Is a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Right for You?
A horde of opportunities are available to nurses with the desire to pursue their education at the highest level. The nursing industry is experiencing continual growth and is adapting to meet the needs of a population that continues to grow. Graduates of the terminal degree in nursing practice become leaders of their chosen specialty. Many are educators, advanced practitioners, systems analysts, health policy revisers and more. Responsible for implementing scientific data into all aspects of advanced nursing practice, they are at the forefront of industry improvement. Their expertise is in incredible demand and their skills command the utmost respect. We have done considerable research for you. While many schools have accredited degrees available online, there are two schools that offer DNP programs in Washington.
Featured DNP Programs (RN Required)
- A CCNE accredited DNP program is available through the School of Nursing at the University of Washington. Extensive training is given to prepare Advanced Nurses for the most qualified patient care. Developed as leaders of clinical environments, they are able to evaluate scientific research and use the information to make informed decisions regarding necessary changes. While online options are available depending on the specialty chosen, this is predominantly a traditional program that requires onsite attendance. It will take post-master’s students a year of full-time study to complete the degree. Those entering at the baccalaureate level will need to study for three years. The final deadline for applications is January 15th. Military nurses must apply before October 1st each year.
- Washington State University has a DNP program available at their College of Nursing. Students learn to practice as the most advanced nursing specialists and are leaders of a diversity of clinical settings. Graduates are trained for improvement of health outcomes and are able to interpret research evidence into practice. Courses are offered onsite with some studied online, but students are able to attend classes via videoconferencing if necessary. While full-time study options are available and involve two years of study, most students attend part-time and complete the program in three to four years. Classes begin at various times throughout the year and deadline dates change with each cycle. Feel free to contact the school to inquire about their latest application deadlines.
Washington DNP Checklist
The application process is extremely rigorous. Schools select a few students for these programs each year and they review applicants competitively. Space is limited and it is advisable that the strict requirements of each school are known. Be mindful of deadline dates and ensure that application packets consist of all the necessary documents. While each school has a different list of prerequisites, it is essential that graduate coursework is complete. This may be achieved through the offered bridge programs, but maintenance of high grades is not negotiable. This is what is needed when applying to a DNP program in Washington:
- Graduate courses in statistics, research and nursing theory must have been completed in the last five years, with a minimum grade of C (preferably higher).
- All post-secondary schools attended should be requested to provide you with official transcripts.
- Three letters of recommendation are required from professionals able to opine about your academic capabilities. Good examples include physicians, employers, supervisors, previous faculty and nursing colleagues.
- Provide a copy of your registered advanced nursing licensure. It must currently enable unrestricted practice throughout Washington.
- A full background check will be performed by the school and they will require your medical history. Immunizations against specified diseases are not negotiable and must be proven.
- 3.0 is the absolute minimum overall Grade Point Average score considered. This is on a scale of 4.0 but many schools will insist this requirement be at least 3.5.
- Evidence must be provided to prove that the programs where your BSN and MSN degrees were completed are nationally accredited.
- Discuss your need for the doctorate and explain how it is an integral part of your career objectives in a well written essay.
- Your submitted resume should include all your latest educational, professional and voluntary experiences.
- Timely attendance at a personal interview is essential when the school requests it of you.
- Every clinical hour accumulated during advanced nursing practice and graduate study must be proven.
- Examples of your creative written work must be submitted, usually in the form of scholarly papers.
Nurses who have qualified at the doctorate level enjoy an employment rate of one hundred percent. Most are offered a variety of lucrative job offers, often before graduation. They earn the highest salaries in the industry and have the leadership skills so desperately needed to ensure that all healthcare outcomes are realized. Communities enjoy better healthcare because of their efforts and they dedicate their careers to this goal. If you wish to be a member of the nursing revolution, then it is recommended that you obtain your doctorate degree in nursing practice.