In response to the Institute of Medicine’s 2001 report titled “Crossing the Quality Chasm,” the American Association of College of Nursing (AACN) examined nursing’s critical role in both ensuring the highest quality of healthcare for patients and the broader community.

Nursing – and nurses – are essential to high-quality health care, coordinating care transitions, and activating patients into advocates for their own health.
Just like the MSN, the Doctor of Nursing Practice is a degree, with a clinical or a systems focus, and whose graduates may have a wide range of different responsibilities.

In addition to clinical responsibilities, there are a variety of administrative and leadership roles nurses may fill in education, informatics, public policy, public health, or administration.The DNP prepares students for organization leadership and systems change, and Nurses with a DNP would be ideally suited for the high-level health system, academic, and policy making roles.

The curriculum for the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, as outlined in the AACN’s Essentials of Doctoral Education, provides DNP graduates with a wide range of skills that any of these important nursing roles demand.


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