During April, millions around the world will commemorate World Health Day, Earth Day, and three religious observances: Easter, Passover, and the beginning of Ramadan. These events speak to the diversity of humankind and our natural, yet challenging, coexistence. In May, we will continue the celebrations beyond the usual Nurses Day in honor of the Year of the Nurse and Midwife. Nurses are a common denominator in the struggle to provide quality healthcare to meet the needs of people everywhere.
Nurses make a difference with their presence, knowledge, skill, and caring. Many countries have invested resources to elevate the profession and the work done by nurses, educating and training them for a higher level of competence and greater authority in delivering care.
Advanced nursing practice
Globally, there are numerous titles used to designate what we know in the US as an NP. Scope of practice also varies, but nurses with advanced privileges generally have advanced education and training or specialization. The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties continues to work on moving forward the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) preparation/degree as entry-to-practice for NPs by 2025.1 At the 2019 Summit, leaders from 20 practice, licensure, accreditation, certification, and educational organizations revised the plan and strengthened the strategies for achieving this goal.2 Of course, there is still controversy on this move, but many DNP faculty, students, and graduates are making a substantial difference. Furthermore, a stronger emphasis on documenting outcomes of DNP education is ongoing.
Featured DNP articles
Since 2014, TheNurse Practitioner journal has dedicated its April issue to highlight the DNP degree. This year, two articles with DNP authors are featured; the first article is representative of how NPs can be leaders for change in practice, and the second demonstrates how faculty are creative in order to enrich student experiences. Michelle Deem, DNP, FNP-BC, and coauthors report a quality improvement project that was conducted to improve screening for microalbuminuria in patients with type 2 diabetes, identify those with diabetic kidney disease, and initiate appropriate treatment. Karen Higgins, DNP, FNP-BC, and Olivia Newby, DNP, FNP-BC, CDE, faculty at Old Dominion University, share how their school of nursing partnered in an innovative program with a regional NP organization to provide mentoring to DNP students. Students actively participated on the leadership board while completing a project, thereby gaining experiences in leadership, advocacy, policy, and advanced practice. The authors and I welcome your comments.
Jamesetta A. Newland, PhD, FNP-BC, FAANP, DPNAP, FAAN
1. National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties. The Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree: Entry to Nurse Practitioner Practice by 2025. 2018. https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.nonpf.org/resource/resmgr/dnp/v3_05.2018_NONPF_DNP_Stateme.pdf
2. National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties. The Doctor of Nursing Practice Summit Update Summary from Workgroups August 14, 2019. 2019. https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.nonpf.org/resource/resmgr/dnp/20190814_dnp_summit_workgrou.pdf