Experience before PhD

  1. I'm wondering what kind and how much experience nurses have had before they matriculated into a PhD program. Also, did you have to finance your PhD yourself or did your institution give you a tuition waiver or living stipend of some kind?

    Out of curiosity.
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   llg
    I had 12 years. 2 years as a BSN staff nurse ... got MSN ... then 10 years as a Clinical Nurse Specialist ... then back to school to get the PhD.

    I had funding for most of my direct PhD expenses (tuition and books), but my stipend did not cover all of my living expenses. So I had a small student loan when I graduated that I was able to pay off easily over about 3 years and also spend some of my savings for living expenses. I funded my education with money from a variety of sources -- federal grant, school fellowship that included work as a research assistant, school research fellowship, personal savings, and student loan combined.
  4. by   magnolia nurse
    Working on a PhD is a personal choice. I am working currently working on a PhD. I have been a nurse for over 30 years, had a MSN for 8 years, before I decided to return to school.

    The best advice I can give is to be sure you are passionate about your dissertation topic, because you will be sitting with that topic for a few years.

    I got a loan, and changed to a less stressful work environment. I still need to work to sustain my life style and maintain my monthly expenses.


    Good luck!
  5. by   Tacomaboy3
    Quote from llg
    I had 12 years. 2 years as a BSN staff nurse ... got MSN ... then 10 years as a Clinical Nurse Specialist ... then back to school to get the PhD.

    I had funding for most of my direct PhD expenses (tuition and books), but my stipend did not cover all of my living expenses. So I had a small student loan when I graduated that I was able to pay off easily over about 3 years and also spend some of my savings for living expenses. I funded my education with money from a variety of sources -- federal grant, school fellowship that included work as a research assistant, school research fellowship, personal savings, and student loan combined.
    That's great you had funding. I've been hearing that a PhD in nursing is one of the research doctorates in which funding is lacking. That is, PhD students are paying most, if not all, of their expenses on their own.
  6. by   Tacomaboy3
    Quote from magnolia nurse
    Working on a PhD is a personal choice. I am working currently working on a PhD. I have been a nurse for over 30 years, had a MSN for 8 years, before I decided to return to school.

    The best advice I can give is to be sure you are passionate about your dissertation topic, because you will be sitting with that topic for a few years.

    I got a loan, and changed to a less stressful work environment. I still need to work to sustain my life style and maintain my monthly expenses.


    Good luck!
    I'm not even a nurse yet, but I'm curious about the research career pathway. Thanks for your input. The one PhD program in nursing doesn't even require applicants to have nursing experience, or even be a nurse!
  7. by   offlabel
    Not convinced a PhD requires any meaningful RN experience at all. It isn't a nursing degree.
  8. by   elkpark
    Quote from Tacomaboy3
    I'm not even a nurse yet, but I'm curious about the research career pathway. Thanks for your input. The one PhD program in nursing doesn't even require applicants to have nursing experience, or even be a nurse!
    What nursing program offers a PhD in nursing that doesn't require students to be nurses?
  9. by   Tacomaboy3
    Quote from elkpark
    What nursing program offers a PhD in nursing that doesn't require students to be nurses?
    I meant, "the one PhD in nursing program near me." It's at the University of Washington, perhaps surprisingly. They take those with bachelor's degrees in any discipline, and only require you to be licensed as a RN if you plan on taking clinical courses. Weird, huh? Thoughts?
  10. by   Tacomaboy3
    Quote from offlabel
    Not convinced a PhD requires any meaningful RN experience at all. It isn't a nursing degree.
    Sure, I suppose it depends on your topic of study. But I think you're playing a semantics game; it's a research degree focused in nursing. Similarly, my "biology degree" is actually a bachelor of arts degree with a major, or focus, in biology.

    Granted, nursing research doesn't need to be focused on the practice of nursing at all, which I think you were getting at. Other research topics include health care policy and administration, education, informatics, yada yada. Not direct nursing stuff.
  11. by   elkpark
    Quote from Tacomaboy3
    Thoughts?
    My thought is that nursing education really is going to he!! in a handbasket ...
  12. by   offlabel
    Quote from Tacomaboy3
    Sure, I suppose it depends on your topic of study. But I think you're playing a semantics game; it's a research degree focused in nursing. Similarly, my "biology degree" is actually a bachelor of arts degree with a major, or focus, in biology.

    Granted, nursing research doesn't need to be focused on the practice of nursing at all, which I think you were getting at. Other research topics include health care policy and administration, education, informatics, yada yada. Not direct nursing stuff.
    So, this is an actual PhD? Or is it something else, like a DNP or some other "doctorate"?. It isn't a semantics game. A PhD is only awarded under specific conditions and those conditions are very different from terminal nursing degrees. And they carry way more academic credibility than any terminal nursing degree as well.

    So I guess the question is, this is a PhD in....what?
  13. by   Tacomaboy3
    Quote from offlabel
    So, this is an actual PhD? Or is it something else, like a DNP or some other "doctorate"?. It isn't a semantics game. A PhD is only awarded under specific conditions and those conditions are very different from terminal nursing degrees. And they carry way more academic credibility than any terminal nursing degree as well.

    So I guess the question is, this is a PhD in....what?
    Yeah, an actual PhD: Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science (PhD—Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science | School of Nursing). Click and view the Prerequisites on the right-hand column of the page.
    Last edit by Tacomaboy3 on May 3
  14. by   Tacomaboy3
    Quote from elkpark
    My thought is that nursing education really is going to he!! in a handbasket ...
    I wish it was more science-y and less artsy.

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