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NANNP Corner

How Will DNP as Entry into Practice Affect the NNP?

Lee Shirland, MS APRN NNP-BC, NAPS Co-Coordinator, NANNP Council Chair

In April 2018 the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) announced a mandate that made a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) a prerequisite for entry into practice for nurse practitioners by 2025. This controversial mandate was passed despite strong opposition from certification and licensing bodies and without full inclusion of all nurse practitioner specialties. Opposition to this mandate is based on the lack of evidence supporting an improvement of outcomes when patients are cared for by a nurse practitioner with a DNP as opposed to one with a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).

So what does this mean for the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP)? Will new NNPs entering practice in and after 2025 be required to have a DNP? Where does NANNP stand and how have we advocated for NNPs on this important practice issue? Will all NNP education programs be required to change from MSN programs to DNP programs by 2025, thereby decreasing or further limiting the pool of NNPs available to the workforce?

NANNP has worked strategically with national organizations and credentialing bodies to not only craft a response to this mandate, but also to develop critical strategy going forward. NANNP’s position statement on the DNP as entry into practice is currently being updated to reflect current evidence and where we stand on the issue in the face of the NONPF mandate. This critical issue will be a topic of discussion at the APRN Summit on October 16, 2018, in Anaheim, California. During the meeting, we will answer the questions posed at the beginning of this piece and will explain NANNP’s strategy in response to this mandate. If you are an NNP, this is an important meeting to attend so that you can find out how NANNP is working and advocating for you. If you cannot attend, maybe one of your colleagues or peers would be willing to do so and bring back this important information to all NNPs in your practice.

I would like to thank NANNP Council member Sandy Bellini, DNP APRN NNP-BCCNE, for all her hard work as the NONPF liaison for NANNP. Sandy’s tireless efforts and creative problem-solving skills have been an invaluable asset to NANNP on this critical issue.

I look forward to seeing you in Anaheim in October.

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