I appreciate your comments, and the opportunity to give some details about my own situation.
You are correct about ND programs, they are designed for entry level nurses. I am considering a ND program that allows entry of RNs who already have a MSN.
Actually, your post helps me clarify why I feel so torn. I am a nurse anesthetist, an advanced practice nurse. So there is a natural fit in the ND category. A big advantage is that I can accomplish it in MUCH less time than a PhD. I am almost 50 years old, so I have to consider the time factor.
On the other hand, I am a full time educator. I am currently employed by a hospital based nurse anesthesia program. I have not been mandated to earn a doctorate, but as a personal choice I want to do so. A ND would put me head and shoulders above most of my colleagues (there is only one doctorate CRNA in my state, and she has a law degree).
But what if one day I want to work in a university, in a Nursing department? As your say, these pure academic environments favor the PhD. Will I be at a huge disadvantage compared to the PhD prepared professor?
Yes, I considered the DNSc route. But in the time it would take to do that, I could get a PhD. So I have pretty much ruled that out. My thoughts are--the PhD is the top of the pyramid, and the others just below. So an ND is pretty comparable to other non-PhD doctorates. (Any thoughts on this reasoning?)
This is the source of my indecision. Although, I do think I am leaning toward the ND.
I continue to be open to additional comments, from you, or others.