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“You can get past the dead end. You can break through the ceiling. I did and so have countless others.”

Thinking about a DNP? Think again….

I see more and more colleagues going back to school for their DNP. I always scratch my head and ask “why?” Is having the title of Doctor that important? I see no other point to it. Is 1-2 years of some research project and mumbo jumbo classes going to benefit you in the real world? I don’t think so…

But I hear that it improves your ability to practice “evidence based medicine” and to interpret research and clinical studies better. Really? You need to go to school for that? It is not difficult to read a study or a guideline and implement it into your practice…

Ah, nursing… lets over complicate things…

If it was clinically oriented I could see utility to it, but even then you can learn most things on your own these days. There is a wealth of information online.

I am looking at a DNP curriculum as I write this. Health Policy for Advanced Nurse Practice? Promoting Health Behavior? Advanced Leadership in Healthcare? Nursing Informatics? Are you serious? What is this BS?

It is difficult to teach how to be a true leader. Most leaders are born with that talent. How does health policy help you in your day to day clinical activities? Need help learning how to promote health? It’s called diet and exercise…

How do these classes and a large thesis project really benefit your life? Please enlighten me with a comment if it has.

Also factor in the cost and time. These programs average around $20,000 or more, that is a large chunk of change… Most programs are 12-24 months in duration for the MSN to DNP. So you will be working plus dedicating a majority of your free time to school.

$20,000 + 12-24 months = Doctor title and to be able to practice “evidence based medicine.”

If that is important to you or you need the education, then go for it.

If your objective is financial independence and you have a head on your shoulders though, don’t waste your time or money.

Instead, I propose another equation.

$20,000 + 12-24 months = multiple income generating side businesses.

In the time it takes to get your DNP, you can open up 2 profitable part time businesses generating an extra $10,000 a month on the side.

So you pick: $10,000 a month side income and more freedom OR more debt and 2 wasted years of your short time on this earth to be called “doctor?”

If you choose doctor, then I will tip my hat your direction while sipping wine on my mountain cabin porch enjoying my financial independence being retired at 52 years of age. So my hat is off to you doctor! I have vacations to plan and life to live…

239 Responses

      1. Good for you. Don’t waste your time or money. Focus on starting a business or learning a practical skill that actually BENEFITS your life.

      2. I agree whole heartedly with what your saying. I am a NP with a post masters yet they won’t even consider me for a faculty position unless I am in a program or have to obtain within 5 years. And I don’t even want the faculty position because their pay scale is horrible and offensive . My sister that works in IT for a healthcare company makes more money than me with just a bachelors in business. And by more I mean substantially more 180,000. Your article really has me thinking , I wanted the DNP as a goal to obtain I knew it wasn’t for the extra money. Reach the highest in my profession. Plus I wasn’t getting into a school loan I was going to cash flow it.

        1. If you want to teach then go for it. If you want that “personal accomplishment” then go for it. If your goal is financial independence though then the DNP is counter intuitive. Trust me, you will get far more personal accomplishment out of a successful business you built from scratch then an inflated degree that is not that hard to get.

      3. IF YOU ARE A PERSON WITH THE DESIRE TO BE THE LEARNER OF NEW KNOWLEDGE I SAY THE DNP IS THE WAY TO GO.
        IF YOU EVER END UP AT AN JOB INTERVIEW AND YOUR COMPETITION IS A DNP AND YOUR A MSN PREPARED NP,,BOTH OF YOU ARE PRIMARY CARE BOARD CERTIFIED NP’s WITH THE SAME NUMBER OF YEARS IN PRACTICE WHO DO YOU THINK WILL BE CONSIDERED ?
        HIGHER EDUCATION CAN NEVER BE A WASTE.

        1. They will choose the person who they think will fit best. I own clinics and hire NPs. I could care less if you have a DNP. Do I think your competent? Do I think your going to be productive? That is what matters, not some fluff filled degree. It is a waste in my opinion.

          1. Exactly! The DNP does not make you more marketable or a better clinician. What will make you a better clinician is learning the clinical medicine component of practice, not doing more research papers.

        2. I SECOND THAT! I’m not saying that your are 100%, doc.; however, I am saying that I have been there and I am an graduate adult NP (post-master’s). The first master’s was in nursing education and I learned then (the hard way), that I should have skipped nursing education and gone straight to NP-DNP or PhD. Each level, I was faced off with a DNP who’d had little to no experience, academic background or even clinical experience/expertise and lost out EVERY TIME. At this time, I have been a nurse over twenty-five years and for me now; it is the principle. I will retire in about fifteen years and I would like to say that