The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree has been designated by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) as the graduate degree for advanced practice nurses (APNs). Currently, obtaining this degree remains an option; pursuit of a doctoral degree in nursing is a personal and professional decision made by some APNs. The trend toward doctoral preparation appears to be gaining momentum, however, and after the year 2015 it may be difficult to find a nurse practitioner program that awards a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).
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