Letter to the editor on "Reflections on the DNP and an Alternate Practice..."

November 1, 2005
in response to topic The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP): Need for More Dialogue

Dear Editor:

This is a comment with regard to the Doctor of Nursing Practice topic, specifically the article by Dreher, Donnelly, and Naremore, discussing various models of the nursing doctorate. In this article describing a new program at Drexel University, the authors state, "What we need is a group of trained clinical researchers who will be adept at identifying from their clinical practice critical problems that can be investigated in the clinical context."

I would suggest a macroanalysis of dissertation topics from the hundreds of nursing doctoral graduates to date. From my knowledge, topics represent an impressive array of theoretical, administrative, educational, and clinical research questions, the four cornerstones around which scope and standards of the profession are written. I am wondering how the authors conclude that clinical research has been neglected. Further, I wonder if clinical research would burgeon by the addition of a new type of degree at a handful of schools. Clinical research is a function of many factors, including access to clinical sites and populations, but that is a topic for another day. The issue is not whether or not nurses will be marginalized within the profession, but how our profession marginalizes itself by confusing the public and our colleagues in other health care disciplines with our constantly changing nomenclature.

Yours truly,

Janet S. D'Arcangelo, PhD, APRN, CS
Advanced Practice Registered Nurse
Licensed and Certified
Psychiatric-Mental Health Clinical Specialist
39 Fitch Avenue
Darien, Connecticut 06820