Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Programs

The doctor of nursing programs take about 4-6 years to complete and includes training in data analysis; statistics; leadership skills; philosophy and history of nursing science. Beyond this, a nurse can match her degree training with a specialized area in which she is most interested in. 

Doctor of Nursing in Education Program or ND

This is a program that requires 3-5 years of full-time learning. It focuses on advanced practice specialties as well as evidence-based research. 

Doctor of Nursing Practice Program or DNP 

This is a rising doctoral program that often requires 3 years of study (full-time). The DNP program prepares graduates for positions of leadership in clinical care delivery, research, and system management. 

Doctor of Nursing Science Program or DNSc 

Graduates of this program are nurse scientists who can easily influence the health care system. Through clinical leadership and research, these graduates also become analysts that fill in jobs in the economic sector, informatics and health care. 

Doctor of Philosophy 

The PhD program prepares nurse researchers and scholars that will contribute to the nursing practice theoretical foundations. Graduates become theorists, teachers and researchers. 

Doctoral Nursing Program Outlook 

The doctoral programs for nursing are anticipated to rise in the next decade or so and this is because of the ever-rising demand for different nurses across the health care, research and education fields. 

There is a strong need for better-equipped nurses throughout the country which is why continuing nursing education is now flourishing. To many interested students, nursing scholarships can be availed of by applying directly or through schools online. 

Many of the states and certifying agencies require at least a Master’s degree when applying for a doctoral program. Under the doctoral program, the participant is geared in advancing his/her nursing skills under different settings. 

The current status of DNS and PhD nursing degree programs are research-focused. These give emphasis on empirical more than applied research. A 1999 survey of the AACN on schools that offer doctoral programs showed that only one school offered both programs with a DNS internship. Even with the 52 doctoral programs in 1980 through 1990, there were just 200 more graduates in 1998 than ten years earlier. 

In essence, the country has a long way to go in terms of establishing more programs for the right candidates. Also, the number of doctoral educated nurses per school is still small and those that are employed in leadership positions are fewer than those that currently work in clinical settings.