Recouping the Cost of a DNP Program
Q: I am very excited about obtaining a DNP, but I am at an age;
will I recoup $30,000.00 and incidental expenses? I know some will say, but this
is for your knowledge. I understand, but is there any money or financial
assistance for this? I reviewed several of the universities and it seems they
only give grants etc. to PhD students.
I would say that my favorite thing about the DNP is the many doors of opportunity that it opens. While I can’t say that I made an increase in salary that will over time directly recover the cost of my degree (I am 50, by the way), I can see the potential for using my skills as an entrepreneur, consultant and educator on a larger scale to bring about systemwide improvements. I am currently working with my professional organization to promote a research/translation initiative, and having taken an NFLP (Nurse Faculty Loan Program) loan from the federal government, I am pursuing my goal of teaching new nurses. My approach as I entered the DNP program was that I did not expect to see a financial return (a faculty salary is actually less than my ACNP salary in the emergency department), but that it would lead me toward my professional goals and equip me with the skills to understand how to effect change by tailoring it to the environment. What I have found are numerous opportunities to exercise the knowledge, which have reaped financial rewards in addition to the more intangible ones.
I would strongly advise that you speak with the financial aid services at each institution you consider for the DNP. There are several programs, whether they are loans or grants, which may be used for DNP education. The DNP is also very new; you may be the first person to ask if the NFLP program is accessible to DNP candidates, as well as those starting the PhD program. A savvy financial aid counselor will pursue the question and your answer may be a solution to paying that tuition.
Editor's note: Here at the DNP Answers blog we take your questions about the DNP and answer them as best we can. This question is answered by blogger Meg Carman, DNP, ACNP-BC, CEN, who serves on faculty in the ABSN program at the Duke University School of Nursing in Durham, N.C. She also practices with Wake Emergency Physicians in Raleigh. Comment below to discuss this topic, or send new questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.