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25 Informative Q&A Sites on the Duties and Responsibilities of DNPs

In many institutions, advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), including nurse practitioners, clinical nurse spec

ialists, certified nurse midwives and certified nurse anesthetists are prepared in master’s degree programs that often carry a credit load equivalent to doctoral degrees in the other health professions. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), this level of education calls for educating APRNs and nurses seeking top systems and/or organizational roles in doctorate of nurse practice (DNP) programs.

Currently, 153 DNP programs are currently enrolling students at schools of nursing nationwide, and an additional 106 DNP programs are in the planning stages. But, the edges to this degree remain fuzzy — so we’ve gathered 25 informative question-and-answer sites that outline the DNP’s duties and responsibilities.

Single Questions

Nurse Practitioner

  1. College Planning? How to receive a DNP (Doctorate of Nursing Practice)? A high school student asks about the worthiness of going after a DNP, and the right route to get there with several answers to her questions.
  2. DNP=PhD-Light, or Old Wine in New Bottles? This editorial is a critique of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and PhD degrees for nurses, with a historical context. This topic is relevant because a growing number of US nursing schools have recently indicated that a clinically focused advanced practice degree should become the entry into practice requirement for advanced practice nurses.
  3. Ethics: Is the Doctor of Nursing Practice Ethical? The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing provides a thoughtful answer to this provocative question. This debate is framed around four ethical principles associated with the DNP: (a) social responsibility, (b) respect for persons, (c) do no harm, and (d) justice as fairness.
  4. How long does it take to get a Doctorate of Nursing Practice DNP? One answer to this question…but scroll down to find similar questions with other answers. According to this answer, the actual length of time depends much on how long it takes a student to prepare and defend their dissertation which typically follows the prescribed credit coursework.
  5. Is it all going to DNP? Another All Nurses question from a person who currently is in an ADN program. Many answers to this question from both sides of the fence.
  6. Making room for Dr. Nurse: This forum question about the DNP degree provides many answers from various perspectives at
  7. MD vs DNP: Which route should I take? A student lays out a career and asks whether it would be better to become a doctor or a DNP, with several answers to that question.
  8. MSN vs. DNP Nurse Practitioner Applications – Which Diploma Is Suitable for Me? This question and detailed answer compares the differences between the MSN and DNP degrees. This answer also addresses the BSN.
  9. Nurse Practitioners — Doctors? This article addresses the debate on whether or not DNPs should be called “doctors.” Written by Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA is the executive producer and host of the Health in 30 Radio Show and founder of, a featured writer on Huffington Post, and an administrative head nurse at a teaching hospital.
  10. Question about NP/DNP: This single question about becoming a DNP garnered several answers at the All Nurses site. This person was afraid that if he/she decided on a certain area then there would be little room to move upward.
  11. Should I earn my Doctor of Nursing Practice? Currently, there is only one answer to this question, which states that a DNP degree provides nurse practitioners with credentials that are similar to physicians, clinical psychologists and dentists. Read on to learn more about earning this degree.
  12. Will the new Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree be an acceptable alternative to the master’s degree requirement for Advance Practice Nurse Prescribers (APNP)? One long question, but a relevant answer is offered. Some nursing programs have proposed to change their advanced practice nurse programs from a BSN-to-MSN program to a BSN-to-DNP without the intermediate master’s degree in nursing.

Sites and Larger DNP Q&A Venues

Nurse Practitioner

  1. ANCC DNP Survey Results Released: Although not displayed in a Q&A format, this American Nurses Credentialing Center survey result does ask the questions that were present on that survey and reveals the answers.
  2. DNP Answers: This section of the Advance Healthcare POV site provides numerous questions with lengthy answers. Several authors answer questions, or topics, which can provide some interesting insights into the implications of this degree.
  3. DNP Certifying Exam — Q&A: National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) developed a certifying exam for doctors of nursing practice, which has led to a number of questions about their scope of services and about how they develop assessments.
  4. DNPs and PhDs: Your Questions Answered: Two experts answer some common questions surrounding doctoral study, from the admission process to program requirements. Both doctoral-prepared nurses, they can speak to their personal experiences as they now guide other nurses as university administrators.
  5. Doctor of Nursing Program Online: Everything You Need to Know About Executive Leadership: This document is an an excerpt of the Community Chat Session with Dr. Catherine Garner, Dean of Health Professions at American Sentinel University.
  6. Doctors of Nursing Practice: The mission of Doctors of Nursing Practice, LLC is to create a forum for the communication of information, ideas, and innovations to promote the growth and development of the practice doctorate degree. This entire site contains many questions and answers. One page filled with questions and answers broaches the origins of this degree.
  7. Frequently Asked Questions [PDF]: This document, provided by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the Bureau of Health Professions, Division of Nursing, addresses the Affordable Care Act and Advanced Nursing Education Expansion (ANEE) Program, including answers about the DNP degree.
  8. Frequently Asked Questions about the Doctor of Nursing Practice [PDF]: The American Nurses Association (ANA) produced this Q&A document about becoming a DNP. A contact is included in case you have more questions after reading this information.
  9. Position Statement on the Practice Doctorate in Nursing: On October 25, 2004, the members of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) endorsed the Position Statement on the Practice Doctorate in Nursing. This frequently asked questions page provides answers to queries about the DNP degree.
  10. The Doctor of Nursing Practice: Looking Back, Moving Forward [PDF]: This document is not a form question-and-answer format, but it creates an educated foundation for any further questions you may have about the DNP degree. It covers the entire DNP question, along with summary and references.
  11. The Doctor of Nursing Practice: What are your thoughts? The April 2011 edition of The Nurse Practitioner focused on DNP issues, questions and answers. The DNP degree remains a topic of lively discussion in the nursing community — by necessity in academia and increasingly due to the interest and impact among clinicians.
  12. Top 10 Questions About the DNP: This page contains answers to 10 frequently asked questions about the doctor of nursing practice degree.
  13. Understanding the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP): Evolution, Perceived Benefits and Challenges [PDF]: Although not a real question-and-answer format, this document provides an excellent background for the DNP, and may answer many questions about this degree, such as “Will all APNs have to get a DNP?”

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