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DNP Discussions

The DNP's Role in Healthcare Reform

Published July 15, 2016 8:35 AM by Rebecca Bates
Have you thought about how you're using your DNP in your practice? As I write this, a small group of us from my DNP graduating class are finalizing our first state DNP conference. We recognized that we have a national organization, Doctors of Nursing Practice, but our state had no such networking organization. Over the past year, we have created an association and planned our first conference, which will focus on health policy, leadership and disruptive innovations. We have speakers who are leaders in all of these areas who will share their knowledge and experience. The plan is to have special interest groups (SIGs) develop from these focus areas so we can continue exploring how DNPs influence healthcare in our state and our nation.

This planning committee includes two faculty members from our program (who were the visionaries), as well as nurse executives and CRNA, NP and CNS practitioners. By utilizing our various professional networks and knowledge, we believe this DNP association has the power to stimulate and support all DNPs to actively engage all of the AACN DNP Essentials in our practice areas.

As an FNP, learning from other DNPs who have created new models of care, utilize disruptive technologies and improve population health through scholarship, systems leadership, health policy advocacy and interprofessional collaboration has greatly enhanced my practice. Continuing to explore innovative care delivery models to improve outcomes for the uninsured and poor in my free clinics enables me to provide high-quality, cost-effective interventions that directly improve the health of my patients and their families. 

The rising cost of healthcare is unsustainable. Individuals are facing higher deductibles in their insurance plans and often avoid accessing healthcare services, even when insured, because of these deductibles. I challenge each of us to re-examine the DNP Essentials to reach out to other DNPs and colleagues in order to explore new models of care delivery providing more access to services with lower cost and improved outcomes. 

As nurses, we have the power, knowledge and experience to change healthcare. What will be your role in healthcare reform in your workplace, community, state and country?


Thank you for all of your comments.  Our first conference was held July 22-23.  It was amazing.  We gathered over 100 DNPs, faculty, and students from all over the state to explore what the DNP degree has empowered us to do. You may visit our conference page at:  We will be updating this in the near future.

As Andrea Brassard commented above, the Campaign for Action is a great place to start.  I am part of the Virginia Action Coalition.  This a wonderful way to connect with other nurses as we all seek to be able to practice to the full extent of our education and training.  

Rebecca Bates, FNP - Dr. August 4, 2016 10:28 PM

Thank you for your call to action.  As a first step, get involved with the Campaign for Action - we are working to implement the recommendations of The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.  Go to - click on "get involved" - and click on "get connected."  

Andrea Brassard August 4, 2016 11:48 AM
Washington DC

Congratulations on your networking activity.  I would be interested in learning more about this activity.  Thanks.

Susan Conaty-Buck, Family - Asst. Prof/DNP, FNP-C, University of Delaware August 3, 2016 7:19 PM
Newark DE

What a wonderful idea.  I would be interested in learning more and possibly attending your conference. Where and when will it be held?


Erica July 25, 2016 3:31 PM

How can I join Dr. Bates forum?

Renee Denobrega, Np - Dr July 25, 2016 11:30 AM
Reading PA

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