PhD in nursing education vs NP

  1. Ok so the topic has come up at work lately which is a better option to do. A masters to DNP for NP or PhD. We have been trying to argue the point that as a PhD we can be eductors and possibly make decent money 💰 all while having a family friendly schedule. But some are saying education is a bad way to go with little return that only the NP or CRNA route is the way to go these days if you want to be financially secure. I'm looking for input from people who really know.
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    About wayemika

    Joined: Sep '14; Posts: 256; Likes: 86


  3. by   llg
    Both are very good pathways. It's all a matter of what type of work you want to do. What type of work do you enjoy? This is one of those things in life that is not "either/or." Both can be good or terrible depending upon the preferences of the individual -- and the quality of the program you choose.

    Personally, I would hate being an NP or CRNA -- but I have friends who love it. Some of them would hate doing what I do, which is Nursing Professional Development (with some research and quality improvement thrown in) at a children's hospital. If you hate research and/or teaching ... then a PhD is probably not a good choice for you. A NP/DNP will give you the ability to teach some things and also practice as an NP. But if academic work is your thing, then a PhD can be a wonderful thing. It is the ideal degree for an academic career, but it also allows for some hospital jobs (in Professional Development, Research, Quality, etc.) With either educational choice, you will have a couple of options. It's just a matter of which set of options appeals to you most.

    I advise you and your friends to stop seeing life decisions as either being "always good" or "always bad" and to start seeing things with a little more flexibility. If you are debating the question -- then you may be wasting some energy -- because neither of you is "completely right" ... but neither of you is "completely wrong" either.

    You might also consider that there are a lot more DNP's being produced now than PhD's. In the future, PhD's will be more rare -- which may have implications for job markets in the future.

    Good luck with whatever pathway you choose to decide.
  4. by   BirkieGirl
    I am so happy this thread was started. Honestly, you are talking about two completely different paths. To be in a clinical role- NP or CRNA- you have to LOVE the clinical path of nursing and be prepared to be with/around patients for the career. In teaching, you have to love passing on knowledge and teaching. Either can afford you a good income, and either may not! There are great jobs in either direction and honestly, I have seen the NP market in my area become flooded and new NP grads accepting 80k a year just to have a job. On the other hand, faculty are making 68-75k a year, but you have to be in an area where there will be positions offered. Either can have a good outlook with good retirement etc. It really has to come down to what you LOVE and where you see yourself! It took me a long time to discern my own decision but I am very much at peace with my decision to pursue a DNP-ED and seek a full time faculty position. I will have a very similar schedule to my family with breaks/summers at home and that is a huge factor. Plus teaching allows a little more flexibility for me and breaks up my day which is what I need and love.
  5. by   wayemika
    Thank you for your post. That's what most of us are trying to do but they are also reminding us that we should make sure to do something we can make money in given the market in our area so we don't waste 40K-80k. That's why I figured we should all
    start asking people while we are researching the opertunities of both locally .
  6. by   HouTx
    What about us EdDs?? As an educator, I was disappointed with the lack of focus on the discipline of education in my MSN - Edu/Critical Care. The curriculum did not include any non-nurse educational theorists, educational psychology, psychometrics or even a mention of legal issues in education. When I explored doctoral programs, it was much the same... Nursing>Edu ... so I opted to go for an EdD in Allied Health Education (Admin) - a collaborative program between a well-regarded university & medical school. It met all my expectations and prepared me very well for my (non-academic) role as the clinical education leader for a large healthcare organizational.
  7. by   wayemika
    You have a good point.
  8. by   random_nurse12
    I think you have to consider many factors. Your personality, your age, who is funding the education, the job market where you live, etc.

    A PhD has a vastly different role than an NP.

    I make 85K as an educator, but I work 12 months a year. I have excellent retirement. I, after much soul searching, know I would not be happy as an NP. My personality is suited towards teaching. Money wise, CRNA is the way to go. NP is honestly a crap shoot depending on where you live, the market, and your specialty. I have friends that are NPs and love it and friends that are miserable. The same goes with education.

    I agree with another poster that I would prefer an EdD to a PhD or DNP. BUT, and it is a huge but for me, the DNP will be so much quicker and therefore cheaper for me. I have significant student loan debt that I don't want to add to and I am phobic of signing commitments for my employer to pay the tuition. I truly am not interested in nursing research as my career and I would prefer to teach in community colleges or small universities. I would not be a good fit in a large research university.