Dual DNP/PhD Nursing Degree Programs

If you are interested in both advanced nursing practice and medical research, a dual DNP/PhD nursing program might be a good way for you to pursue both of your interests simultaneously and go on to a career in advanced nursing practice, medical research or medical leadership. Learn more about the admission requirements and program details. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Comparing Dual DNP/PhD Nursing Programs

DNP/PhD Adult Gerontology

Gerontology is the study of aging and healthcare for the elderly. In an adult gerontology track of a dual PhD/DNP, candidates can learn to care for adult patients in both primary and emergency care settings. In addition to research and medicine classes, students in DNP programs take theory based courses like leadership and healthcare policy, foundations of scientific inquiry, and the philosophy of nursing practice. Students often complement their hands-on skills with an original research project about the process of aging. Graduates are typically qualified to continue academic research or work as Advanced Gerontology Nurse Practitioners (AGNPs).

DNP/PhD Family Nursing

Another common concentration in a DNP/Phd program is the family nursing track. Like adult gerontology, these programs usually require applicants to meet the entrance requirements for both DNP and PhD programs. Students may specialize in providing primary care across a lifespan by taking classes in common pediatric problems, chronic problems for adults and elders, gynecologic management, and advanced pharmacology. As in most DNP/PhD programs, students often complement their specific DNP classes with courses in research methods and practice, nursing leadership and management, and practicums following family practice nurses in a hospital. Graduates can be prepared to make clinical decisions for patients across their lifespan, hold leadership positions in a hospital or clinic setting, or continue in medical research.

DNP/PhD Nurse Anesthesia

A nurse anesthetist assists doctors in administering anesthesia and other drugs safely. They might also monitor a patient's vital organs while they are unconscious. By pursuing a joint PhD and DNP in anesthesia, students may graduate with the qualifications to work as a nurse anesthetist or continue medical research. In this track students typically take classes in medical technology, qualitative research methods, integrity and ethics in scientific research and medical practice and principles of nurse anesthesia. Graduates can become licensed advanced practice nurse anesthetists, but they also possess the theoretical and methodological knowledge to pursue research careers in public health and medical science.

DNP/PhD Midwifery

This program can prepare students to become Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs), nursing managers, and medical researchers. Students usually start with classes in research practice and then continue to specific midwifery classes like childbearing complications, gynecologic management, newborn management, intrapartum complications, and advanced simulation for midwives. In the midst of their academic classes, candidates often conduct original research and complete clinicals alongside professional midwives. This combined approach can allow students to become experts in evidence-based practice (implementing the latest academic research in clinical settings). Near program's end, students typically defend their thesis project before a panel of academic experts.

Degree Program Program Length Program Requirements Related Careers
Adult Gerontology Track
5 years Bachelor's of NursingGerontological Nurse Practitioner;
Medical Scientist
Family Nursing Track
5 years Bachelor's of NursingPrimary Care Nurse Practitioner;
Medical Scientist
Nurse Anesthesia Track
5 years Bachelor's of NursingNurse Anesthetist;
Medical Scientist
Midwifery Track
5 yearsBachelor's of nursingCertified Nurse of Midwifery;
Medical Scientist

Admittance Requirements for DNP/PhD Nursing Programs

A dual DNP (doctor of nursing practice) and PhD program is a competitive graduate program that combines the advanced clinical practice experience of a DNP degree with the research focus of a PhD. It is designed for students with top grades (3.0 or higher) and at least a few years of nursing experience. To be considered, students must apply to both a DNP and PhD program at their chosen university, which means that they have a bachelor's or master's degree in nursing, an RN license to practice nursing, and demonstrated proficiency in medical research. In these 5-year programs, candidates choose one specific DNP track which determines both the clinical courses that they complete as well as the subject matter for their PhD research. To make the most of the PhD track, students should apply to programs that have faculty members specializing in their preferred area of research.

To be accepted into a combined Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and PhD program, students must apply and qualify for both programs individually. By completing the requirements for these two degrees simultaneously, students save time, allow their research and clinical practice to complement each other, and open up their options to pursue careers in either advanced nursing practice, nursing leadership or medical research.

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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