meaning of doctorate degrees

  1. please someone tell me the definition of a doctorate in philosophy(PhD), doctor of nursing science(DNSs), nursing doctorate(ND or DN), and a doctor of science in nursing (DSN). My head is hurting trying to understand the differences. Also how much are the salaries if you obtain a doctorate. Also I didn't know you can be a CRNA with a RN license(if I'm wrong, correct me). Knowing how much CRNA's make is it even worth getting a doctorate degree?
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   zenman
    Do a search on www.google.com, the world's best search engine and your head will quit hurting! Most doctorates in nursing probably are in education. Some I know went away for their Ph.D. and came back to teach making $2,000 more a year. Depends on what you want to do with your life, I guess.
  4. by   suzanne4
    Quote from andreaJ
    please someone tell me the definition of a doctorate in philosophy(PhD), doctor of nursing science(DNSs), nursing doctorate(ND or DN), and a doctor of science in nursing (DSN). My head is hurting trying to understand the differences. Also how much are the salaries if you obtain a doctorate. Also I didn't know you can be a CRNA with a RN license(if I'm wrong, correct me). Knowing how much CRNA's make is it even worth getting a doctorate degree?
    RN is a license to practice as a nurse, granted only after you pass your exam,
    CRNAs are Master's prepared nurses, they are what you would call an "Advanced Practice Registered Nurse."
    Whether someone has a doctorate or not, it depends on what you are planning to do with your degrees.
  5. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    Nurses with a doctoral degree usually teach or do research, is my understanding.
  6. by   orrnlori
    The PhD trumps them all. A PhD requires a thorough and definative dissertation on a topic never covered before. It's original work that takes several years to complete and can run into hundreds of pages. And it must be thoroughly defended to a committee of PhD peers. Whole thing makes me shudder. :chuckle
  7. by   teeituptom
    and you get to wear that little beanie they wear
    or is it a beret
  8. by   Renee' Y-Y
    PhD & DNSc are both doctorate degrees in nursing. The DNSc tends to be a bit more clinical...I do believe. Most doctorates (nursing education or nursing research) do prepare you for faculty at the college/university level. Although you can teach at a college/university with a Master's degree...you are treated as a 2nd class citizen by the doctorates...who tend to be more pretentious than useful as an instructor...but that is an argument for another day.

    I will be starting my PhD in about a year or so in nursing education...and am bound and determined to show the world that nurses with doctorate degrees do not have to be pretentious-little-**its. I have not yet decided my ultimate goal yet...some people collect frogs as a hobby...I collect degrees ...and besides, it adds a depth to nursing you just can't get from an undergraduate degree...+ the challenge of learning.
  9. by   elkpark
    The DN, DNsc, and DSN are all clinical doctoral degrees that are equivalent (academically) to the MD, JD, or PsyD degree (as examples). Although they require a lot of research and writing, they do not require a dissertation. The PhD is a doctorate in philosophy degree with a specialization in (whatever). It requires a dissertation, which (as orrnlori remarked) must be an original contribution to the field (something no one's ever thought of before). It is the "gold standard" of advanced degrees academically, and prepares one to be a scholar and researcher.

    There are pros and cons to either path (and to pursuing a doctoral degree at all), most of which have to do with what your personal interests and motivations are, and what you want to do with your life ...

    (While all CRNAs are licensed registered nurses, the training to become a CRNA is a Master's degree. The same is true of CNSs, CNMs, and NPs.)
  10. by   llg
    There is a technical distinction between PhD's and the other doctoral degrees that many people don't know about that is important here.

    A PhD degree is awarded by the entire university (i.e. academic community) -- and not just the members of that community who are in the same discipline. Generally, the rules and regulations that govern a PhD program must therefore be overseen by representatives from the entire academic community and not just the nursing school.

    DNS, DNSc, ND, etc. degrees are offered by the individual College of Nursing or School of Nursing, or whatever. That particular professional school generally determines the requirements, curriculum, etc. and oversees the program, not the entire academic community of all disciplines combined (except for the general supervision given by the university for all academic programs). The individual school of nursing MAY choose to require a dissertation, MAY choose to emphasize research and philosophy over clinical practice, etc. That's up to the individual school.

    Some schools offer both the PhD degree and a DNS degree -- with the DNS or DNSc focusing more on clinical, the PhD more on academia. Some schools offer a DNS or DNSc that looks exactly like other people's PhD programs -- but they can't use the PhD letters because they don't want to give up control of the program to the rest of the academic community: they want to keep all the control within the school of nursing. That's whay some programs "look alike" but offer different degrees. The school wants to offer a PhD-type program, but doesn't want to jump through the hoops necessary to get the endorsement needed for a PhD degree.

    The PhD is considered the "highest" degree in academic settings because the entire academic community must approve those degrees. Other disciplines recognize that certain standards have been, established procedures followed, etc. While they recognize the other types of doctorates, they may not consider them quite as "high" because the nursing school offering the degree did not involve the entire academic community to the same degree as PhD programs do.

    I hope that clarifies things a little.
  11. by   teeituptom
    Quote from Renee' Y-Y
    PhD & DNSc are both doctorate degrees in nursing. The DNSc tends to be a bit more clinical...I do believe. Most doctorates (nursing education or nursing research) do prepare you for faculty at the college/university level. Although you can teach at a college/university with a Master's degree...you are treated as a 2nd class citizen by the doctorates...who tend to be more pretentious than useful as an instructor...but that is an argument for another day.

    I will be starting my PhD in about a year or so in nursing education...and am bound and determined to show the world that nurses with doctorate degrees do not have to be pretentious-little-**its. I have not yet decided my ultimate goal yet...some people collect frogs as a hobby...I collect degrees ...and besides, it adds a depth to nursing you just can't get from an undergraduate degree...+ the challenge of learning.

    I collect Golf Clubs

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