Is a Doctorate in Nursing really necessary?

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Reply Thu 17 Feb, 2005 07:44 pm
Is a Doctorate in Nursing really necessary?
HELP!!!! I'm in a really frantic state right now. I've currently been accepted into a masters entry program at the yale university school of nursing. The program is 3 years, and at the end of my three years I would have my RN, and a PNP certificate. I've been accepted to Case Western Reserve University in their Nursing Doctorate Program which is a 4 year program. Upon completion of the ND program I would have a RN, PNP, and a Doctorate in Nursing.

My dilemma is whether or not a Doctorate in Nursing is really necessary for me to obtain especially if I hope to just work in clinical practice.

I've been informed by both the faculty at Columba University and Case Western that there is a movement to filter out the masters program for advanced parctice nurses and replace it with a doctorate program in nursing by the year 2015!!!!!! This means, that soon after 2015 those advanced practice nurses would gain DOCTORATE DEGREES!

My main concern is whats going to happen to the NP's with MSNs? Will we be out of a job or will we be forced to go back to school to obtain a doctorate degree? it's quite frightening indeed, and I'm having a difficult time deciding whether to go to school at Case Western or Yale.

Someone please help me!! where do you see this profession going? And is a Doctorate in Nursing truely necessary for this profession?

Sincerely,

An extremely confused ProspectiveStudent Crying or Very sad [/b]
 
RN Recruiter
 
Reply Fri 18 Feb, 2005 12:17 pm
If you are going to get a doctorate, you should just got to medical school to become a physician. Right now, I don't know of a single nurse who has a doctorate, and I know for a fact that NO hospitals require a doctorate.

To become a clinical nurse, you only need an associates degree. Directors of Nursing and Chief Nursing Officers often require Master's Degrees.
 
RN Recruiter
 
Reply Fri 18 Feb, 2005 06:08 pm
You know...the more I think about your scenario, the more input I have for you.

The first thing you need to determine is what your motivation is. If your are looking to be marketable, and increase your financial potential...then my advice would be different than if you are really doing it for the clinical knowledge and to broaden your knowledgebase.

If you are looking for knowledge, then the Doctorate would give you another year of education...and you would like to think that the extra time in school would do this.

If you are concerned about marketability, then I can tell you this...a Masters Degree from Yale will probably look better than a doctorate from Case.

Obtaining a doctorate is over-kill in this case. If you are going to get a doctorate, then I would honestly recommend going to medical school to become a physician. You would have more autonomy, and more satisfaction overall because you can make an even bigger impact on your patients as a physician. You would likely need a residency program following medical school, which may add a few years to your education...but it sounds like you are ok with taking the time to make sure you get the education you need.

Your professors may claim that doctorates will soon become the standard for higher level nurses...but I with the shortage of physicians, it would make more sense for people to get an MD than a DN.

Is it possible that you will get turned down for a job in the future because you got your Master's Degree and not your Doctorate? Possible...but not likely...your clinical competency will speak stronger for you than anything else. The only scenario I can imagine where you may get turned down for a postion that requires a doctorate, would be if you were to apply for a teaching position 20 years from now at a major university that requires all professors have their doctorate.

Sorry it was such a lengthy post...I hope this helps.
 
debwilkrn
 
Reply Fri 25 Feb, 2005 07:22 am
Doctorate degree
The only reason to get a doctorate degree would be if you plan on pursuing a career in nursing education at the university level or if you plan to go into research or something along those lines.

As far as the NP, or advanced practice nurses, if they sometime in the future make it necessary to have your doctorate to hold that position, then those who have an MSN and are already licensed as NP's will be grandfathered in. Back in the late 80's or possibly the early 90's, you could be an NP without a Masters in Nursing, many of those nurses were grandfathered in, but later chose to get their Masters.

I agree with the med school line of thought! If you decide that later you want a Phd then you can always get it then!
 
nurse retchet
 
Reply Fri 25 Feb, 2005 01:21 pm
Re: Is a Doctorate in Nursing really necessary?
"I'm in a really frantic state right now. I've currently been accepted into a masters entry program at the yale university school of nursing. The program is 3 years, and at the end of my three years I would have my RN, and a PNP certificate."

