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Why should I get a Doctoate versus a Masters degree to become a nurse practitioner?

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I am currently in a DNP program but there are masters program that take less time to complete and you can still work as a nurse practitioner. Is the extra school to get the doctorate worth it? #dnp #fnp

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Tanya’s Answer

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It really depends on what your future goals are, and how much the title means to you. At this time, they are not requiring a doctorate, but they likely will in the future for new graduates. You do not need a doctorate to practice independently, in those states that allow independent practice, you can do that with an MSN. If you are already in school for a DPN, and have the means to complete the program, I would stick with it. As previously mentioned, it will allow you more options, such as teaching in MSN programs, or being a director in some companies. You will not be able to call yourself Dr. Lastname in practice, but it will look nice on your resume, business cards, and lab coat. Plus, if you ever teach, you can make your students call you doctor.

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Aimee, MSN, APN’s Answer

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This is completely my opinion. To me it really depends on your goals and what you want to do. Of course getting the DNP puts you at the top of all nursing with the "highest" degree. With a DNP you can have your own practice (from what I understand) and you can teach at a university to master's degree students. They say that that DNP MAY make a little more money but there is no real proof of it. I have my master's. I have no intention of ever going back. But I just finished in June so I may be a bit burnt out from working so hard. I am the type that think the higher the education the better, but I don't see a big difference between the two. But if you want to teach other future NPs or have your own business, a DNP is definitely necessary. I am very happy with my MSN.

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