nurse uses stethoscope on child

Paper Highlights Potential Crisis in Clinical Nurse Practitioner Preparation

September 11, 2019

Columbia Nursing’s Mary Mundinger, DrPH, Dean Emerita and Edward M. Kennedy Professor of Health Policy in the Faculty of Nursing, co-authored a paper looking into the potential shortages in the future workforce of advanced clinical practice nurses, given current educational trends in Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs.

The paper, titled, “Potential Crisis in Nurse Practitioner Preparation in the United States,” was published in Policy, Politics & Nursing Practice.

It is the first publication to use the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) survey data. The survey shows that only 15 percent of DNP programs are clinical in nature; the remaining 85 percent are either administrative or leadership focused.

“The AACN policy to phase out clinical master’s programs by 2015 has not happened but is in the works, and, in addition to the small number of clinical DNP programs, is going to severely limit the production of advanced practice clinical nurses,” notes Mundinger. “The adequate production of nurse practitioners in the future may be in jeopardy with this imbalance in educational resources, especially with the nation’s growing need for primary care clinicians.”

Columbia Nursing has been a leader in the clinical DNP phenomenon; however, according to the survey, most DNP programs do not have a clinical focus.