Nurse Doctorate degree - page 2

Hi all. First time poster here. I've been accepted to a Nurse Doctorate program starting fall 2003. While I'm really excited about it, I'm also wondering if I'm being smart about this step. My... Read More

  1. by   lalaxton
    I'm not sure what kind of advanced practice position you are looking at with your ND. I went back after being an RN for 15 years to get my BSN then MSN/FNP. After obtaining my Master's at U of South Carolina I was asked if I wanted to continue in their newly created ND program. I chose not to because I wanted to practice directly with patients ( I am working as an ACNP at present) and going further would not get me any more job prospects or money, and I was not interested in remaining in the academic setting. As for clinical hours, my MSN/FNP program alone required 600 hrs. I would suggest if you go this route, once you have written your NCLEX to get a part time job as a staff nurse. Hands on experience will go much further than clinical hours.
  2. by   BrandyBSN
    so thats only 600 clinical hours??? thats not much... or was that just the first year. that would sound about right.
  3. by   Gampopa
    The 300 hrs. are a specific course "Clinical Externship" before the NCLEX. There is also another 300 "Clinical Externship" after the NCLEX. There are also other courses Ie: Nursing of Children/Adolescents, Nursing of Adults and Older Adults etc. which I believe have an additional 180 hrs clinical for each course. I'm trying to confirm if that is the case.

    Also, lalaxton mentioned that "hands on experience would go much further than clinical hours". I thought the clinical hours were hands on experience with the patient/client/guest is this not true or does it depend on the clinical placement?
  4. by   llg
    Your impressions are correct, Gampopa. Historically, the clinical experiences in the UCHSC ND program are very "hands on." Ocassionally, clinical experiences as a student can suffer because of the student being in the area for only a short time, rotating from clinical site to clinical site, etc. But the UCHSC program that I knew back in the 1990's did a very good job.

    Also, don't forget ... the whole fourth year of residency is clinical experience that mimics the first year of a post-graduation job -- except that it includes a seminar and an assigned project. Is that residency still 32 hours per week for 2 semesters? That's a LOT of high-quality clinical hours! Most programs (of any kind) don't include such a residency and most people who read this thread and/or prospective employers won't know about that experience unless you educate them about it.

    llg (who uses her computer at work to access this board and who won't return until Monday morning.)
  5. by   JWRN
    Congrats on getting accepted. I only know a few ND's. This was nursing's answer to the MD, it was method for nursing to have clinically focused doctorate. I am in PhD program now 12 hours into it. It is tough. I have no great desire to to research as primary investigator for the rest of my life, but the PhD program I am in is clinically oriented to some extent. I have looked into ND programs as an option, but there are none in TX and I cannot afford out of state tuition even if I taught for the school...I have reservations everyday about this choice, I know if I withdraw I will regret it, but it sure would be nice to have my life back....and not have to worry about school. I have met one person that graduated from the program at UCHSC he enjoyed the program and is still working there at the affiliated hospital as a pain management nurse...I agree with llg, the programs in the US are good programs, I also feel like llg does regarding working as staff nurse for 1-2 years after graduating, it will only serve you in the end....Good luck with your program, I'm sure you will do just fine. Again congrats, it is no small feat getting accepted......
  6. by   jeannet83
    I would just recommend that you look at what your long-term goal is in respect to the nurse doctorate degree. Are you going to teach academically or do research? Then this is a good degree for you to have. However, if you are looking to be an NP or clinical specialist or nurse educator, a MS will do and as someone said earlier, a ND in this case may not net you a whole lot more salary. Look at what you goals are and then choose the right degree to match it. Good luck with your plans and keep us posted! Jeanne
  7. by   New CCU RN
    Originally posted by Gampopa
    Thanks for all your comments. The UCHSC ND program includes 300 hrs. pre and 300 hrs post NCLEX clinical practice. (The pre NCLEX hrs. are supervised). I regard the clinical experience as critical to my training and expect to spend (at least) a couple of years of practice as a staff nurse gaining experience and confidence. I also want the advanced degree but don't want to be continually going to school; so the ND seems like the best option. I still have some research to do about the program mostly contacting grads. and asking the pertinent questions.

