For aspiring nurses with a Master’s Degree, the next evident step in the career is to get either a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree or apply for the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. D.) level. The primary difference between them is the approach to nursing. As seen from the name, the applicants of the DNP exercise a more practical approach, while the Ph.D. in nursing generally concerns academic research (Androus, 2021). While the two forms of education frequently collaborate to contribute to the improvement of the healthcare system, the goals, programs, and resources of degrees differ drastically (Cygan & Reed, 2019). The aim of a DNP is to prepare experts in the clinical practice of nursing, and the primary objective of a Ph.D. is to advance the theoretical progress that might provide innovative technologies and methods of treatment. While of secondary concern, the salaries of the nurses with the mentioned degrees do not deviate much and are generally equal to $100 000 per year (Androus, 2021). Overall, these two forms of education have different objectives and approaches to nursing, and one should carefully consider all pros and cons before making the decision.
Personally, at the moment, I lean towards a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree since I prefer a more practical approach. Furthermore, direct treatment grants me a feeling of accomplishment and actual impact on the lives of the patients. I also appreciate social interaction and would like to be at the forefront of clinical practice. Nevertheless, I believe that collaboration between the practical and theoretical approaches is essential to develop as a professional. Therefore, even though DNP is favorable for me at the moment, I would like to take every opportunity to become more proficient in the academic field as well..
Androus, A. B. (2021). What is the difference between an MD, DNP, and Ph.D. in nursing? Web.
Cygan, H. R., & Reed, M. (2019). DNP and Ph.D. scholarship: Making the case for collaboration. Journal of Professional Nursing, 35, 353-357.