Differences in DNP and PhD in Nursing Essay

Differences in DNP and PhD in Nursing Essay

Differences in DNP and PhD in Nursing

A Philosophy in Nursing Degree (PhD) and a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) are the highest attainable degrees in nursing practice. DNP is focused more on clinical practice and leadership positions in clinical settings. On the other hand, PhD is focused more on nursing research (Moskowitz, 2019). The path one takes towards either of these terminal nursing degrees depends on their interests, personal and professional goals in nursing. However, both degrees enhance the health care system and the nursing profession.


A DNP degree equips individuals with the knowledge and skills required in clinical settings. It prepares nurses to assume the complex roles necessary for effective leadership in clinical settings, academia as deans or program directors in nursing schools and fostering interprofessional collaboration (McCauley et al., 2020). DNP nurses solve new problems by applying emerging technologies, treating and triaging patients requiring specialized and advanced education preparation, and creating and implementing innovative programs.

A PhD degree prepares one to conduct high-quality medical research that contributes to health care development. Polomano et al. (2020) state that PhD programs are research-intensive, preparing nurses to bridge gaps between practice and research, achieving national quality benchmarks, and providing methodological expertise to address clinical problems.

If I am to continue my education to the doctoral level, I will pursue a DNP degree. I am more interested in mentoring nurses, leveraging clinical practice, and increasing patient quality of care in clinical settings. I would also like to obtain a DNP degree for my professional development and self-actualization purposes. With those motivators close at heart, I am confident that I will overcome the challenges that I encounter to attain my dreams.

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McCauley, L. A., Broome, M. E., Frazier, L., Hayes, R., Kurth, A., Musil, C. M., Norman, L. D., Rideout, K. H., & Villarruel, A. M. (2020). Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree in the US: Reflecting, Readjusting, and Getting Back on Track. Nursing Outlook, 68(4). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.outlook.2020.03.008

Moskowitz, K. (2019). The Difference Between a DNP and a PhD in Nursing? | The NursingCE Blog. Nursing CE. https://www.nursingce.com/blog/the-difference-between-a-dnp-and-a-phd-in-nursing/

Polomano, R. C., Giordano, N. A., Miyamoto, S., Trautman, D., Kempf, S., & Nuzzo, P. M. (2020). Emerging roles for research intensive PhD prepared nurses: Beyond faculty positions. Journal of Professional Nursing. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.profnurs.2020.09.002

Topic 3 DQ 2
Start Date
Jan 31, 2022, 12:00 AM
Due Date
Feb 4, 2022, 11:59 PM
Assessment Description
Discuss the difference between a DNP and a PhD in nursing. Discuss which of these you would choose to pursue if you decide to continue your education to the doctoral level and explain why.

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