Essentials Of Doctoral Education For Advanced Nursing Practice

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The nurse practitioner (NP) is a registered nurse with graduate education and advanced clinical training. The NP has acquired knowledge and clinical skills to diagnose and treat illness, and provide individualized, evidence-based care to a particular population (Chism, 2013). Throughout the past decades, the responsibilities of the NP have expanded and evolved due to the advances in healthcare. NPs are responsible for understanding the complex life process of patients and must integrate evidence-based research into clinical practice (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2006). NPs focus on meeting the current and the future health needs of the patient population. With the increase in the complexity of the healthcare system, the doctorate has become the preferred preparation for advanced nursing practice in order to improve the quality of care (AACN, 2006). The doctorate of nursing practice (DNP) is a terminal degree in nursing. It is designed to prepare individuals for specialized nursing practice (AACN, 2006). A significant foundation for the practice of a DNP is the “Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice” (AACN, 2006).

Incorporated into the curriculum of a graduate nurse obtaining a doctorate degree are the DNP Essentials (AACN, 2006). Building upon the Master’s degree essentials and integrating evidence-based practice and quality improvement, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) created the essentials as a set of quality indicators for doctoral nursing education (2006). The DNP Essentials document is made up of eight components deemed necessary for all graduate nurses of a DNP program to possess. Essentials V-VIII will be addressed in this paper.
The fifth essential entitle...

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