivations to pursue a DNP degree. Consider the expectations associated with the DNP-prepared nurse, including how these may differ with a PhD-prepared nurse. Reflect on the DNP degree requirements, including your practicum/field experience and completion of your Doctoral Project. Then, think about how you will demonstrate the alignment of the AACN DNP Essentials to the completion of these program-of-study milestones. To prepare: • Review the Learning Resources and reflect on the reasons you have chosen to pursue a DNP degree. How do you anticipate that earning this degree will support your professional goals? • Reflect on the differences between DNP and PhD degrees. How may this relate to your decision to pursue the DNP degree? • Review the degree requirements for completing your DNP at Walden. Specifically, consider the focus of the Doctoral Project and practicum experiences as discussed in the DNP Essentials document. Keep in mind that you will be required to identify a site or sites for completion of your DNP project and your practicum hours required for the degree. You can refer to the Field Experience requirements presented in the Learning Resources. Photo Credit: Creativa Images / Adobe Stock • After reviewing the DNP Essentials document and the DNP Project Process Guide for the DNP project, reflect on what it means to address an organization’s needs to attend to a gap in practice or implement a practice change. What is the difference between a gap in practice and a practice change? How does your role as the DNP-prepared nurse contribute to meeting a stakeholder need?
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