Nursing Goals and Objectives
|Short-Term Goals||Intermediate-Term Goals||Long-Term Goals|
|Finishing a bachelor’s degree in Nursing.||Succeeding in the current position as a Nurse Practitioner.||Increasing professionalism and marketability.|
|Passing the National Council of State Boards of Nursing exam.||Completing a critical care certification.||Enrolling in a master’s degree program in Nursing Management and Organizational Leadership.|
|Finding a position as a nurse at a healthcare facility.||Achieving clinical mastery to open work opportunities.||Advancing to a Leadership role in nursing.|
The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree was initially introduced in 2004 by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. DNP was the most appropriate degree for professionals entering the healthcare setting for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) in the US (McCauley et al., 2020). Due to the complexity of the healthcare system, the scope of new evidence-based practices, as well as the shifting forces that drive policies and evolving healthcare financing models, there was a need to add a unique nursing perspective to the professional health. The DNP degree was expected to offer the strategic preparation of nurses in advanced practice and leadership roles in order to improve health outcomes across a variety of health settings (McCauley et al., 2020).
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The rapid expansion of the DNP degree has been associated with the challenge of ensuring timely implementation of best nursing practices as well as for leaders to advance the development and the design of DNP programs (Edwards et al., 2018). As the practice advanced and progressed, the growth of the degree in terms of the programs has increased by nearly four times (Auerbach et al., 2015). Since 2005, the number of programs increased from 11 to 303, enrolling from 392 students to 25,289 students (Edwards et al., 2018). The importance of the DNP is that the clinical doctorate aligns with a range of other disciplines, ranging from pharmaceuticals to physical therapy. Moreover, regardless of the specialty, all DNPs are expected to develop core competencies that focus on leadership, organizational systems, information technology, and others.
The role of the DNP-educated nurse is expected to develop further and expand as the nursing practice is becoming more complex. According to Purba (2020), due to the adverse effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global healthcare setting, the role of nurses is expected to shift. In particular, nurses will be expected to respond to the increasingly pervasive challenges associated with serving vulnerable populations that include older individuals, persons with disabilities, co-morbidities, and ill-health, as well as those from any low-income socioeconomic group. Therefore, in the future, DNPs will be expected to advocate for the needs of vulnerable patients and work on the prioritization of different forms of health communication in accessible formats due to the increased demand for telehealth and other remote methods of healthcare.
The benefits of having a DNP are associated with having a scholarship in a practice setting, the innovation and testing of care delivery models, the improvement of the practice settings, as well as proficiency in establishing clinical excellence (Trautmant et al., 2018). At this time, the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties promotes the DNP as a minimum for nurse practitioners, and it is expected that the benefits of having the degree will widen due to the further expansion to the expertise in the current APRN role and the patient population focus.
Auerbach, D. I., Martsolf, G. R., Pearson, M. L., Taylor, E. A., Zaydman, M., Muchow, A. N., Spetz, J., & Lee, Y. (2015). The DNP by 2015: A study of the institutional, political, and professional issues that facilitate or impede establishing a post-baccalaureate doctor of nursing practice program. Rand Health Quarterly, 5(1), 3.
Edwards, N., Coddington, J., Erler, C., & Kirkpatrick, J. (2018). The impact of the role of doctor of nursing practice nurses on healthcare and leadership. Medical Research Archives, 6(4), 1-11.
McCauley, L. A., Broome, M. E., Frazier, L., Hayes, R., Kurth, A., Musil, C. M., Norman, L. D., Rideout, K. H., & Villarruel, A. M. (2020). Doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree in the United States: Reflecting, readjusting, and getting back on track. Nursing Outlook, 68(4), 494-503. Web.
Purba, A. (2020). How should the role of nursing change in response to COVID-19? Nursing Times, 116(6), 25-28.
Trautman, D., Idzik, S., Hammersla, M., & Rosseter, R. (2018). Advancing scholarship through translational research: The role of PHD and DNP prepared nurses. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 23(2), Manuscript 2. Web.