PhD vs. DNP

Which terminal degree program is right for me?

Key differences between the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

PhD DNP
Purpose To prepare nurse scientist to conduct research. To prepare nurse leaders to apply evidence into practice.
Graduate Expectations Graduates are expected to advance the discipline of nursing and health care through research, education, and health policy. Graduates are prepared to be scholars in advancing nursing practice and lead organizational system changes designed to improve health care outcomes.
Point of Entry - Post BS in nursing
- Post MS in nursing
- Post MS equivalent with a BS in Nursing
Post MS in
- Informatics
- Administration
- Advance Practice (CNS, NP, CRNA or CNM)
Credit Hours - BSN to PhD requires a minimum of 98 semester hours.
- MS to PhD requires 51 semester hours of coursework and 9 credits for dissertation for a total of 60.
39 semester hours including the capstone project
Clinical Requirements None Minimum of 500 clinical hours post MS.
Competencies Courses focus on obtaining skills in research methods, theory construction, grant writing and dissemination of research findings. Courses focus on obtaining skills to translate and apply knowledge to improve systems and health outcomes.
Final Project Complete of a research project. Completion of a project that translates research into practice.