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J Prof Nurs. 2009 Mar-Apr;25(2):75-80. doi: 10.1016/j.profnurs.2008.10.004.

Doctorate in nursing practice: a survey of massachusetts nurses.

Author information

  • 1Boston College, William F. Connell School of Nursing, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467, USA. demarcro@bc.edu


Recently, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) resolved that a new practice degree, the doctorate in nursing practice (DNP), is to become the terminal practice degree and minimum education standard for advanced practice nurses by the year 2015(American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2004). AACN position statement on the practice doctorate in nursing. Retrieved July 1, 2007, from http://www.aacn.nche.edu.html). The DNP will have a clinical-intensive focus. Advanced practice nurses potentially impacted by this resolution will include nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and clinical nurse specialists. A task force at the William F. Connell School of Nursing at Boston College conducted an electronic survey in 2006 in an attempt to understand nurses' thoughts about doctoral preparation and the interest of nurses in Massachusetts in pursuing doctoral study. A self-selected group of 376 nurses participated in the study. Nurses identified both positive and negative perceptions related to the degree's viability and practicality, with a majority (55%) preferring the DNP as an educational option.

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