Nurses General Nursing


At least one university around here offers a BSN-PhD program. In other words, if you have a BSN, you can bridge directly into the PhD program. What I find interesting is that this particular program does not require any real-world clinical experience, nor do you need your RN, so I assume that newly graduated BSNs could apply to this program. What advantages, if any, would there be into going immediately into a PhD program without having ANY clinical experience? (The program info did state that after you completed your PhD, you could go back and take clinical master's-level courses.) And, what WOULD one do with a PhD? Teaching? Research? Would you be taken seriously without clinical experience? Is this type of program common? If anyone knows anything about this BSN-PhD program, I'd love to hear about it. Thanks.


2,259 Posts

Specializes in LDRP; Education.


We have such a program at one of our local state universities - you can complete your Ph.D within 2 years if you have your BSN. I honestly looked into the program but didn't feel I was ready to get my Ph.D yet. I do believe that part of the requirements to the program is having a current RN license, however. I find it odd that the program you were describing in your area does not require this.

I think choosing that path without clinical experience is a personal choice and/or risk. Most of my advisors in undergrad told me to work the floors for at least 2 years before returning to school, as these experiences enhance your graduate learning. If a person wishes to bridge directly to a Ph.D program without clinical experience, that is a personal choice they should be allowed to make. I personally wouldn't make such a choice, however, but that's not to say that choice shouldn't be available.

The positives to a Ph.D bridge program are completing this degree in a remarkably less amount of time, and I would imagine this program would be geared for people who were interested in research and/or publishing. One does not necessarily need clinical experience to publish textbooks or do research. This person then also has the option to work as a staff nurse once they graduate. I suppose it's just a matter of which they prefer to acquire first.



431 Posts

Bumping this post. I was just reading this article

and it mentions some people going straight to the PhD after completing the BSN and in light of the nursing educator shortage, this is becoming more common.

I'm intrigued by this whole BSN-PhD phenomenon. Yes, I know one argument will be, "but these people have no clinical experience". Yet I am hearing reports that this particular group of PhDs are competent and successful in their chosen areas, including the bedside.

Does anyone have any personal experience with this or know anyone who does?

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