The DNP: Knowledge and perceptions of students in an accelerated master’s program in nursing


While the nursing community generally agrees that the Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree will strengthen nursing as an academic discipline, there is little known about students’ perceptions of the advanced degree. Nursing students enrolled in an accelerated master’s program in nursing (N = 45) were surveyed to assess their knowledge of the DNP degree while also identifying the perceived effect a DNP might have on their careers, on nursing as a discipline, and on public perceptions of nursing practice. In this study, 51% of participants supported the transition to the DNP as the standard degree for practice nursing while 29% were opposed. The majority of participants (71%) planned to pursue an advanced practice nursing degree/certification with 81% of this group signifying that they would do so even if a DNP is required. The majority of participants agreed that the DNP will improve public perception of advanced practice nursing, but 71% thought the title of “doctor” would confuse patients. While current nursing students are generally informed of the upcoming DNP transition, there is disagreement regarding its implications for their careers and for the extent of public understanding.

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Lee, Y. , Holm, K. , Florez, E. , Glauser, M. and Haswell, E. (2013) The DNP: Knowledge and perceptions of students in an accelerated master’s program in nursing. Open Journal of Nursing, 3, 138-146. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2013.31018.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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