PhD or EdD?

  1. Interested to see who decided or is deciding to continue their education in Nursing education, which path did you choose to take, why and what program are you in or looking at?

    I'm currently in an MSNed program and looking ahead to see if I want to do a EdD program or a PhD program. I like the educational focus of the EdD rather than the research focus of the PhD. I aslo have considered DNP but have no interest in re-routing my career plans to become an aprn just to get a DNP when I don't want to practice in that role. I love teaching and love being a certified Registered Nurse and do not want to be a NP, CNM or CNS.

    Thanks in advance for your insight!
  2. Visit Entravel profile page

    About Entravel

    Joined: Apr '13; Posts: 43; Likes: 20
    from US
    Specialty: 4 year(s) of experience


  3. by   llg
    I did a PhD program several years ago. It qualifies me to teach at a university and also to work in a hospital as a researcher and in Staff Development. It's a degree that works in both the academic and practice environments.
  4. by   Entravel
    Thank you so much llg! I have actually read a few of your previous posts to others forums so to hear advice from you on mines is very inspiring! Thank you.

    If you don't mind, I'd like to get your input on when's a good time for me to go back and pursue my PhD. I am a young nurse(in my 20's) and don't know if going back to school now to get my PhD would be a good idea? I guess my hesitation is becasue I don't know many people (if anybody) that has gotten or is pursuing their PhD in their 20's in nursing, only NP's for DNP's. I still plan on working as a RN in various areas to continue to gain experience that I can use in academia to teach at the same time with my PhD. What are your thoughts on that?

    Thanks again for your insight!
  5. by   ProfRN4
    I am waiting on an acceptance to a PhD program, strictly out if convenience, location and price. When I was in my MSN (education) program I was convinced that I'd go for the EdD. This was quite a few years ago, and things have changed for me. I'd like the option of having a more transferable degree as well (in case I decide to do something more clinical/research like.

    My current employer will be paying a good amount for the school I'm applying to (it is affiliated), and will arrange my teaching hours around my classes.

    As far as your age, not only do you have have plenty of time, but you also have plenty of years experience to gain. You need those years of experience to decide what it is you really want to focus your dissertation on. I personally think some more solid experience would be beneficial.
  6. by   Entravel
    Thank you ProfRN4! You make some great points.

    I guess the push for me right now is that my husband and I are planning to start our family soon and I would like to get schooling out of the way while the kiddos are young.

    But I also see the need for me to gain valuable clinical experience so I can know where my research will be focused when I do decide to get my PhD. Meanwhile, I can also do some teaching on the side to gain valuable teaching experience at the CC level.
  7. by   rnjourney
    I am currently pursuing my PhD in Nursing Higher Education, with will allow me to continue to teach at the college and university level. My view of you pursing your education quickly is a bit different. When you are pursing a degree at this level, the knowledge learned relies on clinical knowledge but is different. I do not feel you need years of experience in the clinical area to be successful. You also mentioned that you do not have children. As a full time nurse educator and PhD student with one child age 8, it is very difficulty to manage all the responsibilities. My advice to you would be to go for it while you are young. We need nurse educators very badly (In fact, there were 750 nurse educator jobs listed on a popular web site for jobs in Higher Education this morning). In addition, the current average age of faculty with PhD in nursing in the USA is 62 years old. Nurses such as yourself who are interested in this field are the future of go for it!
    Blessings, RNJourney
  8. by   llg
    I don't think you have to wait tooo long between the MSN and the PhD, but I think a little break might be wise. Not because of your age, but because you don't seem to have yet developed a focus area for your research. Some people are ready to get their PhD early in the careers -- and that's OK. Other people need time to "find their niche" first -- and that's OK, too.

    I do think it is wise to get at least a year or two of experience in the field you plan to focus your dissertation on before entering a PhD program. Think of what a disaster it would be to get deep into your dissertation topic and then discover that you don't like the field as much as you thought you would -- or that your approach to the topic was not a good one because your view of it was so naive -- etc. Get a firm grasp on your specialty and focus area, and then go back to school. One of my best friends in my PhD program started the program at age 29. (I was 35, after getting my MSN at 25.) She was a great student, very mature in her thinking, clear in her thinking about her research topic, and ready for the indepth work the PhD program required. Other people aren't ready at 40.

