Saturday, March 22, 2008

Defending my future credentials

My preceptor at my nurse practitioner clinicals is very cool. She takes time to teach me what I need to know to be a detail oriented practitioner. Not only that, she takes me to all of her drug-rep sponsored seminars which prove to be educational and serves as a networking opportunity. At one of the seminars, I met this woman who is sharing my preceptor with me. At first I thought she was a very nice person, but then she said something that made me think that she is prejudiced,(my grandmother's way of saying bigoted or mildly racist). The first comment that she made that gave me that impression was when she said the the preceptor does good work for "those people." Generally when people say "those people" they are referring to minority people, specifically black people. I thought, maybe I am being a little sensitive, give the bitch a chance...

So recently, we were at another seminar when she decided to rank on my credentials taking offense to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree I am currently pursuing and researrch interests. I look forward to the opportunity to educate people of what the DNP is all about. The DNP is a terminal degree in nursing, like the PhD. The only difference is that the PhD in nursing is a theory-based designation and the DNP is a clinical practice-based designation. People (like this snob) are making a whole bunch of noise about the validity of the DNP with the thought that it is to make nurses like MDs.

DNPs have absolutely no desire to replace the doctor. As a matter of fact, DNP's cannot use the title "Doctor" in the clinical setting to avoid confusion. In my experience of observing the Nurse Practitioner I would agree that they have all the rights and priviledges of a doctor, even at the master's level. The addition of the DNP is to create leaders in the clinical arena of nursing. It is an academic distinction. I would not want a PhD to perform surgery on me, I would not want a DNP to perform surgery on me unless they were MD's with surgical training. Period. Let me elaborate...

There are one of two tracks that can be followed at my educational institution, a managerial clinical focus and an educational clinical focus. At the end of our doctoral coursework instead of doing a dissertation, we can either do a thesis or a project. The project involves taking another nurse's research and implementing it into practice. Some DNP's are nurse practitioners, others are clinical nurse specialists. Not to complicated, right? I think the bigger issue that is fueling the whole debate about the DNP is the fact that the ANA is pushing the DNP to be minimum requirement for Nurse Practitioners by 2015. Many people are under the impression that master's level nurse practitioners would be grandfathered in. I don't know anything about that.

I mean, at one time it was thought that the the BSN to be the minimum requirement for registered nurses and we all know that will not be happening anytime soon, not with the nursing shortage. Here's an arguement with a bit more relevance. There was a time in history when nurse practitioners were registered nurses with a certificate. There are many nurses are in school right now to get their credentials (bachelors and masters or both) to continue to work as nurse practitioners. That's right, back in the day all you had to be was a registered nurse with a certificate, no bachelors required to be a nurse practitioner! I would not be counting on that whole grandfathering thing.

Anywho, this lady is just bitter. She has low self-esteem and feels a need to pick on people to make herself feel superior to others. I'm not the one. Being in this position is a gift. I am in a position to represent minority nurses and dispel myths. My research focus is going to be related to health disparities in th african american community. I could tell that she disapproved but I don't care! I am going to change the world. Just watch, if you don't know me you will! My nursing work will be world reknown. Now I just need to pass my Adult health course...

DiVa...shakin' those haters off!

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