Working in medicine means becoming a lifelong student. Medical technologies and techniques never stop advancing, and staying abreast of these new developments ensures better patient outcomes and more career stability. However, there are many options available to practicing nurses, and knowing which one is best to advance your career isn't always easy.
A Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree is one option if you're already a practicing nurse with plenty of experience and want to take your career to the next level. Unlike other educational options, a DNP can completely transform your career. If you're looking for a change or just weighing your choices for where to take your career next, here are three reasons to consider earning your DNP.
1. Higher Earning Potential
Compensation is far from the only reason for pursuing a medical career, but good pay can make the long hours and challenging work feel more rewarding and appreciated. If you feel like your salary has hit a brick wall, improving your educational credentials is one way to break open the path to higher pay and more responsibilities.
Fortunately, a DNP will typically open many high-paying career options. DNP holders earn over six-figure annual salaries on average. Additionally, the strong job growth outlook means that your degree will continue to be desirable into the future, helping to ensure you have the negotiating power to improve your salary as your career progresses.
2. More Industry Impact
Working in the trenches means touching the lives of individual patients and making a difference. Still, hands-on roles can leave you with few options to make a larger impact on the healthcare industry or your organization. On the other hand, leadership roles provide more opportunities to shape healthcare organizations and future generations of nurses.
A DNP will help qualify you for greater leadership roles, including management and executive positions. Additionally, you can specialize in research or other fields where you can make a difference that goes well beyond individual patient outcomes. These roles will allow you to use your hard-earned skills and experience to impact many more lives.
3. Political Options
A DNP degree provides you with the scientific knowledge to understand modern healthcare research and see how healthcare professionals can utilize it to improve patient outcomes. While it may not be the path for everyone, this knowledge will make you uniquely suitable for fields representing these interests to non-professionals.
If you are interested in politics, a DNP can be a stepping stone onto a path as a healthcare lobbyist. With your existing experience and the knowledge you gain from pursuing your degree, you can make a genuine impact by representing the healthcare industry in the political arena.