Why Get a BSN to DNP Degree Online?

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A nurse comforts a patient.

While some nursing programs require you to obtain a master’s degree before earning your Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, today many educational institutions offer another option. These programs give students the opportunity to obtain a DNP degree directly after receiving their bachelor’s degree. The programs emphasize developing core practical nursing competencies to enhance patient outcomes through a curriculum primarily focused on clinical leadership, education, and patient care.

The following are reasons why getting a BSN to DNP degree online can open new opportunities for individual career advancement and improve the capacity of the health care industry.

DNP Nurses Are Essential Providers of Primary Care in the Modern Health Care Landscape

The rising cost of medical care has resulted in an increased demand for medical professionals who can deliver cost-effective primary care to patients. For example, projections for 2022 anticipate a 6.5% increase in the price of medical care as well as an increase in the number of people seeking care, according to PwC.

While DNP nurses are not full-fledged physicians, through DNP coursework, BSN-degreed nurses can obtain clinical skills that are vital to providing effective preventive services and other primary care to patients. Advanced nursing professionals can also help patients control expenses. A 2021 study published in the International Journal of Nursing Studies Advances reports the care provided by advanced-practice nurses yielded positive outcomes in a variety of areas, including patient care and cost-effectiveness.

Although these advanced nurse practitioners are sometimes required to operate under the supervision of a qualified physician, many states allow DNP nurses to practice independently as primary care providers if they have obtained the proper training and qualifications.

DNP-educated nurses’ training in holistic care makes their role in the primary care workforce crucial to converting research evidence into a practical health care context. This allows them to collaborate with health care providers to prevent, treat, and manage acute and chronic health conditions.

DNP Nurses Remove Barriers to Provide Higher Levels of Clinical Care

An important role of the DNP nurse involves participating in efforts to remove the professional and legal barriers that limit the ability of nursing professionals to provide effective primary clinical care. One such barrier can be found within the medical industry, as physicians grow more concerned that the expanding role of DNP nurses may limit the authority of physicians and potentially compromise patient outcomes.

Another reason why getting a BSN to DNP degree makes sense is that by honing their expertise through a DNP program, nurses can advocate for health care reform. By using data that shows high patient satisfaction levels and positive health care outcomes for their patients, nurses can certify their competence and mitigate physician concerns. A 2021 report from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) projected a shortage of as many as 124,000 physicians by 2034. The report also examined scenarios for minimizing this shortage by increasing the use of other advanced medical professionals, including nurse practitioners.

DNP Nurses Are Equipped to Develop New Techniques and Policies to Advance the Nursing Discipline

DNP coursework provides graduates with the ability to view health care from a system-level perspective, allowing them to contribute to the development of policies that effectively address the clinical needs of the patient communities they serve.

The holistic medical practices typically reinforced by a DNP curriculum are likely to enhance a nurse’s ability to develop new health care techniques. These techniques recognize each patient’s need for unique care strategies. They incorporate components of patients’ social, physical, and mental characteristics, such as culture, life experiences, and medical history.

DNP Nurses Lead in Clinical Practice and Nurse Education

In using their extensive nursing expertise to organize health care institutions and support the advancement of nursing practice, DNP nurses can become valued leaders within medical institutions. They’re not only capable of contributing innovative ideas to the leadership strategies used in their respective facilities to improve patient care and population health outcomes but are also essential to educating and mentoring less experienced nurses across all clinical settings.

In comparison to their BSN-holding colleagues, DNP-credentialed nurse typically has far more opportunities to lead in the medical field because their education has prepared them to collaborate with physicians and other nurse administrators to educate other nurses.

DNP Nurses Are Well-Compensated and Have Strong Career Options

There’s currently an extreme shortage of nurses and nurse educators. A 2021 Wolters Kluwer survey of nursing leaders, for example, revealed that 92% anticipated being short-staffed in the 18 months following the survey. Additionally, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 52% growth in nurse practitioner roles between 2020 and 2030.

After completing a DNP program, nurses can distinguish themselves in practice in various ways. One key strategy is to produce in-depth scholarly projects, which incorporate the curriculum of their DNP program with hands-on observations to argue for or evaluate a particular nursing concept that can improve health care outcomes. A 2019 commentary in the Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners calls this research the professional responsibility of nurses with terminal degrees.

Discover Why Getting a BSN to DNP Degree Can Advance Your Career

Health care is experiencing an industry-wide demand for advanced practice nurses who are trained at the doctoral level. The changing medical landscape, drive for improved patient outcomes, and shortage of qualified nurses all are reasons to get a BSN to DNP degree online. If you’re a nurse with a bachelor’s degree in nursing who’s ready to take your career to a higher level, Regis College’s online BSN to Doctor of Nursing Practice program can prepare you for advanced nursing practice.

Discover how Regis College can help you reach your nursing leadership goals.

Recommended Reading

Adult Gerontology Acute Care vs. Primary Care: Comparing Two Specializations

APRN vs. NP: Understanding Nursing Categories

Where Do Psychiatric Nurses Work?


American Association of Colleges of Nursing, DNP Fact Sheet

American Association of Nurse Practitioners, Standards of Practice for Nurse Practitioners

Association of American Medical Colleges, “The Complexities of Physician Supply and Demand: Projections from 2019 to 2034”

International Journal of Nursing Studies Advances, “The Effectiveness of the Role of Advanced Nurse Practitioners Compared to Physician-Led or Usual Care: A Systematic Review”

Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, “Research Translation and the Evolving PhD and DNP Practice Roles: A Collaborative Call for Nurse Practitioners”

PwC, “Medical Cost Trend: Behind the Numbers 2022”

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse PractitionersWolters Kluwer, “National Nursing Workforce Survey Calls for Change as Non-Negotiable”