Anyone else applying to PhD programs?

  1. Hi there,
    I'm applying to nursing PhD programs for a fall 2019 start and just wanted to connect with others who are in the same boat. It would be nice to have some company and go through it together, and maybe even share some tips and insight with each other. Good luck to anyone applying!
  2. Visit saheckler profile page

    About saheckler, BSN, RN

    Joined: Feb '13; Posts: 38; Likes: 7

    7 Comments

  3. by   saheckler
    I can't be the only nurse on allnurses.com who is applying to nurse PhD programs this fall! Where is everybody?
  4. by   Mrs.D.
    It looks like you very well might be the only one on AN! Sometimes* it takes like a year for people to find posts, lol.

    Good luck!

    What do you plan to study? Where are you applying? I don't know anything about them, but I find it interesting (I'm a nerd of all things and I'm sure I will have one in something some day ).
    Last edit by Mrs.D. on Oct 6 : Reason: stupid autocorrect NOT autocorrecting correctly
  5. by   SummerGarden
    I was wondering the same when I was going to apply for the Fall 2018 for either a DNP or PhD program. I changed my mind due to the fact that my employer is incentivizing me to earn an MSN now... Later I will apply to either a PhD program or DNP program, so I will follow this thread.

    What programs are of interest to you? As the above poster asked, what is your primary focus? Have you found nurse researchers in your field of choice at the schools you wish to attend?

    By the way, are you published? Have you attended conferences within you area of interest? If so, have you presented? Also, are you certified within your nursing specialty?

    There are a few PhD prepared nurses on this forum whom I am hoping will soon chime in to provide guidance to those who are applying 2019. Alas, I will not be ready until 2020. Good Luck!
  6. by   saheckler
    To Mrs. D:
    I hope that some others discover it before a year goes by! It would be so nice to go through the process with some peers. I'm planning to study LGBTQ+ health disparities and am applying to UCSF, Columbia, Johns Hopkins, Penn, UIC, and Michigan.

    Since you said you're a nerd (me too!), maybe you should think about getting your PhD and preparing to apply! It's a pretty good deal since so many schools will give you free tuition and health insurance as well as a stipend (usually around $20,000 or so I think). So depending on your financial situation you could work a shift or two a week while getting your PhD full time and not take much of a hit in terms of salary and not have to pay tuition! You might be able to get an outside fellowship too. It's a pretty good deal! And there are so many exciting opportunities for nurses with PhDs. Something for you to think about!
    Last edit by saheckler on Oct 7 : Reason: forgot to say who I'm replying to
  7. by   saheckler
    To SummerGarden:
    I'm planning to study LGBTQ+ health disparities and am applying to UCSF, Columbia, Johns Hopkins, Penn, UIC, and Michigan. They all have faculty doing LGBTQ+ health research, which is important to me, and they are all strong in health policy, which is especially interesting to me.

    I have a couple of publications and will have one conference presentation under my belt when I submit applications in a couple weeks. I've been really fortunate to have these opportunities. It's been a combination of putting myself out there, luck, and generosity of faculty. I'm not certified in a nursing specialty.

    If you are going back and forth between the DNP and PhD, you might want to think about what you want to with the degree. They are very different degrees with a very different emphasis. The DNP is a practice degree. My understanding is you'll get to work a bit with research and may be able to do some research when you graduate, but research is not the focus and you will not have the same preparation to do research that you would get from a PhD. You will be an expert at nursing practice. You could be a faculty member at a school of nursing but you'd more likely be clinical faculty as opposed to research faculty, so depending on your interests that could be a pro or a con for you. Again, you could still be involved in research with a DNP but if research is truly your calling the PhD would probably be a better fit.

    A PhD is focused on research. The purpose is to become an expert in nursing research and the program will not focus on becoming advanced in your practice (though you certainly can get your PhD and still practice!) If you really want to be an advanced practice nurse AND do research, you might want to look into a combined DNP/PhD degree.

    I apologize if you were already aware of the above! I do think it helps to hear a lot of different perspectives on the programs, though. I had a hard time choosing between nursing and public health and it took a lot of conversations with a lot of faculty to help me decide, so hopefully hearing one more perspective on DNP and PhD is helpful for you.

    Best of luck to you as think about which degree is your best fit! If you comb through the doctoral nursing section of AllNurses, you will find a lot of threads about DNP vs PhD. I'd love to hear what you decide!
  8. by   SummerGarden
    Yes, I understand the difference between the two, but thank you. As you noted, one cannot receive too much advice.

    The reason I go back and forth is because I love research and I love being a manager who applies research to the real nursing world. In addition, the opportunities within my organization includes research, where PhD prepared nurses working in leadership and/or management positions are able to continue to conduct research for the organization and within surrounding communities while performing their full-time jobs.

    By the way, thank you for sharing your background. I like to see candidates such as yourself as the ones who are applying to PhD programs. Also, the subject matter of interest to you is very important and will be impactful given that the disparities among LGBTQ+ is actually causing a higher mortality rate due to many factors that need to be changed. Hopefully you will get into at least one of the schools to which you are applying.
  9. by   saheckler
    Thanks SummerGarden! I can see your conundrum! Maybe the good news is that regardless of which you choose you'll be happy, since you have compelling reasons for both options. I hope more people respond to this thread and that it's helpful for all of us! Best of luck making your decision. I'm sure whatever you choose will be great!

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