DNP to PhD Nursing Programs

A nursing DNP to PhD program can help nursing professionals further their educations while preparing them for teaching and research careers within the health care field. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Admittance Requirements for a DNP to PhD Nursing Program

Prospective students hoping to gain admission into a DNP to PhD in Nursing program should have a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree from an accredited institution. Nursing students may find that admittance into a DNP to PhD program is competitive, as many schools require prospective applicants to submit several items, such as proof of a GPA of 3.5 or higher in previous coursework. In addition, applicants must hold a bachelor's and a master's degree in the nursing field. Many schools also require prospective DNP to PhD students to present proof of a valid RN license and a resume that shows proof of professional clinical experience. Students may also be required to submit GRE scores showing a ranking within the highest 50th percentile. Specific requirements vary from program to program.

Degree Information for DNP to PhD Nursing Programs

DNP to PhD nursing students typically spend 2.5 to 3 years studying advanced nursing courses, which can include the following.

Quantitative Research Methods

A course in quantitative research methods often covers the topic of quantitative research design and the collection of data as it relates to the health care environment. Basic statistical knowledge, variance analysis, and regression analysis are regularly reviewed during this course. Upon successful completion of this course, students should understand how to conduct quantitative research and how to report such knowledge.

Qualitative Research Methods

A course in qualitative research methods typically focuses on students' use of observational skills when conducting research. Often, this course involves the study of natural, interpretive, and conceptual research methods, among others. Students may be expected to compose field notes on a given scientific topic, reference those notes, and form related research questions.


A course in statistics may cover several topics, including analysis of variance, analysis of covariance, and linear regression. Nursing students might cover additional topics, such as multiple regression and bivariate procedures. Students may need to have taken a foundational, graduate statistics course before enrolling in this one.

Research Seminar

A research seminar seeks to educate students in various methods used to develop research tools or to provide them with opportunities to collaborate with their peers. Such a course might combine quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Nursing students might also explore grant writing or the development of proposals for the Institutional Review Board. The work done in this course is often used to explore a research question developed in students' dissertations.

Philosophy of Science in Nursing

This course has multiple focuses but generally begins with a historical approach that seeks to explore the philosophical origins of the science of nursing. A focus on how philosophy and philosophers have impacted the nursing field is often primary. After this course, nursing students should be able to explain the influence that empirical, emancipatory, and phenomenological philosophies have had on the science of nursing.

DNP to PhD Nursing Program Career Paths

Postsecondary Education Administrator

A PhD in Nursing could lead to a career as a postsecondary education administrator. As an academic dean, they might oversee a nursing school's faculty and program curriculum or manage budgets and appoint faculty. Their duties could vary based on the size of the school.

Medical Researcher

Several DNP to PhD nursing programs are specifically designed to prepare students for careers in research. A medical researcher or scientist designs and conducts scientific studies and experiments, analyzes data, and may work with health departments in an effort to develop programs designed to improve patient or community health care outcomes. A nursing student who enjoys the research aspect of their education may be best-suited for a career as a medical researcher or scientist.

Postsecondary nursing Educator

As postsecondary nursing educators, graduates of DNP to PhD programs will be responsible for creating lesson plans, advising students, and composing educational lectures. Also, postsecondary educators typically continue post-graduate research on the topic of their choice, continuing to contribute valuable data to the scientific and medical communities.

Job TitleMedian Salary (2018)*Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Postsecondary Education Administrator$94,3407%
Medical Researcher$84,8108%
Postsecondary Nursing Educator$73,49020%

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

A DNP to PhD in Nursing program can be an excellent opportunity for nursing students to further their educations through coursework focusing on nursing statistics and data analysis. This degree program may be especially attractive to those who intend to focus on the research aspect of nursing.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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