DNP vs. PhD: Program Comparison
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
|Emphasis||Expertise as a clinician, application of clinical evidence in practice.||Expertise as a researcher and generator of new knowledge in nursing.|
|Objective of the curriculum||To prepare leaders of interdisciplinary health care delivery teams. To translate research evidence into practice.||To prepare leaders of interdisciplinary research teams. To gain expertise in the design, implementation, and dissemination of research and creation of new knowledge for nursing and related disciplines.|
|Focus of coursework||Health assessment, pathophysiology, pharmacology, evidence based practice, applied statistics, improving healthcare outcomes.
|Philosophy of science, theory development, quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research methods, applied and advanced statistics, data analysis.|
|Clinical hours||BSN to DNP: includes 1000 post-baccalaureate experiential hours with 624 direct clinical hours. Also includes 4 credit hours of specialty project plus 4 credit hours of professional development activities.
MSN to DNP: includes 4 credit hours of specialty project and 4 credit hours of professional development activities. No additional direct care hours are required.
|Culminating work||DNP project: related to student’s clinical focus area.
DNP residency: provides professional development activities in the student’s area of expertise.
|Research dissertation in the student’s focus area of scholarship, dissemination of new knowledge.|
|Distance learning||Yes, almost exclusively on line with the exception of clinical experiences.||No|
|Program length||2-3 years||3-4 years|
|Program credits||73-79 (BSN to DNP)
35 (MSN to DNP)
|90 (BSN to PhD)
62 (MSN to PhD)
|Part time study available||Yes||Yes|
|Financial support||Varies based on program and student demonstration of financial need.||Available to first and second year students, some availability for subsequent years based on student demonstration of financial need.|