Defining and describing capacity issues in U.S. Doctor of Nursing Practice programs.

Minnick AF, Norman LD, Donaghey B
Nurs Outlook. 2013 61 (2): 93-101

PMID: 22902048 · DOI:10.1016/j.outlook.2012.07.011

Recent calls to expand the number of U.S. Doctors of Nursing Practice (DNPs) raises questions about programs' capacities, content and requirements, and their ability to expand. This paper aims to describe (1) key aspects of DNP program capacities that may provide direction for DNP program expansion plans, the timing of such expansion and program QI efforts; and (2) the impact of the DNP on faculty resources for research doctoral programs. A survey of all U.S. DNP programs (n = 130; response rate 72%) was conducted in 2011 based on previously tested items. Reviews of Web sites of nonresponding schools provided some data from all programs. Ratios of students to faculty active in advanced practice (AP) and in QI (QI) were high (AP 11.0:1, SD 10.1; QI 20.2:1, SD 17.0 respectively). There was wide variation in scholarly requirements (0-4: 50% of program had none) and program committee composition (1-5; mode=2). Almost all responding schools that offered PhD and DNP programs reported assigning research-active or potentially research-active faculty in both programs. The ability to expand programs while maintaining quality may be compromised by capacity issues. Addressing demand issues through the alignment of program requirements with societal and employment requirements may provide directions for addressing current DNP capacity issues.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

MeSH Terms (11)

Curriculum Education, Nursing, Graduate Health Services Needs and Demand Health Workforce Humans Nurse Practitioners Nursing Education Research Program Development Schools, Nursing Students, Nursing United States

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