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DNP vs. PhD: what’s the difference?

The DNP is a practice-focused doctoral degree, while a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing is a research-focused degree. Some key differences include:

  • PhD students are trained to develop new knowledge for both the science and practice of nursing, while DNP students learn the skills necessary to translate evidence from the research and put it into practice. Program curriculums vary accordingly.
  • PhD students complete a dissertation, while DNP students complete a minimum number of clinical hours and/or a scholarly project
  • Credit requirements can vary
  • Unique employment opportunities upon graduation

Learn more about our Post Master's DNP program

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