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Doctoral Education for WOC Nurses Considering Advanced Practice Nursing

Pieper, Barbara; Colwell, Janice

Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing: May/June 2012 - Volume 39 - Issue 3 - p 249–255
doi: 10.1097/WON.0b013e318254c3ca

Advanced practice nursing education is at a crossroads. Societal changes, increased health care demands, and leadership nursing organizations have identified the need of a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree as the advanced practice degree. WOC nurses need to examine DNP programs when considering returning for an advanced practice degree. This article explores nursing education at the doctorate level and areas the WOC nurse should consider when making a decision about attending a program. The WOC nurse needs to understand the similarities and differences of the doctor of philosophy and the DNP, issues about each program and its completion, personal factors, and the application process. Although selecting a doctoral program is a daunting experience, the education will provide opportunities for the WOC nurse to excel as a scholar, thus influencing the profession and the practice.

Barbara Pieper, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, CWOCN, FAAN, Professor/Nurse Practitioner, College of Nursing, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan.

Janice Colwell, MS, RN, CWOCN, FAAN, Advanced Practice Nurse, Department of Surgery, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.

Correspondence: Barbara Pieper, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, CWOCN, FAAN, College of Nursing, Wayne State University, 5557 Cass Ave, Detroit, MI 48202 (

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Copyright © 2012 by the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society