    I was in a position to enter a DNS program at 24 -- but decided against it as I did not feel ready to committ to a research topic yet. For me, that was a good decision. The 10 years I spent as a CNS and Nursing Professional Development Specialist really helped me mature in my thinking and made me much more ready. But that's just me.

    There are no firm "rules" on that question. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
  9. by   Entravel
    Thank you rnjourney and llg for yalls insight and advice! I am definitely and open-book in receiving input and appreciate you all taking the time to answer my questions and yield your opinion.

    You both have made some great points and it seems the consensus from everyone is to wait until I'm ready but if me being ready means I'm still in my 20's when that happens then go for it! I agree!

    I have ideas of the areas I am interested in researching but nothing solid to run with just yet. I can say I do know that I am in the area of nursing that I will eventually do research on, which is womens and children's particularly childrens since I work currently in post-partum. I want to specialize in critical care, whether picu or nicu I haven't decided (but nicu is definitely on my top radar) and the heart (cardiac) is my favorite to study. I just understand the pathophysiology and disease process better in adults and children when it comes to the heart. So inpatient critical care of cardiac pediatirc patients in picu's and nicu's is definitely an area of interest. Also, I know young educators and proactive vs reactive nursing care in the inpatient clinical environment are other areas of interest to me. But I definitely need experience in critical care pediatrics before I make that leap to PhD.

    rnjourny, your words are more encouraging than you know and have definitely given me the boost I need to pursue graduate studies on that level at an early age. I hope, God-willing, I can play a monumental role in the nursing furture, especially for young educators!

    llg, as usually, you lend a lot of wisdom and insight. Thanks again!
  10. by   Olm_is_my_everything
    Research more into DNP. It I making a slow but large change. If that is completely out of the question and you are still thinking Edd vs phd. Go phd. Some programs would choose a phd in nursing over edd just because it's based in nursiń (even thought you are now in education). Crazy I know. Strange rules
  11. by   Entravel
    I have looked into DNP and see it only as a practice doctorate. Of course you could use that to teach but I'm getting my Masters in Nursing Education so a PhD is the logical path without having to reroute my career plans into a practice Masters, unless you can inform me of the large changes taking place with the DNP I would love to know?
  12. by   BCRNA
    I would highly recommend anyone considering a Phd or EdD to do it as early as possible. Most other professions have people obtain their doctoral degrees before they are 30, and they have a much longer (and possibly more productive) research career. You will need to have a good idea of a research topic before entering, but you don't have to stick with the topic for the rest of your career. It would be best if it was in an area you wanted to continue in though. Also, most nursing schools do not differ in their views of EdD versus PhD. Both degrees have a long histoy in nursing (the EdD being one of the first doctoral degrees for nurses). The EdD also has a strong emphasis on research design. The DNP is great also if you want a clinical focus. Remember that many universities will not give tenure to a DNP. Also, with so many DNP programs becoming available you will need a PhD or EdD to set yourself aside from the competition for faculty positions. Also, many large universities strive for diversity in faculty. You do not have to be a nurse to hold a faculty position. Some of my professors are psychologists and statisticians. It is possible to do research on nursing related phenomenon without actually being a nurse. At the doctoral level there is a lot of interdisciplinary overlap.
  13. by   meanmaryjean
    The University of Southern Indiana's DNP program is NOT just for APRNs. One can design an educational focus or leadership/ management focus into the program. My director just completed it. Added bonus, it is 99% online and requires just a few campus weekend visits.

    University Of Southern Indiana

    PS: REASONABLE price, too!
  14. by   Entravel
    BCRNA: Thank you so much for your encouraging words. That makes me feel very confident in my potential for pursuing my doctorate before 30. I do know the area I would like to focus on and am giving myself a few years to figure out exactly what specifically I would like to focus my research on. Very helpful, thank you.

    meanmaryjean: Wow! I am definitely going to look more into that program. This is great because it gives me more options in pursuing my doctorate! And I followed your link and they are VERY reasonably priced for a doctoral degree

    You all have made me very excited about my future career options and possibilities!