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Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Nursing

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Nursing

Advancement of education is an important aspect of a person’s career. Most terminals in the learning process often confuse people because of their close ties. The DNP and Ph.D. terms in the medical field can be puzzling but have similarities and differences.

The similarities between DNP and PhD

The DNP and PhD degrees have several similarities. First, both are the highest grades in the nursing field. Students can pursue these doctorate grades after completing their master’s degrees. They are equally meant to add knowledge to the nursing profession to develop the medical field. According to Gaines (2019), these grades prove that nurses are experts and have experience in their respective clinical fields of practice. Medical personnel at this level provide quality services to their patient with adequate skills and knowledge.

Secondly, both DNP and Ph.D. have high job demands. Due to the aging number of experienced nursing professionals, there is a request to educate more nurses to replace them. Also, most countries are experiencing a high number of patients with acute conditions that require specialized medical personnel. The nursing fraternity needs nurses who have attained their DNP and Ph.D. to research and train young professionals to grow their medical careers (DiCecco, 2020). This will ensure that the knowledge transcends to other generations for proper health wellness programs in the future.

Also, both degrees develop the leadership abilities of individuals. The Ph.D. plays an important role in research to find solutions to new medical issues. It strengthens one’s ability to lead different research teams in both medical institutions and facilities. The DNP also guides nurses on skills to lead their interdisciplinary nursing care teams. According to Gaines (2019), DNP and Ph.D. grades deliver management skills for research and methods of handling patients during nursing. They provide nurses with better skills that help them to lead exploration teams, hospitals, and other healthcare services.

Differences between DNP and PhD

Several differences describe the relationship between a DNP and a Ph.D. in nursing. First, the DNP focuses on clinical practice, while the Ph.D. focuses on research (Gaines, 2019). The DNP degree advances nurses’ understanding of the nursing practice and generally has a curriculum that emphasizes clinical skills. On the other hand, the Ph.D. program prepares and contributes to healthcare improvements via the development of new knowledge and scholarly tools that build a basis for the improvement of nursing science.

Secondly, while the DNP degree offers clinical projects that show evidence-based practice, the Ph.D. degree provides research and methodology that adds knowledge to nursing. Their applications differ as the Ph.D. focuses on an examination of issues, while the DNP focuses on practical experience (Vokerts, 2016). For the DNP students to graduate, they must complete a clinical project that depicts their skills during practice. On the other hand, Ph.D. programs typically focus on research and the methods used during findings, and the students must prepare to defend their research proposals and projects to be validated. For Ph.D. students, they need to prove their method and findings that would be used to train undergraduates on the skills of research.

Additionally, whereas DNP develops leadership in clinical practice, the Ph.D. develops research leadership. According to Gaines (2019), leadership skills built on doctorate degrees apply to different departments in the nursing field. The DNP graduates can lead clinical interdisciplinary teams to provide quality nursing care services in different levels of healthcare facilities. They also lead medical institutions to understand the nursing curriculum and build student’s skills. On the other hand, the Ph.D. doctorate cultivates leadership in inventing tools that help in developing skills for research. They lead study institutions and hospitals to find causes and solutions to current nursing issues.


The DNP and Ph.D. programs are important as they develop knowledge and skills for nurses to provide quality healthcare services. Doctorate degrees are useful in maintaining health and wellness in society to ensure that people live happy lives. They all work to promote the health and welfare of individuals and to prepare future nurses with adequate techniques for research and handling health issues.


Abshire-DiCecco, K. L. (2020). A doctor of nursing practice pre-immersion portal: The orientation express origsite=gscholar&cbl=51922&diss=y

Gaines .K. (2019) “DNP vs Ph.D. in Nursing” nursing-difference/

Volkert, D. (2016). Student motivation, stressors, and intent to leave a nursing Ph.D. or DNP program: A national study using path analysis


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As a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) graduate, address the following questions;

When you start using the term “doctor,” do you believe physicians, pharmacists, or other professionals with practicing doctorates would intimidate you? And if so, how will you handle these circumstances?

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Nursing

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Nursing

What strategy would you employ to address this problem in your situation if you encounter resistance to your proper title?

What strategies may DNP holders employ, in your opinion, to raise public knowledge and comprehension of the DNP degree?

Document this assignment in a three-page Word document. Include five articles published in the last five years. 

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