PhD Nursing Degree Programs: Doctors of Nursing

A nursing doctoral program can be one of two types of study programs: PhD or the DNP-- Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing or Doctor of Nursing Practice, respectively.

In the last decade or so the need for this level of nurse has increased exponentially:

  • Professional and advanced practice nurses are being urged to participate in high-level healthcare administration, pave new avenues in scopes of practice, and in scholarly research. And to these ends nursing education is making these programs as convenient and flexible as is possible given the weight of study and necessary commitment.

Campus-Based and Online Nursing Doctorates

Most large university schools of nursing, such as Duke University School of Nursing and Yale University School of Nursing, specialize in delivery of campus-based doctoral degree nursing programs. Online nursing doctorates are now commonplace and offer convenient and flexible options for both BSN and MSN entry. Fulltime study usually takes between 3 and 5 years to completion.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

The DNP program of study engages the advanced practice nurse in expert levels of practice. This IS a practice-focused program, compared to the research-centric PhD. Your intention to pursue this study track indicates your commitment to improving advanced nursing practice and providing leadership.

PhD in Nursing

The Nursing PhD program is similar in aim to any other PhD discipline, squarely focused on scholarly research, a scientific degree program that turns out nursing researchers and scholars.

Paying for a Doctoral Level Nursing Program

Search carefully for nursing doctoral programs. Good news is that since those students accepted are so limited and the programs so competitive that many schools offer fellowships as they would in other doctoral disciplines. This means you’ll not only be up to your eyeballs in studies and your own research, including dissertation, but you’ll also be assuming some of the teaching responsibility as a fellow.

Other financial aid options include federal and state aid, as well as institutional scholarships and grants, as well as nursing waivers, loan forgiveness, and tuition reimbursement programs.

Doctoral Nursing Careers and Jobs

As Advanced Practice nurses push further upward into healthcare the leadership they follow must be even more highly trained and educated. Common job positions you’ll find listed for PhD or DNP nurses include:

  • Director of Nursing Research
  • Director of Nursing Education
  • Director of Nursing Clinical Research
  • Nurse Faculty/PhD Professor
  • Nurse Scientist/Lead Researcher

You can expect to find jobs in healthcare institutions, research facilities, academics, and public health.

Explore Your Nursing Degree Options Today!