How to Get Your DNP

How to Get Your DNP

Nurse Nacole of the #CarChronicles series talks to about getting her DNP, how to find a DNP program, and the advantages of an online DNP program.

How to Get Your DNP

Nurse Nacole of the #CarChronicles series talks to about getting her DNP, how to find a DNP program, and the advantages of an online DNP program.


    Hey guys, it’s Nacole.

    This is going to be a video on the DNP route and some frequently asked questions that I receive.

    I decided to go on to graduate school and finally get my DNP, which is my doctorate in nursing practice. In the very end, I’ll be a nurse practitioner. I decided to pursue this route because I really love the bedside, but I would like more responsibility when it came to creating those care plans and medical plans.

    Obviously, I’ll be collaborating with physicians and other medical professionals,
    but this is something that my heart is drawn to and something that I’ve always wanted to do.

    With the DNP, again, you’re going to be a nurse practitioner, creating and collaborating medical
    plans for your patients. Whether you work at a private practice, or a hospital, or a long term care
    facility, you’re basically rounding on patients, making sure they’re doing well, answering any sort of medical questions they have and again, helping to create that medical plan.

    Show Full Transcript

    A DNP program looks different depending on what program you’re in. But mainly, it’s graduate school. It’s a lot of papers. Some of them have a lot of online portions. And again, you have those clinicals. And that’s, again, like nursing school, you’re working for free.

    You’re trying to look at a nurse practitioner actually do his or her job to see if you like it. Usually you go through different types of specialties. OB, gyno, pediatrics. I’m doing acute care as well,
    and pediatric acute care too. So depending on your degree, your clinicals will vary of course.

    I picked my particular DNP program based off its online components and its clinicals locally. I work full time and I have a small toddler, so going to school traditionally– meaning Monday through Friday–is something that I cannot do. So I went online and found a program that had that acute care and family route that I was looking for, that my heart was crushing over, because I love acute care, but I also love family. So I got a dual track program. And again, they have that great online portion.

    And don’t knock online programs because I’m able to do my clinicals locally and meet the professionals and create a really, really great network.

    The application process was a bit drawn out. Once you get all your transcripts, and your essays, and your recommendation letters all jumbled up, sending the application can be a bit stressful. So I say, take it one day at a time, one paper at a time, and do not get overwhelmed because this is your one shot. Once a school says they don’t want you, that’s kind of it.

    So take the process very seriously, double check your spelling on your essay, and make sure you get really, really good recommendations.

    A lot of people ask me the difference between undergrad and graduate, and it’s really
    the workload and the way you study. With undergrad, I could study two hours a week and be fine. That is not possible when it comes to grad school. I’m studying three hours a day.

    Even though I’m studying that much, my paper or my test might not be a satisfactory grade in my eyes. It requires a lot more studying, and the papers are more in-depth, and the APA format dimensions and parameters are overwhelming within themselves.

    So graduate school is kind of a whole new level, I must say, and I’m still getting used to it. I’m two years in and I’m still getting used to it.

    Online components.

    Not every program has online components, but usually this is where you submit your papers and your tests, and things like that. But the clinicals must be done, obviously, in the real life setting.

    So that’s why I tell people, don’t knock online programs because you’re still doing your clinicals locally, you’re creating a network, and you’re still a part of the community.

    That’s really my two cents when it comes to the DNP route. I love bedside, and that’s why I chose this route.

    Please be sure to check out the DNP page on

    Thanks for watching, guys.

    Have a great day on your nursing journey.



  • Click here to learn more about the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree.