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Letter to the Editor on "Doctor of Nursing Practice..."

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November 1, 2005
in response to topic The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP): Need for More Dialogue

Dear Editor:

There are many sides to the debate about the DNP. One side is the idea that the degree is appropriate because many nurses wish to emphasize the clinical side of nursing. Another side, however, is the expression from many in academia that the only true doctorate is the PhD degree. I am concerned that this opinion will lead to the view among those in colleges and universities that the DNP is a second-class credential.

I feel that requiring a DNP for all nurse practitioners is overkill and may well result in less interest in this vital area of nursing. It also may result in making NPs less marketable. Some physicians already feel NPs infringe on their territory and may well feel added paranoia and resistance when NPs have doctorates. At a time when NPs in some states are fighting for their very existence, requiring a DNP may prove to be a political disaster.

It appears to me that there are many aspects to the DNP that need to be considered.

Rebecca Keaton, ARNP/CNM, MSN, MPH