BSN to DNP Programs
Many colleges and universities offer an option to allow nurses who currently possess only a bachelor’s degree to enter a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program without requiring them to first earn a master’s degree. Some schools offer what is typically referred to as a post-baccalaureate DNP program while others offer a BSN to DNP program.
What are Typical Requirements for BSN to DNP programs?
A “true” BSN to DNP program will require that the nurse already possess a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree prior to being accepted into the DNP doctorate program. Depending on the college or university, there may also be a requirement that the BSN held by the applying nurse be from an institution accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the National League for Nurses Accrediting Commission (NLNAC).
What is a Post-Baccalaureate DNP Program?
The phrase “post-baccalaureate DNP program” is used to describe any program/track designed for students currently holding a bachelor’s degree to allow them to earn a DNP. These programs typically not only include a BSN to DNP option, but also include an option allowing nurses to enter the Doctor of Nursing Practice program even if they possess a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing. These post-baccalaureate DNP programs will often have additional requirements for thoses nurses possessing a non-BSN bachelor’s degree.
For example, the school will typically require that such an applicant already be a Registered Nurse. Also, the applicant will often be required to take additional transitional courses at the beginning of their doctorate program.
Is the BSN to DNP or Post-Baccalaureate DNP Worth It?
There are very few fields of study where someone holding a bachelor’s degree can enter a program to obtain a doctorate-level degree without first having earned a Master’s degree. So it’s an opportunity not available in many fields.
Additionally, DNP programs develop advanced practitioners of nursing by improving their leadership and advanced clinical practice skills. This program may provide the graduate with more opportunities for career enhancement.