Both the DNP prepared nurse and PhD prepared nurse have valuable and vital roles within the healthcare field.

Both the DNP prepared nurse and PhD prepared nurse have valuable and vital roles within the healthcare field.  PhD prepared nurses are skilled in the area of research methods, such as quantitative, qualitative, and mixed research methods (Trautman, Idzik, Hammersla & Rosseter, 2018), therefore are research centered.  PhD prepared nurses are defined as linking research, teaching, and practice within the nursing profession (Andreassen & Christensen, 2018).  According to a quantitative study by Andrerassen & Christensen the number of PhD nurses is growing worldwide.  A priority of the PhD nurse is to complete practice based research with a goal to maintain a positive overall impact on patient care. 

   The DNP program was intended to prepare the advanced practice nurse to become a leader in a clinical practice setting (McCauley, Broome, Frazier, Hayes, Kurth, Musil, Norman, Rideout & Villarruel, 2020), therefore is more focused on clinical practice.  DNP prepared nurses often find themselves bridging the gap between research and the bedside (Trautman et al., 2018).  DNP nurses lead quality improvement initiatives while utilizing data to translate research into evidence based practice (Trautman et al., 2018).  Over the years the number of DNP programs available for one to enhance their education has grown.  DNP nurses complete coursework involving assessments of the most up to date technologies available to prescribers and will be prepared to apply this technology in the workforce to solve various problems (McCauley et al., 2020), such as solving emerging problems during this pandemic.   

   Both roles (DNP and PhD) aim at improving one’s healthcare services and wellbeing also are degrees of the highest level of nursing practice.  The goal of both the DNP and PhD prepared nurse is to have a positive patient care outcome.   Nurses have the opportunity to obtain either a PhD or DNP while expanding their knowledge in the healthcare field.  Overall this is a great opportunity,  one is able to choose what career path most suits them and their career goals.  I am excited to take advantage of this educational pathway with a goal to practice in a PMHNP role leader position.  I fully intend to  pursue my career in the mental health field and strengthen my clinical practice skills.   


Andreassen P., & Christensen M.K. (2018). “We’re at a watershed”: The positioning of PhD 

nurses in clinical practice. Journal of  Advanced Nursing, 74(8), 1–11. 10.1111/jan.13581

McCauley, L. A., Broome, M. E., Frazier, L., Hayes, R., Kurth, A., Musil, C. M., Norman, L. D., 

Rideout, K. H., & Villarruel, A. M. (2020). Doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree in the United States: Reflecting, readjusting, and getting back on track. Nursing outlook68(4), 494–503.

Trautman, D.E., Idzik, S., Hammersla, M., Rosseter, R., (2018). Advancing Scholarship through 

Translational Research: The Role of PhD and DNP Prepared Nurses. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing23(2) 1-1. doi: 10.3912/OJIN.Vol23No02Man02

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