Personally, I wonder how ready you will be to function as a PNP with only three years of preparation. I've been a nurse for 21 years now, and even with a BSN I would say I wasn't totally comfortable with clinical care for a good year afterward graduation. I feel that your education only prepares you for the basics and you really learn more during your actual clinical jobs than through your clinical rotations.

I hate to say this but if I were a clinical manager I would have to put you in the bottom of the barrel as far as hiring goes for a NP position. You won't and don't have the clinical experience after only three years of education to function in the REAL WORLD.
 
Ginger Snap
 
Reply Sat 26 Feb, 2005 04:11 pm
Quote:
My main concern is whats going to happen to the NP's with MSNs? Will we be out of a job or will we be forced to go back to school to obtain a doctorate degree?


No, you won't be out of a job. As others have said, you'll be grandfathered in, but it doesn't mean you'll have as many options available to you, in terms of employment. It might also mean that future NP's will have more skills, autonomy and authority than you will get in your Master's program.

This is a chronic problem in the nursing profession. Those who are part of the academic universe (PhD's MSN's) are always looking for ways to increase the amount of schooling you need to practice nursing (thus, the push for the BSN as the entry level into practice). But more education doesn't make you a better practitioner. Clinical practice is what leads to professional knowledge, judgement and skill. I've seen too many MD's come out of medical school with very little skill or clinical judgement (after 12 years of classroom training). However, they quickly develop it with experience at the bedside.
 
kettley
 
Reply Sat 26 Feb, 2005 09:04 pm
Re: Is a Doctorate in Nursing really necessary?
ProspectiveStudent wrote:
HELP!!!! I'm in a really frantic state right now. I've currently been accepted into a masters entry program at the yale university school of nursing. The program is 3 years, and at the end of my three years I would have my RN, and a PNP certificate. I've been accepted to Case Western Reserve University in their Nursing Doctorate Program which is a 4 year program. Upon completion of the ND program I would have a RN, PNP, and a Doctorate in Nursing.

Someone please help me!! where do you see this profession going? And is a Doctorate in Nursing truely necessary for this profession?

Sincerely,

An extremely confused ProspectiveStudent Crying or Very sad [/b]



If you are planning on being any kind of NP, just get the Doctorate. Nursing is changing. Leaders in Nursing are looking to the future, and the changes in Healthcare. Look at current popular magazines. Nurse Practioners are becoming very popular. The issues we deal with is being treated as equals by physicians. If we plan on being primary caregivers in the current arena, or even the healthcare arena of the future, we have to be prepared.

We have all probably heard of the rumors of how PT and OT are looking to change their entry level positions to PhD level. It is not inconcievable we will be changing the entry level requirement as nurses. Linda Aiken has published articles through the Institute of Medicine about the decrease in Morbidity and Mortality when the nurse has a BSN over an ADN. Do I think the liberal arts portion of the BSN makes for a more skilled RN...NO, but it does give a depth to the individual, and increases the critical thinking skills. Just what I would want in a diagnostician caring for me.

Best of luck with your future career!
 
Steven K
 
Reply Sat 28 Jan, 2012 06:53 am
Greetings. This is another example of Nursing direction gone wrong from the top, as it has a few times in the past.
If you look at the board of these decision makers, you should not be surprised to see most, if not all, have a Doctorate, or are involved in pursuing one to become a member of the club.
These people have had the luxury of being able to pursue a great education, and that is fine; but to push it on the rest of the RN community is elitist and not necessary.
Making an APRN requirement to have a doctorate hurts the profession, not strengthen it.
The positions not filled by RN's, uable to pursue a Doctorate, to become APRN's, will be filled by an increase in PA's, who won't need it.
Let's get real here folks, MD's don't even need a Doctorate, and they are clever enough to realize it. An MD is a professional degree, not an Academic.
Let's strengthen our professional abilities to make our profession stronger instead of finding ways to weaken our numbers as APRN's.
 
Steven K
 
Reply Sat 28 Jan, 2012 07:06 am
I think the Nursing hierarchy should re-read RN Recruiter comments in the above post.
 
 

 
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