The DNP in the ED
Q: Please describe the DNP role in your NP specialty.
A: I will step up on my DNP soapbox once again to say that completing
your DNP serves to open up a new way of thinking, a way to approach
your practice. It is not an avenue for developing a new position or
making more money.
The DNP provides you with the tools and resources to understand how
to find and evaluate the evidence for best practice, to look at your own
practice setting, and to develop the skills to bring best practice to
your environment. It allows you to grow!
The DNP helps you to take all those problems in the system that leave
you with a burning feeling in the pit of your stomach, and figure out
how to bring about solutions. It helps to alleviate those situations
when you’ve looked at a great new idea in the literature and tried it
out, but you are left scratching your head and saying, ”Why didn’t that
Most DNP programs include courses on graduate level statistics,
translation of evidence, leadership, and advocacy in the advanced
practice role. The capstone is completed at the culmination of many
programs, which allows students to incorporate their learning into one
project of meaning in their current practice.
In my emergency department practice, I use my DNP knowledge to prompt
me to develop a clinical question- how we might change processes, or if
we are delivering best practice. Is there a guideline that could be
applied to a subpopulation within our department?
My current interest lies in differentiating patients who come to the
ED because their chronic pain is inadequately managed. These patients
may be on a pain contract, or they may be “doctor shopping” to get
relief. We often stigmatize them or categorize them as “drug seekers,”
while they are experiencing true pain in a system that is not addressing
the problem adequately.
How do we assess patients presenting for chronic pain in the ED? How
do we differentiate them from persons seeking opioid therapy for
diversion or addiction? Are there tools that we can use to accomplish
this? And are they appropriate in this population? How can we think
outside of the box, other than providing a Motrin and a Percocet, to
address their needs within the ED setting?
I’ll let you know when I get my answers.
note: The DNP Answers blog addresses your questions about the DNP. This
post is contributed 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.
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