PhD in Nursing
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the difference between a PhD and a DNP?
A PhD is a research-focused degree that prepares nurse scientists to generate evidence that will guide effective and safe nursing care. This is important work that MUST occur before evidence-based practice can take place. The DNP degree prepares practice experts who will translate research evidence to affect changes in their practice setting.
- Am I too young or (too old) to think about a PhD?
There is no “perfect” time to resume your education. You may discover as an undergraduate student that you have a passion for research and want to enter the PhD program in your twenties. This is a common pattern in many other scientific disciplines. Other nurses return to PhD study many years later, sometimes after they have raised their children. There are various ways to manage your career.
- Do I need a lot of clinical experience before I can think about graduate school?
You do need some clinical experience, but in most cases, quality is more important than quantity. It is important to have some clinical experience from which to select a research topic. Some of this experience can be gained while you are in the PhD program.
- I want to do patient focused research- isn’t that the DNP?
No- if you want to conduct research of any kind, you should pursue a PhD. DNPs are clinical experts and their role is to apply research findings in the clinical setting. Most of our PhD prepared faculty conduct very clinically focused work- take a look at our faculty profiles to see some specific examples.
- Do I need a Master’s degree before I can enter the program?
Our PhD program has traditionally targeted Masters-to-PhD students. We now have a BS to PhD option, and are accepting applications for students interested in admission for the fall, 2016
- Is there scholarships or funding available?
We have several sources of funding available, especially for full-time study. Virtually all of our PhD students receive some type of financial assistance.
- Will it will take me years to finish?
Maybe not as long as you think. See the Curriculum page for sample plans of study.