For many advanced practice nurses with DNP degrees, the greatest career goal can be establishing their own practice instead of working under a doctor’s supervision. In many parts of the United States, you can make this dream a reality. As the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) explains, state law determines whether professionals with DNP degrees can set up autonomous practices. States ranging from Washington and Oregon to Arizona, New Mexico, Maine, and Vermont allow people with DNP degrees to practice without physician oversight.
With an autonomous practice, you will diagnose illnesses and injuries, interpret tests, treat patients, and prescribe medicine. In this role, you will put your many years of clinical practice to work, helping patients feel better and live healthier lives. If you establish an autonomous practice in an underserved part of the United States, you may work with patients who do not receive adequate levels of care, thereby applying your skills to communities that need your help the most.