educational advancement: the dnp (doctor of nursing practice)/phd
• Both degrees involve a high-level of academic research and require substantial coursework, including classes in topics such as medical science, health policy, healthcare management, epidemiology, and patient care.
• Both are terminal degrees that recognize the holder’s expertise in their respective field of study.
• The curriculum for both degrees is rigorous and demanding; this includes completing a dissertation (for PhD programs) or a capstone project (for DNP programs) which must be defended before graduating.
• A PhD focuses more broadly on theory-based research while the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) involves applying evidence-based knowledge to clinical practice applications.
• While both typically require between 50–80 credits to complete, PhD programs usually take longer to finish due to additional requirements such as comprehensive exams or teaching assistantships; conversely, DNP students may have fewer courses but will typically spend more time gaining hands-on experience through clinical rotations at various sites throughout their program.
• A PhD student usually specializes within a specific area of study while DNP students must develop broad competencies related to leadership roles within nursing practice settings.