Foundations and Essentials for the Doctor of Nursing Practice






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Respond TO two of your colleagues by expanding upon your colleague’s post or suggesting an alternative approach for enacting positive social change as a DNP-prepared nurse.


Nichole A Barnette

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Read et al (2016) explains how important it is to have nurse leaders that are insightful and composed of diverse backgrounds.  Furthermore, nurse leaders will impact and be in unique positions to address social change by supporting an “emancipatory nursing” approach that addresses and influences social justice and leads to health and well being for all (para. 5).   

I feel empowered by the opportunity that I will have as a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) prepared nurse to influence personal and professional commitment for advocacy, by positively impacting my patients, my communities, and ultimately my chosen profession as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.  Advocacy is very important to social change. My desire is to inspire other nurses to begin to be innovative and collaborate with other professionals to create a decrease in morbidity and mortality for patients, through increased education and advocacy to ensure compliance for positive change and outcomes.  For example, I had a personal experience where nursing and providers did not advocate appropriately, as it related to medication management.  The pharmacy and providers did not educate a patient regarding risks for missing doses of medication, they did not ensure access to medication, and did not advocate for the patient as a resource.  This resulted in the patient’s death.  “It is our responsibility to serve the interests of society through active and enduring leadership in public and political determinations about health care” (Read et al., 2016, Para.1).  It is my passion as a (DNP) prepared future nurse to bridge the gap in health disparities for women, under-resourced communities, and the lack of education related to preventive care (Walden University, 2022).  With a seat at the table a (DNP) prepared nurse creates a listening ear for social change, and policy changes through inclusivity, insight and an increased knowledge level built with advanced skills that align with the mission at hand, to create an understanding of the social determinants of health, which leads to establishment and production of best outcomes for all (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021).



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Social determinants of health: Know what affects health. to an external site.

Read, C. Y., Pino Betancourt, D. M., & Morrison, C. (2016). 

Social change: A framework for inclusive leadership: Development in nursing education. Links to an external site.
Journal of Nursing Education,
 55(3), 164–167. to an external site.

Walden University. (2022).

Social determinants of health: Understanding vision health equity.Links to an external site. to an external site.


Sherica Mcbride

DNP-Prepared Nurse Reflections 

DNP-Prepared Nurse Reflections

A DNP-prepared nurse has a Doctor of Nursing Practice, which is considered a terminal degree in nursing, as well as a significant achievement in the field. Such achievement comes with a high level of responsibility, both to the profession and to patients. Earning such a degree requires hard work and dedication with an understanding not only the philosophy and skills learned but also the responsibility inherited with such a title. A DNP-prepared nurse is considered a leader in the medical profession and, thus, must understand what it means to be a leader and an advocate for advancing nursing standards and patient care.

Leadership and Advocacy

            DNP-prepared nurses have the highest level of preparation in nursing practice. These programs focus immensely on evidence-based, innovative practice and emphasize applying credible research findings. Presently, the number of DNP-prepared nurses in the medical profession makes up about 2% of the nursing population. There is a great need for such individuals in various sublevels of the medical profession, including faculty, research, and leadership roles. Overall, they have a strong impact and focus on patient and system outcomes, and thus, are able to make sure the latest clinical applications and research-based options and standards are being applied in the medical setting and public health relations (Trautman et al., 2018).

As such, an understanding of leadership is important for DNP-prepared nurses. Jean Watson’s Philosophy and Science of Caring describes nurses’ roles in their communities as leaders in healthcare promotion and initiative (Nursing Theory, n.d.). A DNP-prepared nurse should understand that leadership is not just about invoking or paving the way for change; leadership is also about initiating and igniting change by impacting and teaching other nurses. A leadership mindset prioritizes “an individual’s ability to influence, motivate, and enable others” while achieving the goal (Nyar, 2013, para. 7). Nurses are particularly important in health promotion and community health education efforts and initiatives. As stated by Reinhard, “[nurses] are sometimes the only health professional that people see. They are part of their local community and can shape and deliver effective interventions to meet the needs of patients, families, and communities” (2020, p. 34). As such, nurses are responsible for seeking continuing education, leadership proficiency, and other such initiatives (The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, 2010). A transformational leader is an individual who establishes change while being an example and inspiring others to reach their maximal potential (Tomar, 2019). Such is the type of people we need as DNP-prepared nurses, and this is the inherent standard of leadership with such a title and achievement.

            As far as patient care, nurses, in general, should understand the complex factors and barriers that affect patient care within the healthcare setting. For example, socioeconomic factors are a huge part of patient care, and these factors differ among communities, families, and demographics. Depending on the community that they serve, a nurse will have to understand various socioeconomic influences that might affect their advocacy and health education efforts. A DNP-prepared nurse might play a role in communicating these factors to other nurses and guiding them in campaigns and educational efforts within the respective community. For example, Hispanic communities often have limited access to health care, but diabetes and obesity are pressing health issues among them. There is also a lack of health education. While Hispanics have a lower death rate overall than Caucasians, they have an estimated 50% higher death rate related to diabetes (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015). A DNP-prepared nurse might take a leadership role in public health efforts by communicating these statistics among the nursing population while also guiding the advancement of the best relative healthcare systems, standards, and research in the community.

            In conclusion, a DNP-prepared nurse is a nurse who is prepared in an advanced practice nursing role (APRN) or with a focus in aggregate/systems/organizations (Trautman et al., 2018). DNP-prepared nurses are a small part of the nursing population but play increasingly important roles in various leadership positions throughout healthcare environments and public health initiatives. DNP-prepared nurses, thus, must have an in-depth knowledge of integrative leadership and must understand how to invoke change and healthcare advancements in their relative communities through health education and evidence-based research standards.



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015). Hispanic health.
Links to an external site.

Nursing Theory. (n.d.). Watson’s philosophy and science of caring.
Links to an external site.

Nyar, V. (2013, August 2). Three differences between managers and leaders. Harvard Business Review.
Links to an external site.

Reinhard, S. C. (2020, September 1). Year of the nurse and midwife: AARP and WHO. AARP International: The Journal, 13, 34–35.
Links to an external site.

The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. (2010). The Future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health.
Links to an external site.

Tomar, D. A. (2019). 10 organizational leadership styles — Study starters. The Quad.
Links to an external site.

Trautman, D. E., Idzik, S., Hammersla, M., & Rosseter, R. (2018). Advancing scholarship through translational research: The role of PhD and DNP prepared nurses. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 23(2).       

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