United States Campus Doctorate in Nursing Programs
Doctorate in Nursing Schools award two doctoral degrees in the field of nursing. These are the PhD in Nursing, and the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). In simple terms, a PhD is a research doctorate. A DNP is a professional practice doctorate. Both are terminal degrees but each could entail distinct requirements.
Doctorate in Nursing Schools: PhD vs. DNP Schools?
Since the scope of both the coursework and the ultimate applications of a DNP or PhD in Nursing differs, students might look to compare Doctorate in Nursing Schools for one type of degree or the other. For instance, because research is central to a PhD nursing program, it could be important to align one’s personal interests with a nursing school’s active projects.
DNP vs PhD
Scholarship is central to both a DNP and PhD in Nursing, but there are some differences that stand out. It might help to clarify this before one initiates a search for a doctorate degree in nursing program and school. Since, per the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN,2004), both “types of doctorates, research-focused and practice-focused, may coexist within the same education unit”. i
PhD in Nursing
Students who aspire to scholarly research and scientific inquiry might study to earn a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing. In simple terms, a PhD in Nursing is all about nursing research, and PhD in Nursing programs aim to prepare nurse scientists to develop new theory for the science and practice of nursing.
Doctorate of Nursing Practice
Nurses who aspire to advanced nursing practice might study to earn a DNP degree. The aim of a DNP program is to help nurses lead in interdisciplinary health care teams, and to translate evidence gained through nursing research into practice. Hence, DNP nurses could learn how to improve systems of care or measure outcomes of patient groups.
DID YOU KNOW?
When surveyed, 37 % of Clinical Nursing Instructors said they had a Doctoral degree.
How Do You Earn a PhD in Nursing?
To earn a PhD in nursing, students are required to complete an original research project and defend their dissertation or linked research paper.i Additionally, some schools that offer Doctorate in Nursing degrees may require a set number of mentored teaching practicum hours, although clinical hours may not be needed.
Applicants to a Nursing PhD program may need to have earned a BSN and/or MSN or related masters degree from a regionally accredited college or university, among other requirements.
PhD in Nursing Curriculums
While degree requirements might vary amongst Doctorate in Nursing Schools, some programs encompass between 45 and 57 credits. This might take a full-time student between four and five years to finish, though this is also variable.
Through a nursing PhD program, students could build a strong base in how to develop and analyze theory. For instance, candidates might examine the theories for client and nurse relationships or for nursing practice.
PhD in Nursing students often take courses that could help them as they conduct research through classes in qualitative and quantitative research methods. Other courses might help students present new knowledge to enhance the nursing profession.
Furthermore, students might develop more in-depth knowledge as they anchor their research in a specific curriculum focus. Trajectories of Chronic Illness and Care Systems is one example.
At a glance, some sample core PhD courses are listed below. Make sure to refer to individual nursing schools to confirm what classes they offer.
MSN to PhD programs typically build on bachelor level nursing education. The master's component often prepares students with a nurse educator role focus. Graduates in this type of program typically first study to earn a MSN degree, which could then prepare them to take national certification exams.
As a result, students could reasonably expect to take courses such as advanced pathophysiology, advanced health assessment and advanced pharmacology. These courses could be stacked onto classes in evidence-based teaching practice, psychology of learning and curriculum theory.
The doctoral component then engages candidates to bring forth new knowledge gained from their disciplined inquiry that could advance the profession of nursing education and its practice.
What Is a Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree?
A Doctor of Nursing Practice degree (DNP for short) is the recommended level of education required for professional nurses who practice advanced nursing.I Consequently, DNP schools usually place greater emphasis on diagnostic and treatment skills with less emphasis on theory and research methodology.
Applicants to DNP schools might enter through one of several pathways to a DNP degree: (1) BSN to DNP, (2) MSN to DNP, and (3) APRN to DNP. However, some students may find DNP programs they could apply to even with a non-nursing background.
These programs do typically take longer and may entail some foundational nursing courses and other things like a Registered Nurse (RN) license. Ultimately, whatever entry point is suitable to a student, their program is usually designed to provide any DNP competencies not previously attained. i
Each type of program entails specific courses, clinical practicums and degree requirements, though students typically do need to complete a DNP project to earn their degree.
Also, some Doctorate in Nursing Schools might offer accelerated programs, so there are several options aside from the three mentioned above. Admissions counselors could be helpful and may provide more information.
Doctorate in nursing programs curriculum in accredited DNP schools typically build off a set of eight competencies called ‘DNP Essentials’ by the AACN. While the depth to which each competency is addressed depends on the specific program focus, all DNP programs must prepare graduates in the following areas regardless of their nursing specialty.
Note: Course names could vary between Doctorate in Nursing schools.i
Apart from the above core, candidates typically take nursing specialty-specific courses. To that end, interested students could refine their search for DNP schools based on their career goals and nursing clinical focus. Not all nursing schools offer the same emphases, so use the ones below as examples, then look for others.
Why Study to Earn a Nursing Doctorate on Campus?
Campus Doctorate in Nursing programs provide a traditional classroom-based experience for students who strive for either a DNP or PhD in Nursing. In this format, students travel to their campus to attend courses and participate in any training labs.
