I get a lot of questions why I chose the doctoral route for my nurse practitioner degree rather than a master’s. There has been a lot of discussion that it will become a requirement for nurses to obtain their DNP rather than an MSN to become a nurse practitioner, but the AACN has stated that this is not currently a requisite. I chose the DNP route because I want to challenge myself, become as advanced in my field as possible, and open more doors for different career advancements. DNPs work towards generating new clinical and structural information in the nursing industry where as MSNs are mainly focused on practicing in the clinical setting and do not emphasize as much clinical research. In addition, a DNP helps to prepare nurses advance in leadership, management, and clinical practice with the intent to influence policies. MSNs can also work in leadership and management, but are mainly focused on providing advanced care to patients.
Another reason I chose to go straight from my BSN to DNP was somewhat due to laziness. Not lazy in that I didn’t want to complete the course work, but that I knew that if I added an additional step and went from my bachelor’s to master’s and then to Doctorate rather than just BSN to DNP, it would be very difficult for me to stop and start again. I was fortunate enough to find a program that allows me to go straight through and obtain my MSN along the way to getting my DNP without breaks. If gaining the motivation to go back to school in the first place was as challenging for you as it was for me, then I would definitely recommend this route. There are more and more programs every year that have the BSN to DNP route, giving you more options!