    Just a comparison, for your information.... my BSN program had over 1750 hours of clinical time in four years....
  8. by   chicoborja
    PhD's are commonly referred to as 'doctor' in academic settings but many would say it is inapproprate for a PhD to be called 'doctor' in a clinical setting when the doctorate is a research degree (i.e. a respiratory therapist with a PhD). I can see the logic with this but what about the ND? Unlike the PhD and the DNSc, the ND is intended to be clinically focused. Let us look at other allied health professions transitioning to doctoring fields. Pharmacy has mandated that the PharmD be the entry level degree for their field. Right now you will not hear many pharmacists in retail settings being called 'doctor' but this seems to be increasing in clinical settings and I imagine in years to come it will increase in retail settings as the amount of BS's decrease. Physical Therapy is transitioning to the DPT and Audiology is transitioning to the AuD. These independent practitioners are in many cases referred to as 'doctor' and they will have not longer but comparable levels of education to the ND. Does the ND deserve the right to be called 'doctor' in the clinical setting? This seems to be more of a gray area because of the dependence on the physician that advanced practice nurses have (being in supervised or collaboratory relationships with doctors). What about states such as Washington that do not require any relationship btw the NP and Dr? Is it ethical for the ND to call themselves Dr and if so does the ND have an ethical obligation to reveal to the patient that they are a nurse doctor and not an allopath or osteopath? Should the ND not be called Dr because the doctorate is not the entry-level degree into the profession as it is in optometry, podiatry, now pharmacy and soon to be audiology and then shortly after physical therapy. This same question would hold true for occupational therapy where the OTD is available but not mandated?
  9. by   caduca
    The degree won't matter after you walk across the stage. It won't guarantee a certain type of job, and it may prohibit you from getting jobs some may think you are "overqualified" for. I know some nurses that won't put their doctrorate work on their resume.

    If you want to be a good nurse- get into a good BSN or ADN program and dedicate yourself to your practice- work a lot and in hard, demanding areas. My graduate work is not in nursing, but it complements nursing well- health service management. I decided not to get a Masters in Nursing because the money wasn't there in the area I investigated and with the persons I asked. I more than doubled my income with the other degree. Again, the degree didn't do it- it only got me the interview and my experience landed the jobs. My military experience has almost guaranteed my every job I've applied for.
  10. by   Tim-GNP
    Here are my two cents...

    Get a PhD in something else. If you want to become an RN, go to an ADN program. I entered RN practice with a BSN, but I was an LPN and had all of my liberal arts courses out of the way-- that's why I went for the BSN. The experience that I have had with ADN graduates is this: They are excellent nurses. If you do decide upon a BSN program, check out the number of clinical hours they give, contact the State Board of Nursing in the state in which you reside for NCLEX pass ratio statistics on the schools you are considering, etc.
  11. by   bergren
    Earlier it was asked how to afford the tuition for the doctorate. For a BSN, going for the masters, and for the MSN who is going back for the doctorate, ask about graduate assistantships. I had teaching assistanships and research assistantships that paid all tuition, a stipend, and provided extremely valuable experience.
  12. by   bergren
    An earlier post asked for names of schools offering doctoral programs:

    The AACN website lists contact information for all nursing doctoral programs accredited through the American Association of Colleges for Nursing

    This link provides infomation about Nurisng doctoral programs internationally:

    The following website is not a complete list of schools, but
    the links are embedded and it allows for sotring programs for accelerated BSN, drect entry MSN etc. .
  13. by   debmsn01
    I guess I am confused. I began my nursing career as an LPN, than ADN-BSN & MSN. Lots of school, but it still doesn't always apply since I chose the CNS vs the NP route thinking I would prefer more disease management/teaching than physicals. I now teach nursing at the ADN level & I view the "practice" of nursing imperative to the foundation of an Advanced Practice degree. I don't think you can just intuitively "know" or grasp the concept of nursing without those very important first years. I felt I truly became a competant nurse maybe 5 years into the profession when everything suddenly comes together. I tell my students not to expect to know everything right away, it comes with EXPERIENCE!!! An advanced degree doesn't make the nurse-the experience does. Good luck with your choice & seek mentoring from nurses with knowledge, experience & application of both.:angel2: