A doctoral degree carries a certain set of expectations associated with the completion of advanced educational attainment. Earning a DNP degree is no exception. What are the expectations associated with a DNP-prepared nurse? How might these expectations differ among nursing staff without a DNP degree?
The role of a DNP-prepared nurse is multifaceted; they can serve as nurse educators, policy and legislation advocates, direct nursing care supervisors, or advanced practice nurses responsible for tracking, installing, and monitoring initiatives aimed at improving nursing and healthcare delivery. Regardless of the expectations associated with a DNP-prepared nurse, throughout your program of study, you will hone the skills necessary to enact each of these roles. Consider which role you are most excited about. What do you hope to accomplish in the realm of professional nursing practice with your DNP degree?
For this Discussion, reflect on your personal motivations to pursue a DNP degree. Consider the expectations associated with the DNP-prepared nurse, including how these may differ with a PhD-prepared nurse. Reflect on the DNP degree requirements, including your practicum/field experience and completion of your Doctoral Project. Then, think about how you will demonstrate the alignment of the AACN DNP Essentials to the completion of these program-of-study milestones.
To prepare:
• Review the Learning Resources and reflect on the reasons you have chosen to pursue a DNP degree. How do you anticipate that earning this degree will support your professional goals?
• Reflect on the differences between DNP and PhD degrees. How may this relate to your decision to pursue the DNP degree?
• Review the degree requirements for completing your DNP at Walden. Specifically, consider the focus of the Doctoral Project and practicum experiences as discussed in the DNP Essentials document. Keep in mind that you will be required to identify a site or sites for completion of your DNP project and your practicum hours required for the degree. You can refer to the Field Experience requirements presented in the

Learning Resources.
• After reviewing the DNP Essentials document and the DNP Project Process Guide for the DNP project, reflect on what it means to address an organization’s needs to attend to a gap in practice or implement a practice change. What is the difference between a gap in practice and a practice change? How does your role as the DNP-prepared nurse contribute to meeting a stakeholder need?




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