difference between a DNP and a PhD in nursing

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What is the difference between a DNP and a PhD in nursing? Which of these would you choose to pursue if you decide to continue your education to the doctoral level?

According to American Sentinel University (n.d.), both of the DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) and the Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) are the doctoral-level nursing degrees. The Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) is a research-focused degree program and the DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) a more of a practice-focused program. The Ph.D. is research- and science-oriented, responsible for new evidence-based knowledge for the nursing profession. Ph.D. graduates can lead research teams, design and implement studies to address diseases and care systems that involve in statistics, data analysis, and scientific theory (Passmore, 2018).

One article describes DNPs (Doctor of Nursing Practice) as an advanced practice nurse who works toward improvement of patient care outcomes by integrating research into the nursing practice. DNPs can influence and change healthcare policies that affect populations as a whole. (What Is the Difference Between a DNP and PhD in Nursing? 2016). Another article states DNP has a combination of competencies that allows a nurse to practice evidence-based medicine, inter- professional collaboration and teamwork, patient-centered care, prioritizing quality improvement, and incorporating information technology (Christiansen & Champion, 2018).

I am planning on continuing my education upon the completion of the BSN program to actively pursue my MSN, I am unsure at this moment if I want to go for my DNP because the cost associated with it as well as I do not wish to feel like I am in school forever. With the MSN, I can further advance in my pursuit if leadership, educator and/or even NP. I will honestly have to see how the MSN portion goes before I even consider the DNP at this point, but I am always looking to advance/ improve myself, and I know that in order to be more competitive for higher positions within executive leadership I may have to separate myself by completing my DNP eventually.

Christiansen, B., & Champion, J. D. (2018). Retrieved from https://ac-els-cdn-com.lopes.idm.oclc.org

Passmore, S. (2018, August 30). DNP vs. Ph.D in Nursing: The Difference and The Future of Nursing. Retrieved from https://www.americansentinel.edu/blog/2014/10/01/terminal-degree-programs-what-is-the-difference-between-the-dnp-and-ph-d/

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