Nevada nurses holding a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) are among the most important healthcare professionals in the state, providing expert treatment in clinical settings and serving in critical administrative roles.
DNP programs are available to qualified nurses who have earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or higher. Through these programs, nurses receive the highest level of education available in their practice specialty. Examples of targeted learning tracks offered by DNP programs could include:
- Executive Leadership
- Psychiatric/Mental Health
- Healthcare technology
- Adult Gerontology
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), 84 nurses were enrolled in DNP programs in Nevada as of 2015. Additional nurses in Nevada pursue their DNP through accredited online programs.
Nevada’s Doctors of Nursing Practice hold important leadership roles in the state’s nursing organizations. Just some of the state’s most prominent doctorate-prepared nurses include:
- Rhigel Tan, DNP, RN, APRN, President of Nevada Board of Nursing
- Charina Toste, DNP at Comprehensive Care Centers of Nevada and member of American Association of Nurse Practitioners and Nevada Nurse Practitioners Association
- Scott Lamprecht, DNP, APN, RN, President of the Nevada Nurses Association
Earning a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Nevada
As of 2016, there are three campus locations offering CCNE (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education)-accredited DNP programs in Nevada through the University of Nevada DNP consortium. Campus locations can be found in Reno, Nevada and Henderson.
Programs through the consortium are structured as BSN-DNP and Post-MSN, offering tracks in nurse practitioner, nurse-midwifery and nurse leadership.
Other DNP programs in the state may be regionally accredited or hold specialty accreditation through the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs or the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education.
A larger selection of CCNE and ACEN (American Commission for Education in Nursing)-accredited DNP programs are available online. With only three campus-based options in the state, more Nevada nurses are electing to pursue their DNP through accredited online programs, which offer flexible coursework, practical and clinical experience opportunities, and a DNP project. Nevada nurses enrolled in these programs work with an assigned advisor to find placement in clinical settings. Nurses also work with a program mentor to complete their DNP project.
Bachelor’s-prepared nurses are eligible to apply to BSN to DNP programs, which allow them to earn their master’s degree en route to the DNP. At the master’s level, nurses would complete core coursework that typically consists of 30 credits and additional coursework based on their chosen concentration.
Doctorate-Level Coursework and DNP Projects
The DNP core typically consists of coursework in:
- Advocacy, ethics, and policy for population health
- Clinical decision making
- Nurse education
- Scientific foundations
- Applied transformational research
- Healthcare organization leadership
- Public and private financing in healthcare
Students are typically expected to complete a minimum of 1,000 hours of supervised post-baccalaureate practice to earn their DNP. These hours may consist of combined experience gained within both master’s and DNP programs.
Additionally, DNP students would work with a program mentor to complete a DNP Project. Through this project, nurses can apply their knowledge in a chosen focus and contribute to an area of scholarship in advanced nursing practice.
Opportunities Available to DNP-Prepared Nurses in Nevada
With a Doctorate of Nursing Practice, Nevada nurses are eligible to fill some of the most critical leadership positions in the field. Many nurses find advancement with their current employer, while others go on fill leadership gaps with a new employer that requires a doctorate-prepared nurse’s specialized expertise.
Another area where DNP-prepared nurses are needed in Nevada is the educational realm. According to American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the average age Nevada nursing faculty is 51 years old. As more nurses retire from teaching, new doctorate-prepared nurses will be needed to lead Nevada’s next generation of nurses.
Nurses holding a DNP are among the highest paid professionals in Nevada’s medical field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the top 10% of Nevada nurses earned the following mean annual salaries as of May 2015:
- Postsecondary nursing instructors and teachers – $117,820
- Nurse practitioners – $127,160
- Medical and health services managers – $155,840