PhD in Nursing
A PhD in nursing is an advanced nursing degree that creates nurse-scientists who are dedicated to both the advancement of the field of nursing, as well as a comprehensive understanding of the social, political, and economic factors that impact health care delivery in America.
Why Get a Nursing PhD?
A PhD in nursing may not be for every nurse. Individuals with a nursing PhD often go on to work in administrative, research, governmental, or teaching positions, rather than always working directly with hospital patients.
The nurse-scientists who earn a PhD in nursing dedicate themselves to a lifetime of scholarship and research. At the top of their field, nurse PhDs are often individuals who enjoyed a long history of hands-on nursing, and finish their careers as college professors passing on their experience and knowledge, or as advisers in health care or governmental organizations.
Who Can Get a PhD in Nursing?
To gain acceptance into a nursing PhD program, students typically must already have either a bachelor’s degree (BSN) or master’s degree (MSN) in nursing. If the student enters with only a bachelor’s degree, it is often the case that they must first take additional, master’s-level courses before beginning their work on their PhD.
Some PhD programs are part-time, allowing the student to continue to work while earning the PhD, while other PhD programs are full-time.
What is the Difference between a DNP and a PhD?
The two highest nursing degrees are a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD). A DNP is a nurse practicing the highest level of clinical work. DNPs are still practitioners of nursing, which means they are most likely to work in a clinical or hospital setting.
A nurse PhD, by contrast, is a researcher and a scientist. A PhD focuses on conducting research to advance the practice of nursing, and may also teach to pass the practice of nursing on to new nurses.