Certification if Graduating With an MSN in 2015
Q: I am just finishing my BSN and will graduate in December 2012. I have a BSBA, ADN, LPN-Diploma and associate degree in general education. I am now considering doing the FNP program but I will be in the middle of the program when the DNP is required to set for the boards in 2015. I work full-time, I have a family that depends on my income, and I am a little scared about the doctorate program. I’m not sure if I am smart enough. If I do start the MSN program for FNP, what will happen with the MSN-FNP degree in 2015? Will those students be allowed to set for the boards in 2015 or have to apply to a DNP program to finish meeting the requirements?
A: I want to applaud you for your persistence and your hard work attaining all these degrees and having the desire to do more! FNP is a great choice, but of course I am a little biased because I have enjoyed being a FNP and a career in nursing.
FNP practice requirements vary from state to state. Being licensed to practice is different than being certified. Currently California, Kansas and Indiana do not require national certification to practice. However, I highly recommend an NP be certified in his or her practice specialty. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing recommends (does not mandate) converting FNP education to doctoral programs by 2015. But, as far as certification goes there are no plans to require a doctoral degree to sit for either the ANCC or AANP certification exam by 2015.
Choosing between a master’s and doctoral program is a personal decision. In my opinion it is about making a commitment based on your unique set of circumstances. In other words, do what is best for you. We often feel uncertain about how best to reach our dreams, and we may consequently doubt our abilities. But through life’s challenges we also grow to be confident. With persistence and hard work, we may indeed reach our dreams. I sense you have the work ethic to be successful in either program. Do spend some time researching various programs and their requirements. Also, be cognizant that some universities are in the process of transitioning from a master’s to a doctoral program and you want to be prepared for changes associated with this move. For more information about DNP program transition, read Current MSN Students and the DNP Transition.
Editor's note: At the DNP Answers blog, nurse practitioners with a DNP answer your questions about the degree. This question is answered by blogger Mai Kung, NP, DNP. Comment below to discuss this topic, or send new questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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