I'm in my second year PhD in nursing. I will provide my experience so far, which is really an individual perspective. The PhD is an advanced degree that requires perseverance and determination. It's a long haul emotionally and intellectually. However the personal growth you will achieve is phenomenal. There are philosophy, theory, and lots of qualitative, quantitative, measurement classes. My program has a PhD practicum (which is rare). Some programs require your research area be in line with a faculty member. My program does not. In fact, it supports and promotes individual study trajectories based on your passions in advancing nursing science. There is a tremendous amount of reading and writing. Right from the start you will be critiquing research studies and critically reviewing scale development. That's because the PhD is a Research Doctorate. Early publication is encouraged as it hones your scholarly writing skills. Make sure that you spend some time learning to write well and write every day (something creative, then something scholarly). I was concerned about the IQ needed to complete "The proverbial PhD" but it is really about being honest with yourself about your passions for advancing nursing science and knowledge development. Surprisingly, it's quite a creative endeavor. The sky really is the limit to research activities. If you love learning new things (spending at least 20-30 hours devoted to your work per week), and have dogged determination (there's lots of support for this in good programs), then go for it!! I've heard there are only 2-3% of nurses in the nation with a PhD. We need more! You will change in the first semester. It's like taffy pulling sometimes (you struggling to improve yourself and the way you think and structure concepts, questions, etc). But the personal development is yours to keep forever. It's not for the faint of heart, but you don't need to be an Einstein, so to speak. This is my current assessment...likely to change as I progress.