I write in response to the Doctor of Nursing Practice topic. Never before in the history of public health, and in the nursing profession in particular, has nursing theory and practice been at such a critical crossroads. Worldwide natural disasters, threats of pandemic infectious diseases, escalating global conflicts resulting in genocide of the masses, lack of adequate access to health care by vulnerable populations, disregard and contempt for the poor, all compounded by the current nursing shortage and internal nursing professional schisms, speak to the public health crisis at hand. Let's not make an already challenging situation more difficult. I am all for advancing the clinical competencies and educational standards for advanced practice nurses. However, the dialogue for whether or not the DNP, PhD, or ND should be the terminal degree for advanced practice nursing needs further exploration. Although nursing practice, education, administration, and health care policy are all important issues that require further thoughtful consideration, the public health interests of the varied populations we serve need to be our primary focus. Hopefully, all nursing professionals can join together in unity, wisdom, and compassion in the near future to actualize the emerging vision for empowered and doctorally educated advanced practice nurses.
Carol A. Knapp, LCSW
Accelerated RN Student
Downstate Medical Center College of Nursing
Brooklyn, New York