Defining Roles and Scope of Practice: Doctorate of Nursing Practice and Registered Nurse
Doctorate of Nurse Practitioners’ (DNP) like Registered nurses’ (RN) practice under their own individual, unique and specialized licenses. As more DNP graduate and practice in various specialties the lines between RN and DNP blur. While both operate to ensure the wellness of their patients, they each have their own vital and unique role in the healthcare system.
Doctorate Nurse Practitioner Defined
American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2011) illustrates that Doctoral programs of nursing are divided into two different types: research-focused and practice focused. Research focused Doctorates include Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Doctor of Nursing Science (DNS). These nurses are educated in heavily in science and research. Practice focused Doctorates include Master Science of Nursing (MSN) and Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP), however it is projected that by 2015 the DNP will be the terminal degree for advanced practiced nurses (AACN, 2011).
Doctorate of Nursing Practice is a practice-focused degree. The AACN (2011) identifies the practice of DNP as,
…assess, manage, and evaluate patients at the most independent level of clinical
nursing practice. They are expected to use advanced, highly refined assessment skills
and employ a thorough understanding of pathophysiology and pharmacotherapeutics in
making diagnostic and practice management decisions. (p. 18)
DNP are trained to work in a variety of clinical and educational settings with their specialized population. They are clinical experts.
Compare and Contrast DNP and RN
Per the Arizona State Board of Nursing (2011) there are currently 69,501 active RNs
and 3,596 Nurse practitioners. While both work to promote the health of their patients,
they have different accountability, responsibility and ethical behavior.
One of the largest differences is in practice. Klein (2006) illustrates...