Roles or APRNs Discussions

Roles or APRNs Discussions

Roles or APRNs Discussions

Response to peers DQ Essay

Response one : APRN’s are generally prepared at the master’s level. Whether they be a nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, clinical nurse specialist or CRNA. For nurses at this level wishing to advance their educations the DNP is the next option. The DNP is designed for nurses seeking a terminal degree in nursing practice and offers an alternative to research-focused doctoral programs (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2017). DNP’s can work in direct patient care, public health, leadership, or nursing education. In the world of nursing the DNP would be equivalent to the Doctor of Medicine (MD), Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), and Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) (What is a DNP?, n.d. Roles or APRNs Discussions).


While the DNP is a clinical focused degree, the PhD in nursing is a research focused degree. Usually to be accepted into a PhD program one must already have a master’s degree. Some DNP programs will allow admittance straight from the BSN level of education. Clinical work in the PhD program is minimal, vs the DNP program of up to 1000 hours, research projects are in-depth, and faculty guided, with a dissertation as the final project. A DNP program may require a final paper, project, or presentation. Credit hours a fewer with the PhD vs the DNP (60 vs 75-90). Employment opportunities for the PhD may include: research, health policy, or education (DNP vs PhD in Nursing: What’s the Difference?, n.d.).

If I were younger I would consider pursuing a DNP. I prefer the idea of being able to continue working at the bedside. With fewer and fewer primary care providers being available I think this would be the route I would choose to work in with this degree. But, being nearly 47 years old. I think the return on my education dollars and time spent on obtaining that education with years of work before retirement do not balance out. I will be done with my education after the BSN. Honestly, I am only doing this because my employer is making me do it. I will consider specialty certification in oncology once I complete my BSN. If I were to change fields/specialty I would further consider other certifications as I think that knowledge would be more useful to me.


American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2017, August). American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Retrieved from…

DNP vs PhD in Nursing: What’s the Difference? (n.d.). Retrieved from Nurse Practioner Schools:…

What is a DNP? (n.d.). Retrieved from Doctor O fNursing Practice DNP:…

Response two: In an oversimplified way the difference between the DNP and the PhD is one focuses on direct patient care and the other does not. According to a Grand Canyon University (GCU) blog post titled PhD in Nursing vs DNP: What is the Difference? The DNP’s focus is “developed for practice-focused leaders, as nurses in this program learn to apply current research to practice or system challenges to achieve a positive impact (2016). Whereas the PhD’s focus is “nurses learn to conduct original research to add to the body of academic theory and nursing knowledge (GCU, 2016). The blog post makes a great distinction about the difference in the degrees and the types of careers they lend themselves to. It states that “DNP-prepared nurses use the knowledge generated by PhD-prepared nurses to create new solutions in the nursing field. They work directly with patients as they apply research to their practice. As they seek to provide their patients with high-quality care, they can find a sense of fulfillment in their career” (GCU, 2016). Ultimately the PhD works with information and the DNP works with patients.

Personally, I would choose the PhD. My entire adult life has been patient focused; first as an EMT on an ambulance, then a paramedic at a fire department, a flight nurse, and currently a psychiatric nurse. As I have gotten older my priorities have changed and I am not primarily career focused. My goal is to be a good father and husband. I think we can all agree that working with patients is mentally and emotionally taxing and I am trying to structure my life to devote more of that mental and emotional energy to my family.

GCU. (2016). PhD in Nursing vs DNP: What is the Difference? Retrieved from…

Response three: A (Doctor of Philosophy) and a DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) are both terminal degrees that can be obtained by nurses who have graduated from programs that have been geared toward either philosophy and research methods (PhD) or translating research evidence into nursing practice (DNP). (Smith, 2015) Those who obtain a PhD in Nursing have a core curriculum studies research methodologies, theories, and faculty development. They usually don’t require much clinical work but perform in depth research projects. These Doctors usually work in roles such as Nursing researcher, faculty positions such as nursing professors, or are in positions that develop health policies.

Those who have obtained a DNP, graduate a program where the curriculum involves translating research evidence into practice, developing healthcare policies in areas such as financial management/budgeting, leadership theory, and gaining practice expertise. In order to obtain a DNP, most programs require up to 1000 hours of clinical work hours. The research portion of the programs correlate theory and statistics. The practice-based projects help these doctors obtain roles in nursing practice leadership, management positions, administration, and government positions. (Nurse Practitioner Schools, 2019)

Response to peers DQ Essay

I personally prefer the pathway of obtaining a Doctor of Nursing Practice. Since I currently work as a nurse clinician, I am in a leadership role due to my experience on our floor. Our floor specializes in hematology/oncology, however due to the structure of the floor and hospital census, we double as a medical/surgical/OBGYN floor. I have the unique opportunity to work closely with nursing supervisors and coordinators to make the best clinical decisions for our patients. My nursing manager has just obtained his DNP, and we have a very close relationship where I’m constantly being challenged and pushed for clinical excellence. I feel the skills I will learn over the next few years will give me all the tools I need to excel as a Nurse Practitioner and DN. Roles or APRNs Discussions