Some Doctorate in Nursing schools offer classes in the evenings or on weekends. Thus, many schools want their programs to work for busy professionals who need to continue their full-time employment while they pursue their degree.
Campus-based programs could be a good fit for students who prefer to learn in an in-person classroom structure. Class meetings may enhance learning through face-to-face interaction and open dialogue with instructors and classmates.
Accreditation for Doctorate in Nursing Schools
Doctorate in Nursing Schools might have programs that are accredited by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and/or by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
Get Program Matches Now
Advanced Practice Registered Nurses may choose to earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice or a PhD in Nursing.ii Easily compare Doctorate in Nursing schools to find a program that you want to apply to. Then, use the on-page form to contact PhD or DNP schools right away.
- Fairfield, CTFairfield, CT
Sacred Heart University
The College of Nursing’s BSN to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree educates nurses to become advanced practices nurses in the role of the family nurse practitioner.
- Colorado Springs, COColorado Springs, CO
Colorado Technical University
CTU’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) was developed using the AACN Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice. The program starts every 13 weeks. Learn more.
- Greenwood Village, CO
- Teaneck, NJTeaneck, NJ
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Educates nurses for the highest level of clinically expert practice including sophisticated diagnostic & treatment competencies...
- Fairfax, VAFairfax, VA
George Mason University
The School of Nursing is a teaching/learning organization with a national and international academic reputation, grounded in sound general education. It develops and supports a diverse faculty who are visionary and competent practitioners, scholars, and...
- Fairfax, VA
- Indianapolis, INIndianapolis, IN
Prepares graduates for leadership roles in advanced nursing practice, clinical specialization, and nursing administration.
- University Park, PAUniversity Park, PA
Pennsylvania State University
The graduate programs emphasize productive scholarship and research in the development of nursing knowledge and the translation of knowledge into practice. Advanced study is in human health and development throughout the life span, and in nursings role...
- University Park, PA
- Grand Rapids, MIGrand Rapids, MI
Grand Valley State University
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is designed for nurses seeking a terminal degree in nursing practice.
- Columbus, OHColumbus, OH
Ohio State University
Ranked in the top 20 Graduate Nursing Programs in the country according to the 2003 U.S. News and World Report college rankings. Financial aid and graduate associateships are available to qualified students.
- Columbus, OH
- Cincinnati, OHCincinnati, OH
University of Cincinnati
The graduate program seeks to attract students with the potential for leadership roles in advanced nursing practice and nursing science development.
- Ann Arbor, MIAnn Arbor, MI
University of Michigan
Nursing specialization courses are subject-intensive and designed to prepare students for advanced nursing practice in their respective areas of study.
- Philadelphia, PAPhiladelphia, PA
La Salle University
The DNP Program at La Salle University has a strong practice component with access to environments that provide opportunities for knowledge and skill development.
- Baltimore, MDBaltimore, MD
Morgan State University
Morgan’s MSN program is designed for adult learners who are working full-time. Students attend classes from 9am to 5pm 10 consecutive Saturdays to complete two courses each term. Four terms are offered each calendar year with a break of several weeks be...
- Saint Louis, MOSaint Louis, MO
St. Louis University
Saint Louis University School of Nursing offers part- and full-time master's degree programs in nursing for preparation as an advanced practice nurse in Adult Nursing, Family and Community Health Nursing, Gerontological Nursing, Informatics Nursing,...
- Atlanta, GAAtlanta, GA
Georgia State University
The goals of the School are : to graduate nurses who are strongly committed to improving patient care. These goals have been reached through Educating nurse clinicians, practitioners, scholars, leaders and researchers Developing health-related com...
- Little Rock, ARLittle Rock, AR
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
- Tucson, AZTucson, AZ
University of Arizona
Generate and expand the knowledge base of nursing through the education of practitioners, the development and testing of knowledge, and service to the community.
- Pittsburgh, PAPittsburgh, PA
The Ph.D. Nursing program curriculum is designed to provide a foundation in nursing theory and research, as well as practical experience in a functional nursing role, clinical specialty or research activity.
- Kent, OHKent, OH
Kent State University
In Spring, 2011, Kent State University College of Nursing will begin offering the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree.
- Birmingham, ALBirmingham, AL
University of Alabama at Birmingham
At the masterÆs level, we offer preparation for nurse practitioners in Adult, Family, Neonatal, Pediatrics, and WomenÆs Health. In addition, we prepare Nurse Educators, Nurse Administrators, and Quality Outcomes Managers for health care systems. Two of...
- Villanova, PAVillanova, PA
The Graduate Program in the College of Nursing is known for its educational excellence. Our challenging, cutting edge curricula and distinguished faculty are invaluable in helping you achieve your professional career goals. We bring together the worlds...
- Villanova, PA
- Arlington, TXArlington, TX
University of Texas at Arlington
Nursing Programs - Doctorate
The Graduate Program at UTA offers a variety of flexible scheduling options for courses that include evenings and weekends. Students have an option to complete their MSN and PhD with full-time or part-time study.