After completing their BSN program, some nurses practice and enhance their expertise in the workplace while others choose to simultaneously pursue the next step of professional expertise and become a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or get a Ph.D. in Nursing. The fundamental difference between the two doctorate programs is that the latter is focused on research and science rather than practice per se (“DNP-PhD comparison,” n.d.). Thus, a DNP degree places major emphasis on the advanced specialty practice in the clinical environment and the skills required to become a nursing leader and manage nursing staff in a medical establishment. On the contrary, a Ph.D. in nursing addresses the nurses’ desire to become scholars in the nursing field and conduct extensive research that could be later integrated into the working agenda for nurses and clinical practice in general.
Hence, whereas both these paths have their benefits for the nursing practice, it is rather had to choose the direction I would like to pursue. However, since my first years in nursing, I have cherished the opportunity to communicate with patients and be an advocate or change that translates real concerns of the patients. Thus, a Ph.D. program is not quite suitable for me because I would miss interacting with my team and patients on a daily basis. DNP, on the other hand, educates future clinical nurse faculty and nursing managers, allowing me to remain within the team while having more autonomy and power of decision-making and department planning. For this reason, I believe that pursuing a DNP degree is a viable option for me in the future, as I want to be a clinical health administrator who promotes change and innovation directly in the healthcare facility.
DNP-PhD comparison. (n.d.). Duke University. Web.