Topic 3 DQ 3.7

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Please respond with a paragraph to the following question, add citations and references:

The Ph.D. in nursing, is research- and science-oriented. It prepares graduates to develop new, evidence-based knowledge for the nursing profession. Ph.D. graduates can lead research teams and design and implement studies that address disease trajectories and care systems (American Sentinel University, 2014). The DNP is focused on advancing an understanding of nursing practice. The curriculum emphasizes both clinical and leadership skills. Graduates will be poised to translate nursing research into evidence-based standards of care – allowing them to lead interdisciplinary care teams, improve care systems, and evaluate outcomes among specific patient populations (Loomis & Cohen, 2007).

The DNP is a practice doctorate that places greater emphasis on direct clinical practice. The curriculum focuses on organizational management, systems leadership, clinical-practice administration, quality improvement and program evaluation, in addition to other specialty areas, and less on statistics and research methodology. Students generally complete an evidence-based “final DNP project” and an intensive practice immersion experience.

On the other hand, a DNS or PhD is more research-intensive and takes a scholarly approach to nursing. The curriculum for these degrees focuses on scientific inquiry and provides the evidence for nursing practice, as well as improving general nursing knowledge.If I choose to pursue, I would go for DNP because nurses frequently work alongside other health professionals with practice doctorates – physicians, pharmacists, physical therapists and more. The DNP provides nurses with a clinical option for nursing education that is more commensurate to the education of these disciplines. Likewise, research clearly draws a distinct connection between higher levels of nursing education and improved patient outcomes.


American Sentinel University. (2014, October 1). DNP vs. Ph.D. in Nursing: The Difference and The Future of Nursing.

Loomis, J. A., Willard, B., & Cohen, J. (2007). Difficult Professional Choices: Deciding Between the PhD and the DNP in Nursing.

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