PhD Help

  1. Hello Everyone!

    I am currently working on my Master's in Nursing and Business Administration. I will be complete in about a year and a half. I am seriously thinking about pursuing my Doctorate degree. However, I don't know where to start. If anyone knows the "nitty gritty" on PhD in nursing than I would greatly appreciate it. Some questions I have are listed below.

    1. Do you prefer online or classroom setting?
    2. Can you work/Do you recommend working a full-time job while in school?
    3. Are their any schools that you guys might recommend looking into?

    Thanks again for everyones help!!!
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    About jmmarti4

    Joined: Dec '12; Posts: 2


  3. by   llg
    It's hard to answer such general questions in a short format ... but here are a couple of thoughts to help you get started.

    1. First, you need to decide what type of doctoral degree you want. The PhD focuses on the scholarly, academic aspects of nursing -- a lot of research, theory, and philosophy. It is the designed for people wanting an academic career or at least wanting to focus on the academic, scholarly aspects of nursing in a practice setting. Before entering a PhD program, you should have your research focus at least partially developed so that you can use your coursework as a foundation for your dissertation and future research. The DNP is designed for people wanting a doctoral level foundation to a practice-based career. It includes some research, theory, etc. ... but is geared more towards the person planning to work in a practice setting and having a practice-based career. Which fits your career plans best?

    2. A lot of people pursue doctoral studies part time -- but part time students are usually eigible for less financial aid (if any). Full time students in brick and mortar programs often get fellowships that pay for most of the school costs (sometimes with a little bit of living expenses thrown in).

    3. There are decent online options available for both PhD and DNP programs -- but there is something very valuable in fully emersing yourself on campus at that level of study.

    I recommend talking with your current faculty members and mentors about your career goals -- and then seeking the kind of program that will fit those goals the best, balanced with your personal needs. I don't recommend "just going to a doctoral program" that is convenient or that someone recommends without first doing that kind of deep career planning and personal reflection/assessment. Doctoral education is a big investment -- so it's great that you are trying to do your homework before making that investment.

    Good luck.

    llg, PhD, RN-BC
  4. by   BCRNA
    When you look around for schools you need to do it considering what your research interests are. Most programs are distance accessible, a lot of online work with a few trips to the school. I would not recommend full time study with full time work, unless you work three 12 hour shifts and don't have a lot of family obligations. I have few classmates that almost failed out of the program trying to do more than they should. You also need to pick a school based on your career goals. If you are into research then you need to pick a school known for their research in your field. Also, check out how much they charge in tuition. Vanderbilt University would have been a great choice for me, but they would have wanted over 125,000 in tuition. I honestly don't see how their students pay the tuition, student loans will not cover it and they don't offer full/partial tuition assistance. I chose a school that is internationally known in research and only charges 15,000 a year (in state fees/and currently the same rate for out of state students). I would also recommend that you pick a school with a brick and mortar setting, even if it is entirely online. Some of the online schools will charge outrageous fees and confer degrees that no well-respected university will acknowledge. If the only requirement to get in is the ability to pay the tuition, then skip it. A good school will require a high GPA and proof of scholarly ability.