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How Nurses With a DNP Degree Shape Healthcare Policy

Learn how you can become a leader in healthcare when you earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree with Walden’s online nursing school program.

The field of nursing offers an array of opportunities to match every level of education. Professionals with a nursing degree—whether it’s an ADN, BSN, or MSN—work throughout the healthcare industry, providing patient care, filling administrative roles, and working on behalf of the medical industry at large.

However, with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, nurses can play an even more integral role in health care—shaping health policy as they become leaders in the industry.

How Nurses With a DNP Degree Shape Healthcare Policy

How a DNP Shapes Healthcare Policy

Healthcare policy in the United States has had to evolve to meet the needs of a growing population that is living longer than ever thanks to advances in medicine and better access to care. Today’s nurses, with their extensive clinical experience, play a vital role in shaping this policy.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), “DNP graduates are prepared to design, influence, and implement healthcare policies that frame healthcare financing, practice regulation, access, safety, quality, and efficacy. Moreover, the DNP graduate is able to design, implement, and advocate for healthcare policy that addresses issues of social justice and equity in healthcare. The powerful practice experiences of the DNP graduate can become potent influencers in policy formation. Additionally, the DNP graduate integrates these practice experiences with two additional skill sets: the ability to analyze the policy process and the ability to engage in politically competent action.”1

Earning a doctoral degree in nursing can give you the unique education and skills to apply a nurse’s perspective to policymaking. Nurses with a DNP degree transform healthcare and shape today’s health policy agenda in numerous ways, including:

  • Reviewing published medical literature and analyzing health policy research.
  • Building coalitions within nursing organizations and with other medical organizations to obtain legislative and regulatory approval for a policy agenda.
  • Identifying important issues in healthcare and informing the public and policymakers so that changes to policy improve patient care and further healthy outcomes.
  • Providing expert input by applying advanced knowledge and skills to form policies that are safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, and efficient.
  • Conducting formal evaluations of legislation to identify political and logistical obstacles to implementation.

Earn Your Doctorate in Nursing

An advanced degree in nursing can open new doors in your career and qualify you to work with policymakers to improve the lives of patients. Among online universities, Walden University offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program designed to help you build on your knowledge and expertise to strengthen your advanced nursing practice, augment healthcare delivery, and improve patient outcomes.

Online nursing programs are a great option for busy professionals ready to advance their career. At Walden, DNP students complete online classes covering a range of topics, including healthcare policy and advocacy, evidence-based practice, transforming nursing through technology, advanced nursing practice, and organizational and systems leadership.

Walden’s DNP program offers you a way to earn an advanced nursing degree on your schedule, incorporating fieldwork that allows you to apply your learning in a real-world setting. Your doctorate in nursing can prepare you to take on leadership roles in healthcare organizations, evaluate and apply research contributing to better patient outcomes, and promote more effective healthcare policy.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering a CCNE-accredited Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.


The baccalaureate degree program in nursing (BSN), master’s degree program in nursing (MSN), and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at Walden University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education ( Officially recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is an autonomous accrediting agency, contributing to the improvement of the public’s health. CCNE ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate, and residency programs in nursing.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,