PhD vs. ND - page 2

by CRNA teacher | 3,559 Views | 16 Comments

I am seeking some input regarding a personal, professional dilemma. It is about the pros and cons of PhD vs. ND. I had a long post drafted, with my personal story, but I decided it would be best to just get to my question. ... Read More


  1. 0
    Ok, here are my two plans:

    1. work at ICU for 1-2 years-->CRNA school-->work and part time PhD
    2. PhD and part time working in ICU--> CRNA school

    I do want to get a PhD, but I am not very sure whether or not I will go to academia or stay at clinical settings. After a couple pf years, I might go back to my home country and I want to teach there.
  2. 0
    haa,

    I don't really see where you are limited to an either/or choice.

    I became a CRNA, had to go back to school for a MSN (because anesthesia programs were not masters at that time), and am now working on a doctorate.

    As bad as Nursing needs doctorates, nurse anesthesia needs them even more badly! There is a huge shortage of anesthesia providers, and nurse anesthesia programs are working like crazy to meet the demand. We need more faculty, to be able to graduate more anesthesia providers, to meet the market place needs. (While "traditional" nursing faculty may teach some courses that student nurse anesthetists take, every nurse anesthesia program needs faculty who are CRNAs)

    Seems to me like you are young enough to get your ICU experience, become a CRNA, and then think about what kind of doctorate to pursue. And making those high tuition payment is much easier with a CRNA salary!

    I enjoy teaching in a nurse anesthesia program. But I am also qualified (and will be even better qualified after getting my doctorate) to teach in basic nursing education. I have never ruled that out as a career option. Although, the way things look now, I will never run out of job opportunites in anesthesia education!

    So, I encourage you to do both-nurse anesthesia and education.

    CRNA teacher
  3. 0
    Just to let you know ... Even though I have a PhD, I work in a hospital. I have spent a little time teaching in a university, but never found quite the right fit for me there. As a PhD-prepared nurse in a hospital setting, I get the right blend of "real world practicality" and "scholarliness" for me.

    Currently, I do staff development and act as a liaison to the local schools of nursing. I also work on a lot of special projects for our Vice President of Nursing. I collect and analyze data on recruitment and retention, develop new programs for students, investigate things for the VP, etc. It's a bit of a hodge-podge, but that flexibility is to my liking.

    I don't make a fortune, but I make enough to live comfortably as a single woman. My salary is in the upper half of the Clinical Nurse Specialist range. While that might seem a bit low for someone with a PhD, it's OK with me because of the quality of my work life. I have extremely flexible hours and the ability to set my own priorities most of the time. I am not responsible for any staffing, can set my own hours, etc. I am pretty sure I have one of the most pleasant, self-directed jobs in nursing. I am treated so well by my employer that I am not going to be picky about the money. As I tell myself, "If they paid me more, they would expect me to work harder!"

    You might want to consider some of the other career options and not just focus on the two options you thought of first. There are a lot of different advanced roles out there.

    Good luck,
    llg
  4. 0
    CRNA teacher,

    Thank you for your kind reply. From your post I got to know that anesthesia program also need educators badly. So, a CRNA can teach in both traditional nursing schools and anesthesia programs if he/she has a doctoral degree. Yes, it is really a good idea.

    I know, this will be a long process for me, and it is not easy. But I will try.

    Also, good luck to your doctoral study! I know you do it for the long run.

    Another question: how long could a nurse educator(say, an anesthesia educator) work? until 70 years old? and how long could a CRNA work? until 65?

    Thanks,

    haa
  5. 0
    Dear llg,

    What you said is what I am thinking about. The tradeoff between money and flexibility/autonomy is a factor I am always considering. A lot of my friends from academia have quite good life. They may not be the ones who make big money. But they have flexible working hours, time to spend with family, and the most important, their autonomy to do what they like in their work. I see all these as hidden welfare/goodness in the jobs. They should not be ignored because they have an effect on your "life quality". For me, a doctoral degree would offer me more access to this kind of choices.

    But I am still not very familiar with nursing academia here in US. Do the nursing professors here get a lot of fundings for their research? Their work emphasizes on teaching or researching? In my country, professors in nursing department are always busy with teaching. There seems not so much resources(money) and time for them to conduct research.

    haa
  6. 0
    I have worked with PhD faculty who had degrees in Nursing or in Education. While I was in graduate school, one faculty member shared with me that she had a Doctorate of Nursing Science degree....according to her, it was a tougher program than the PhD in Nursing and she felt that she received more respect by holding that degree. As far as a ND degree is concerned, I have yet to work with an educator who had that preparation.

    Currently, I am working in a BSN program whereby only one faculty member other than the Dean has her PhD. I think I would benefit from a PhD in Education more than one in Nursing and that is the route I intend to pursue....not because anyone is demanding it of me, but because I can see that it would benefit me as an educator. Even though I do know professors with PhD's in Education who are clueless about education... there is still a part of me that believes that teaching is inborne. To those who were blessed with this ability, they can only improve with furthering their own education.

    Hope this helps you some,

    Barbara
  7. 0
    I think acceptance of the ND is up to the invidual college/university considering offering you tenure. Most advertisements for nursing faculty usually read 'earned doctorate from an accredited institution.'

    I am in the dissertation stage of my PhD, but my doctorate will not be in nursing [I picked Health Science Education].


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