Comparison of DNP and PhD Programs

Degree ObjectivesPrepares nurses leaders at the highest level of nursing practice to improve patient outcomes and translate research into practice.Prepares nurses to conduct research that advances nursing science and become scientific leaders.
Point of EntryBSN or MSNBSN or MSN
Program Coursework– Clinical scholarship and analytical methods for evidence-based practice and quality improvement

– Organizational and systems leadership

– Health care policy & advocacy

– Interprofessional collaboration

– Population health

– Informational systems/technology

– Advanced nursing practice
– Philosophical and theoretical foundations of scientific inquiry

– Knowledge synthesis

– Scientific methods and data analytic tools

– Interdisciplinary depth in a selected area of study
Practice Hours1000 practice hours that include advanced practice clinical hours and a minimum of 400 DNP project hoursDirect immersion in research practices (required practica); variable hours
Scholarly ProjectDNP Project: Evidence-based project to improve practice and healthcare outcomesDissertation: Original research that contributes to the science of nursing
Post-Graduation Employment– Advanced nursing practice roles

– Academic clinical faculty

– Leadership in healthcare organizations, industries and policy arenas
– Researcher in healthcare organization

– Academic research faculty

– Leadership in academic and government agencies

Download PDF of DNP and PhD comparison table