DNP-PhD Comparison

The DNP degree is a practice doctorate. The PhD is a research doctorate. Graduates of PhD programs are prepared to conduct independent research and disseminate their findings. The DNP will provide graduates with the skills and tools necessary to assess the evidence gained through nursing research, evaluate the impact of that research on their practice and, as necessary, make changes to enhance quality of care. Scholarship is an integral part of both doctoral degrees.

 Doctor of Nursing PracticePhD in Nursing
FocusNursing PracticeNursing Research
Degree ObjectiveTo create nursing leaders in interdisciplinary health care teams by providing students with the tools and skills necessary to translate evidence gained through nursing research into practice, improve systems of care and measure outcomes of patient groups, populations and communities.To prepare nurse scientist to develop new knowledge for the science and practice of nursing. Graduates will lead interdisciplinary research teams, design and conduct research studies and disseminate knowledge for nursing and related disciplines, particularly addressing trajectories of chronic illness and care systems.
Curriculum FocusTranslation of Evidence to Practice, Transformation of Health Care, Health Care Leadership and Advanced Specialty PracticeTrajectories of Chronic Illness and Care Systems
Core CoursesEBP I and II, Quantitative Methods, Data-Driven Health Care Improvement, Applied Finance & Budget Planning, Effective Leadership, Transforming the Nation's Health and Health Systems TransformationPhilosophy of Science & Theory Development, Advanced Research Methods, Statistics & Data Analysis, Longitudinal & Qualitative Research Methods, Chronic Illness & Care Systems
Mentored Teaching ExperienceOptionalMinimum of 140 hours
Clinical Hours400 minimum within scholarly projectNone
Scholarly ProjectYesNo
Distance Learning/Online OptionYesNo
Part-time studyYes, Program designed for working nursesNo
Point of entryBSN or master's in advanced nursing practiceBSN or MSN or related master's degree
Program LengthFive semesters for MSN entry; varies for BSN entry*Four to five years
Credits Required35 to 94*57
Employment Opportunities Post GraduationHealth care administration, clinical nurse facultyNurse scientist, nursing faculty
GRE RequiredNot for students who have an earned master'sNot for students who have an earned PhD
Tuition Waiver**N/AFull tuition, fees and health insurance paid by School of Nursing
StipendN/A12-month stipends are fully funded for the first two years of the program. Tuition and 9-month stipends are fully funded in years 3-5.
* Program length and required credits depend on advanced practice specialty selected, 73 to 94 credits for BSN entry. For MSN entry, 35 to 41.
**All applicants should view the PhD Financial Support page to learn more on financial aid options.
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