Ph.D. or DNP: Which Nursing Doctorate Is Right for You?

Which doctoral degree you choose depends on your area of interest (nursing science or advanced clinical practice), your overall career goals (practice, education, research) and your prior nursing experience. At Kent State we offer both doctoral programs that can help you advance to the next level of your career.

To help you choose your doctorate, here is a comparison between Kent State’s Ph.D. in Nursing and DNP programs:

Comparison between the Ph.D. and DNP programs

 

Ph.D.

DNP

Curriculum

Research-focused - prepares you to develop and advance nursing science using established and emerging methods to advance health, health care, and the profession of nursing, and to assume leadership roles in the profession.

Practice-focused - provide expert, evidence-based advanced nursing care, lead and evaluate programs of care, and synthesize and translate evidence to improve healthcare outcomes.

Role in Nursing

Knowledge generation, dissemination, and stewardship; leadership in healthcare and educational environments.

Expert clinical practice, research translation to enhance patient and system outcomes, leadership in clinical and administrative environments.

Scheduling

Courses offered using both traditional and alternative scheduling delivery methods.

Post-BSN: Courses offered using both traditional and alternative scheduling delivery methods
Post-MSN: 100% online

Minimum Degree(s) Required for Admission

Bachelor's degree in Nursing and Master's degree in nursing or closely related health field.

BSN -or-
MSN and certification as an APRN

Full and Part-time Study Options?

Yes

Full-time only

Dissertation or Scholarly Project Required?

Yes

Yes

Minimum Semesters of Full-Time Study

6 semesters

Post-BSN: 11 semesters, including summer
Post-MSN: 5 semesters, including summer

Practicum/Clinical Requirement

None

Post-BSN: 1,050-1,200 hours
Post-MSN: Minimum of 500 hours

Career Opportunities

  • Nurse scientist for a healthcare organization.
  • Faculty position at a university or college
  • Leadership position in healthcare organizations, higher education, government, or public policy groups.
  • Advanced practice nurse in a variety of clinical settings
  • Clinical faculty position at a university or college
  • Leadership position in healthcare organizations, higher education, government, or public policy groups.

Apply to the DNP program

Admission to the Ph.D. in Nursing program is temporarily suspended. Learn more

Still not sure which degree is right for you? Contact us by completing the form below and an enrollment advisor will assist you.