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Online J Issues Nurs. 2006 Dec 22;12(1):6.

Difficult professional choices: deciding between the PhD and the DNP in nursing.

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School of Nursing, San Jose State University, CA, USA.


Although the PhD has been the traditional doctoral degree in nursing, nurses now have a choice between that degree and the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. An Internet-based exploratory survey of DNP students (n= 69) investigated the motivation of nurses to pursue doctoral education, factors that influenced the decision between the two degrees, rationale for choosing the DNP program, and career plans after graduation. A majority reported considering the PhD but decided the DNP would be more appropriate for their professional and personal goals. Nursing education was ranked as an important career intention for 55% of respondents, dispelling the concern that the DNP will increase the shortage of nursing faculty. The results indicate that the DNP degree is a desirable option for clinically oriented nurses considering doctoral education and provides nurses with a choice of educational pathways for their professional careers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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