In considering the question “how are DNP-prepared nurses shaping the future of our healthcare system?” one must consider the functions of the DNP-prepared nurse. One function that immediately emerges to suggest the role of the DNP-prepared nurse in the shaping of future healthcare is as a spearhead or coordinator for “helping implement the successful quality initiatives throughout the hospital” (Jeffers & Astroth, 2013, p. 226). In other words, DNP-prepared nurses will be the figures responsible for implementing hospital-wide initiatives – not just those focused on quality control – and assessing the effectiveness of those initiatives.
It will be the responsibility of DNP-prepared nurses to identity obstacles and challenges in such initiatives and to determine solutions for those issues. DNP-prepared nurses will be on the forefront of recognizing the need for initiatives and understanding the best practices for implementing those initiatives. Another function of the DNP-prepared nurse is that such a nurse has obtained skills which allow them to perform more effectively in business environments (Swanson & Stanton, 2013). Such environments are inevitable in healthcare institutions; while nurses don’t usually receive business training, teaching nurses those skills is preferable to trying to teach individuals with business backgrounds the complexities of healthcare and medicine. It makes more sense to teach someone with a comprehensive healthcare background – like a nurse – the skills to make meaningful decisions on the business side of issues.
Swanson and Stanton (2013) argue that DNP programs address the gap in nursing skills and business competencies, equipping nurses to handle both “advanced practice and executive management competency” (p. 35). This suggest that more and more administrative positions in healthcare institutions will likely be filled with DNP-prepared nurses, who can make decisions which are sound in regards to both nursing practice and business concerns.
- Jeffers, B. R., & Astroth, K. S. (2013). The clinical nurse leader: Prepared for an era of
healthcare reform. Nursing Forum, 48(3), 223-229. doi:10.1111/nuf.12032
- Swanson, M. L., & Stanton, M. P. (2013). Chief nursing officers’ perceptions of the Doctorate
of Nursing Practice degree. Nursing Forum, 48(1), 35-44. doi:10.1111/nuf.12003