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J Nurs Educ. 2008 Oct;47(10):466-72.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice degree and research: are we making an epistemological mistake?

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Shenandoah University, 1775 N. Sector Ct., Winchester, VA 22601, USA.


There has been much discussion in the literature about whether Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) curricula should prepare students to be principle investigators of research or whether this skill should be left to other doctorally prepared nurses. Currently, nurse practitioners have to rely on medical research to support their practice due to a lack of research and researchers. Consequently, these practitioners run the risk of adopting practice values of medicine rather than those unique to this specialty. Despite this risk, several national organizations have recommended that DNP programs not prepare graduates to be principle investigators. Epistemologically, this decision poses several levels of concern, including failure to analyze the adequacy of our current approach to research, the mixed messages presented in the position statements of these national organizations, and the effects of the looming doctoral faculty shortage. These issues, among others, are explored in this article.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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