Should We Be Certified As DNPs?
With the push for doctoral-level nurse practitioners, one of the major questions has been should NPs have to take an extended certification exam in order to be recognized as a Doctor of Nursing. This topic is highly controversial because most practice-based professions that have a doctoral degree do not required an extended certification in order to practice (i.e. physical therapists, pharmacists, etc.) Unfortunately though NPs are faced with physician counterparts arguing that although doctoral-level NPs have extended education, they do not have extended certification by a certifying body and therefore no difference should be made in the clinical arena between a nurse practitioner and a doctor of nursing practice. Many have argued that DNP graduates should the Comprehensive Care Certification (CCC) yet many NP organizations are saying no to such an exam.
So should we have to take an extra certification upon completion of our DNP education? I personally have not decided one way or another. In support of certification, I feel it does provide us with further leverage in both the clinical arena as well as in legislative issues. Certification would also provide a standard of accreditation for DNPs rather than simply going to school and coming out with a DNP especially due to the vast difference in some DNP educations. On the other side, I feel that the DNP education certainly does not support a further certification necessity. The focus of my DNP education was on leadership, evidence-based practice, and transformational care rather than on increased clinical knowledge like pathophysiology etc. So could this education and expanded knowledge actually be tested?? The debate certainly continues and I hope to hear some of your thoughts on whether or not DNP graduates should have to face certification exams.