DNP as a catch all?

Ive heard numerous opinions on what the DNP's role in the future of the nursing profession will be. The spectrum seems to range from "DNPs will be their own specialty." To "DNPs will replace NPs, CNMs, etc.". What's your take on the matter? As a follow up, I'm curious to know what response you'd have to a physician feeling threatened by a DNP professionally. Thanks!

Patricia M. Davidson, PhD, MEd, RN, FAAN's avatar image.

There is definitely a trend across the country to move advance practice nursing programs into the Doctor of Nursing Practice and in fact we will be doing this at Johns Hopkins in 2017. There is a trend for nurses to align the leadership skills of the DNP with the clinical skills of the NP. This is to make the nurse of the future who is responsive to contemporary health care challenges. The DNP like the PhD is a terminal degree and we like our other health professional colleagues are ideally placed when we are on an equal footing. Similar trends are being observed in pharmacy and other health professions. What is important to remember is a doctoral program is to make you a maxi nurse not a mini doctor. We each need to recognize the knowledge, skills and expertise brought to the clinical encounter. My best strategy to improve nurse-physician interactions is respect and proving the value proposition of nursing. The DNP should denote excellence and leadership in nursing practice. Good luck!