Anyone doing Doctoral studies

  1. Just wondering if anyone is working on a PhD or a DNS? I am suppose to start on my PhD in a few weeks but wonder if the clinical degree would be better suit my needs as an instructor (associate professor of nursing at a small college). Any thoughts?
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   llg
    I think it depends on your future plans and the content of the individual programs you are choosing among. Many DNS programs (and DSN programs, etc.) look exactly the same as a PhD program. They just can't offer the PhD degree because the school of nursing wasn't willing to go through the necessary approval procedure and governance requirements to offer the PhD degree.

    PhD's are granted by the entire academic community, who usually require that the programs are "run" by the entire academic community. When a school is not willing to do that for some reason, one option they have is to offer another doctoral degree tthat they can offer on their own, without getting involved in the politics or scrutiny of the whole campus -- a professional or clinical degree. So, some schools offer the same content in the DNS programs that PhD programs offer, they just can't offer the degree.

    Other schools choose to offer a DNS degree (or other clinical doctorate) because they choose to offer a degree that is more practice-focused than research/theory/philosophy-focused.

    Another thing to remember ... In academia, a PhD degree is usually considered a little "higher" in the hierarchy and more likely to be recognized as "equal" to PhD degrees in other disciplines. If you plan to do a lot of interdisciplinary work and/or hope to rise in the academic hierarchy, a PhD might be the better choice because it is more likely to be respected by people in other disciplines. Strangers will know what the letters after your name stand for and that you probably had to meet the same qualifications that they did for their PhD's.

    In the end, as with most things, you have to look at the individual programs and go with the one that best matches your interests and your career goals.

    Good luck with your studies. I really enjoyed my PhD program and have never regretted the time and money spent.

    llg, PhD
  4. by   renerian
    Oh gosh I just finished two years, overtime, in an excelerated BS/MS program. Yes I did both in two years. One for each degree and worked full time. Was awful. Just could not consider more school! LOL.

    renerian
  5. by   puggy
    I work in a great place where we get 6 free hours per semester so it would be a waste to not go to school. (Plus we get time off to go - I was off a whole semester to finish my Masters). I agree PhD is academically sound and DNS is kinda like a red headed step child.
  6. by   SteelTownRN
    The PhD and the clinical doctorates are "roses of the same name that smell the same". Anyone that believes otherwise is not analyzing the curricula. I'd put a clinical doctorate (DSN, DNS, etc..) up against a PhD any day. Look at the research requirements in the curriculum plans, and you will not see a difference. I used to think that a PhD was better until someone advides me to check out the curricula. No differences were found, but I did find a lot of academic snobbery in the nursing profession.

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