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 Practice PhD in Nursing
Focus Nursing Practice Nursing Research
Degree Objective To 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 Focus Translation of Evidence to Practice, Transformation of Health Care, Health Care Leadership and Advanced Specialty Practice Trajectories of Chronic Illness and Care Systems
Core Courses EBP I and II, Quantitative Methods, Data-Driven Health Care Improvement, Applied Finance & Budget Planning, Effective Leadership, Transforming the Nation's Health and Health Systems Transformation Philosophy of Science & Theory Development, Advanced Research Methods, Statistics & Data Analysis, Longitudinal & Qualitative Research Methods, Chronic Illness & Care Systems
Mentored Teaching Experience Optional Minimum of 140 hours
Clinical Hours 400 minimum within scholarly project None
Scholarly Project Yes No
Dissertation No Yes
Distance Learning/Online Option Yes No
Part-time study Yes, Program designed for working nurses No
Point of entry BSN or master's in advanced nursing practice BSN or MSN or related master's degree
Program Length Five semesters for MSN entry; varies for BSN entry* Four to five years
Credits Required 35 to 94* 57
Employment Opportunities Post Graduation Health care administration, clinical nurse faculty Nurse scientist, nursing faculty
GRE Required Not for students who have an earned master's Not for students who have an earned PhD
Tuition Waiver** N/A Full tuition, fees and health insurance paid by School of Nursing
Stipend N/A 12-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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