Comparison of DNP and PhD

What are the differences between the DNP and the PhD programs?

The DNP program prepares nurse leaders for evidence-based practice in patient care, education, policy, and executive roles. This requires competence in translating research in practice, evaluating evidence, applying research in decision-making, and implementing viable innovations to change practice within and across the spectrum of health and healthcare systems. The Yale School of Nursing DNP is an aggregates/systems and healthcare organizations specialty-focused program. An intense practice immersion known as a leadership immersion practicum is an essential component of a DNP program and allows work to take place with health care and public policy leaders and experts. The DNP program has been designed for each course to build upon knowledge required to directly apply to the leadership immersion practicum and DNP Capstone Project.

PhD programs are designed to prepare nurses for careers as research scientists in areas such as academia and other research-intensive environments. They prepare nurse scholars to conduct research that advances theoretical foundations of nursing and health care. PhD programs provide for the knowledge and skills in theoretical, methodological and analytical approaches for the discovery of knowledge in nursing and healthcare. Programs include an intense mentored research experience with a faculty investigator with an established funded program of research. The program culminates in the completion and defense of an original research project.

Reference: AACN comparison of DNP and PhD/DNSc/DNS programs and Essential of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice.