Research Paper on Educational and Professional Goals and the DNP Degree

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  1081 Words
Date:  2022-06-13


The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree is useful in preparing Registered Nurses as leaders in healthcare innovations as well as the ability to influence policy in the healthcare system. Nurses obtain an education as skilled clinicians and influential leaders in the future. In the DNP, nurses familiarize themselves with topics such as leadership and management skills, statistics, evidence-based practice and nursing science. Even though the DNP is not a research degree, students are encouraged to research as it is critical for nurses who hold a DNP to influence the nursing practice and healthcare policies. In that case, most of the nurses undertaking the DNP program combine coursework and a final scholarly project. Based on the understanding of what it is entailed in DNP programs, students must be aware that their learning will be aligned with their short-term and long-term goals in nursing. The essay provides a discussion of the short-term and professional goals in nursing and how earning the DNP degree will be of help in achieving these goals.

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Short-Term Goals

The nursing school and a plan for the nursing career inform the short-term goals that need to be achieved. The short-term goals are to complete the nursing education within the next five years. It is essential to graduate and pursue the next step of training in nursing. After completing the Bachelor of Science Nursing Degree, starting the DNP program will be crucial to help in achieving the short-term education goals. The Master program was a motivator towards undertaking a career as a nurse educator to gain skills in solving contemporary challenges in the American healthcare system. With a well-informed quality patient care education and experience during the Master program, it is critical for a nurse practitioner to obtain knowledge of the United States healthcare system and the problem of nurse educator shortages. Therefore, the focus of the short-term goal is to complete the DNP program and become an astute professor. It is a useful nursing career that provides extensive research support to help support different nursing fields and take the lead responsibility in nurturing young and aspiring nurses in their practical and evidence-based practice.

Long-Term Goals

The long-term goals in nursing are guided and informed by the short-term goals. After completing the nurse education, applying the knowledge and experience gained from the nursing practice in different fields will be a significant long-term focus. In this case, elevating one's professionalism and marketability is a critical decision that must be made in the future. Becoming a mental health nurse expert is a vital long-term goal that will be useful in imparting knowledge to students while working as an astute professor. In the long-term, working to create a psychological health awareness within the U.S. and other countries in the world is an essential goal to help the many people suffering from mental health illnesses. A mental health nurse works close to patients with mental health problems as one has gained the knowledge and expertise in assessing, diagnosing as well as treating those with psychiatric disease (Theophilos, Green, & Cashin, 2015).

How Earning the DNP Degree will Help in Reaching These Goals

Completing the DNP degree will be useful in achieving the short-term and long-term goals. Earning the DNP degree in the next five years will be the basis for obtaining certification as an astute professor. The nurse education goals will have been achieved after graduating with a DNP degree. Apart from meeting the short-term goals, earning the DNP degree will be significant in reaching the long-term goals of becoming an expert as a mental health nurse. The DNP graduate program improves the academic tenure of the nurse educator by equipping one with professional skills. That knowledge is useful in promoting scholarship and evidence-based practice when teaching mental health students as an astute professor.

The professional skills gained in a DNP program are crucial for a mental health nurse to help in creating awareness of mental health illnesses in different populations within and outside the United States. Many of the Americans are struggling with mental health diseases in silence instead of seeking help (Theophilos et al., 2015). It is also important to understand that the mental health needs in the U.S. surpassed the number of available specialized providers. Earning the DNP degree will be of help to mental health institutions where a mental health nurse can serve the patients with psychiatric illnesses. The mental health nurse can assist in improving the interdisciplinary practice within the healthcare organizations by applying evidence-based and collaborative practice for better patient care.

Completion of the DNP program will help a nurse educator in raising awareness to the various populations regarding different mental health conditions that affect children, adolescents and adults who may be or not undergoing treatment. The knowledge is necessary to lead other professionals in healthcare institutions in addressing the challenges posed to the population. A DNP graduate is prepared to lead in inter-professional dimensions of healthcare and can facilitate the collaboration of teams to overcome any difficulties in the inter-professional practice (Fitzpatrick & Kazer, 2009).

Research shows that nine out of ten of college students die through suicide in the U.S. (Downs & Eisenberg, 2012). Additionally, 66% of the adults in America remain with untreated mental illnesses (Social Care, Local Government, and Care Partnership Directorate, 2014). Earning the DNP degree is useful in helping the nation with informing such students on the prevention strategies and treatment of their suicidal ideation. Further, the professional skills obtained from the DNP program will be essential in pushing for prevention services, influence mental health policy, identification as well as intervention strategies needed in helping the young people. The acquired skills from the DNP program will also assist in closing the gap in knowledge for adults with mental health diseases and stay untreated. One can also lead a team of experts to the development of initiatives that promote the general healthcare to the populations on the clinical manifestations of mental health problems among adults.


Downs, M., & Eisenberg, D. (2012). Help-Seeking and Treatment Use Among Suicidal College Students. Journal of American College Health, 60(2); 104-114.

Fitzpatrick, J., & Kazer, M. (2009). The doctor of nursing practice and clinical nurse leader: Essentials of program development and implementation for clinical practice. Springer Publishing Company.

Social Care, Local Government, and Care Partnership Directorate. (2014). Closing the gap: priorities for essential change in mental health. London: Department of Health.

Theophilos, T., Green, R., Cashin, A. (2015). Nurse Practitioner Mental Health Care in the Primary Context: A Californian Case Study. Healthcare, 3, 162-171.

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