Lead. Practice. Transform. These words apply to the vision, endorsed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) in 2004, that the entry level for all advanced practice nurses should be the DNP degree. Though the 2015 target date for full implementation of that vision has passed, the vision is still clear that the complexity of the U.S. healthcare system demands that advanced practice nurses (APRNs) practice at the highest level of education and to the full scope of their education, certification, and licensure. While education is essential, transition to practice is equally important. Any transition to a new role comes with both rewards and challenges. Dr. Deborah Dillon, associate professor and director of the AGACNP program at Duquesne University School of Nursing and a practicing acute care nurse practitioner, helps APRNs to meet this challenge by providing this critical text.
Lead. The chapters in this text, as edited by Dr. Dillon, provide the building blocks for the APRN to take a leadership role in applying evidence-based care to patients and populations. Such leadership starts with a commitment to consumer safety as recognized by national certification so nicely detailed in Chapter 2 on national certification.
Practice. The DNP is considered to be the practice doctorate and highlights the core precept of advanced practice nursing—that it is through doing, caring, and reasoning that the APRN produces outcomes for patient and their families and the systems that deliver this care. However, the advanced practice role has many complex layers that are made less complex by several chapters in this text including those on state licensure, full practice authority, and fellowships.
Transform. Change is needed in the U.S. healthcare system and the challenges facing providers, payers, and consumers are well documented. Doctorally prepared APRNs need a framework to optimize their transition into practice because the need is great and the time is now. Many chapters in Dr. Dillon’s highly relevant text will help the APRN to transform—at the personal level and the practice level. Chapter 1 on the DNP degree and Chapters 6 and 7 on contracts and negotiating salary are pertinent to such transformation.
As a consumer of healthcare and an educator of future APRNs, I commend Dr. Dillon for this timely and essential text. Transition to practice for APRNs has been made clearer by this text. I hope that all APRN students and new APRNs will read this text in order to lead, practice, and transform.
Clareen Wiencek, PhD, RN, ACNP
Director of Advanced Practice
University of Virginia School of Nursing