Doctorate Degree Programs In Nursing

Doctorate Degree Programs In Nursing

Doctor in nursing practice and Ph.D. in nursing are the main terminal degree programs in nursing. As much as both programsearn one a doctorate title, differencesoccur regarding the purpose, the qualifications and the skills obtained from the two (American Association of Colleges of Nursing). The two are different in several ways. Hence, one should make a clear review of the two before embarking on any of them. An individual wishing to take one of the two should have a deeper understanding of what he/she wants to do with the program. It is because a wrong choice would lead to a waste of time since none of the two can be substituted for the other.

Ph.D. in nursing is a research-oriented degree whereas the DNP is a practice-oriented degree. Due to the research role of the Ph.D. nurse, he or she could be considered a knowledge creator. (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2004) illustrates that aDNP nurseapplies the knowledge created by the Ph.D. nurse during the scope of practice. Ph.D. nurses utilize the philosophical and theoretical frameworks of nursing to come up with new knowledge whereas the DNP nurse utilizes this knowledge and puts it into nursing practice.

Another difference is that, during the period of training, the DNP nurse has to spend time at the clinical setup to enhance his or her practical knowledge.(American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, 2007)suggest that the Ph.D. nurses deal with the philosophical and theoretical framework hence they do not need to have hands-on practice. However, irrespective of the differences, none of the two degrees is superior to the other. Each offers a solution towards the improvement of patient outcomes.

Personally, I would choose to do a doctorate in nursing program degree. It is because my interest lies in the being a full-time nurse practitioner hence this degree program is likely to offer me the satisfaction.


American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (2007). AANA Position on Doctoral Preparation of Nurse Anesthetists. Available in“Archived copy” (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 October 2007.

American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2004). AACN Position Statement on the Practice Doctorate in Nursing. Available at

American Association of Colleges of Nursing | DNP Fact Sheet”. Retrieved 2018-03-19.