PhD vs DNP

  1. Hi Nurse Beth,

    I am currently a Clinical Learning Coordinator where I work, so I basically do nurse orientation and help with those types of things. I am not sure what I ultimately want to do because I do love nursing education, but I also think I would really enjoy nurse management. I currently hold a Master's in Nursing with a focus in Informatics (I do love all types of nursing).

    So my question to you when going back for my doctorate, which one, the PhD or DNP, would be better for both teaching at collegiate level or being a nurse manager/director?




    Dear PhD vs DNP,

    A lot depends on which program you qualify for- DNP or PhD. Many (not all) DNP programs
    require a clinical graduate degree for entry, such as a CNS or NP.

    If you are going for your DNP in nursing leadership, you may be required to have years of experience in nursing leadership.

    It may be easier for you to find a PhD program with your background in Education. PhDs are associated with research and teaching, while DNPs are associated more with clinical focus, including nursing leadership.

    I would first decide my focus (faculty/teaching vs nursing leadership) and then look at specific doctoral programs both PhD and DNP, to begin to learn the usual requirements.


    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth

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