As with advanced degrees, going from a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) to a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) confers graduates with advanced professional skills and research knowledge. In the case of a DNP, it opens the door to some of the highest nursing positions available.

Those who earn a DNP typically work in a clinical setting or leadership role after graduation, using their expertise to influence positive healthcare outcomes through organizational leadership, health policy implementation, and patient care. 

A DNP is designed “to produce leaders in nursing,” as pointed out by The site adds that those who earn a DNP “are considered key players in the future of healthcare in the United States.”

Most nurses start as Registered Nurses and then enter an RN to BSN program before moving on to earn their MSN. Earning a DNP is the next step on the academic journey for those motivated to leadership roles in nursing.

What Is a Doctor of Nursing Practice?

A DNP is a terminal degree in the field of nursing. It’s one of the highest degrees a nurse can earn and represents significant expertise and knowledge in clinical practice, leadership, and healthcare system management.

DNPs are often advanced practice nurses (APRNs) who have completed additional education and training beyond a master’s degree in nursing. DNP students may include nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, or clinical nurse specialists. DNP programs emphasize advanced clinical practice, leadership, and the application of evidence-based practice to improve patient outcomes.

DNPs are qualified for a wide range of roles in healthcare. They work in advanced clinical practice, healthcare leadership, administration, education, research, and policy advocacy. They often focus on enhancing the quality of care in healthcare systems. By training nurses to be leaders and experts in their field, it’s believed that DNPs can help improve patient outcomes and contribute to more efficient and effective healthcare delivery.

Benefits of Going From an MSN to a DNP

Nurses play a critical role in patient care, advocacy, and innovation. As the profession’s demands evolve, many nurses consider advancing their education to stay at the forefront of healthcare delivery. One significant step forward is transitioning from an MSN to a DNP.

A DNP program equips nurses with advanced clinical knowledge and skills, empowering them to provide patients with the highest level of care. With an emphasis on evidence-based practice and clinical decision-making, DNPs are prepared to lead complex patient care teams and contribute to improved patient outcomes.

By earning a DNP, nurses also position themselves as valuable assets in healthcare organizations, capable of taking on leadership roles. They often are instrumental in driving the implementation of evidence-based practice. Their advanced education and training enable them to critically evaluate and integrate research into clinical settings, ultimately leading to better patient care and outcomes.

With a DNP, nurses frequently have more opportunities to influence healthcare policy and advocacy. Their advanced education and clinical expertise provide a strong foundation for participating in policy discussions, advocating for patients, and shaping the future of healthcare.

In many states, obtaining a DNP opens opportunities for advanced practice nurses to broaden their scope of practice. This may include diagnosing and treating patients, prescribing medications, and managing a patient’s primary care.

NMU Global Campus MSN to DNP

NMU Global Campus offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree that equips graduates with the highest level of nursing expertise, allowing them to deliver comprehensive care to individuals, families, groups, and communities. The program encompasses hands-on patient care, overseeing care for individuals and populations, managing nursing systems, and shaping health policies.

The program has two tracks: a post-baccalaureate program and a post-master’s program. Courses for part-time study employ a low-residency format that blends online learning with occasional on-site sessions. Clinical practicum hours can be fulfilled in the student’s local area with an approved preceptor.

The DNP program entails 72 credit hours for the post-baccalaureate route and 33 for the post-master’s option. The post-baccalaureate track involves 1,000 supervised clinical practice hours. The post-master’s curriculum is tailored based on prior coursework.

Transitioning from an MSN to a DNP represents a significant step forward in a nurse’s professional journey. It equips them with advanced clinical knowledge and skills and positions them as leaders and advocates in the healthcare industry. Ultimately, this transition leads to improved patient care, enhanced career opportunities, and a more significant impact on the future of healthcare.