FIND DNP PROGRAMS
FIND DNP PROGRAMS
Written By: Jennifer Schlette MSN, RN
A Ph.D. in Nursing is considered a prestigious accomplishment, but is having one all that they say it is cracked up to be? Are you not sure if this is the path you want to go down regarding your nursing career? I think the first thing that you need to look at is, is what are the pros and cons of a Ph.D. in nursing? It is a lot to think about, so don’t worry, I took the work out of it for you. Below you will find the top 10 pros and cons of a Ph.D. in nursing. This article will definitely help you decide whether this is the right career path for you.
TOP CONS OF Ph.D. In NURSING
(The following are the top 10 cons of Ph.D. in Nursing.)
1.The cost of tuition
A Ph.D. in nursing is not a cheap degree to earn. The University of Pennsylvania, for example, will cost $42,652 per year. John Hopkins University will cost you around $47,538 per year. Keep in mind that these figures do not include other costs such as food, housing expenses, and transportation, to name a few. It can really add up.
So, unless you have some money saved up and set aside for earning your Ph.D. in Nursing, you may end up putting yourself in a considerable amount of debt. Accruing debt is one of the top cons of a Ph.D. in nursing. Keep in mind that when you take out a loan for anything, you will be expected to pay interest on the money you borrowed. This will increase the total amount you will pay over time.
3.You will not be able to practice in the hospital setting as a provider
If your dream is to be able to work in a hospital and treat patients at the doctoral level, then I’m sorry to say that this is not the degree for you. A Ph.D. in nursing is not a practice doctorate. A Ph.D., on the other hand, is a research and science-focused degree that prepares nurses for careers conducting research that will advance the nursing profession and for teaching nursing at the college level. If you wish to diagnose and prescribe at the doctoral level, then the DNP degree is for you.
4.Length of the program
A Ph.D. in nursing is a pretty lengthy degree to earn. On average, the program can take three and half years to six years to complete. For example, Stony Brook University’s Ph.D. in nursing program will take two and half years to complete with an additional year for your dissertation. Duke University’s Ph.D. in Nursing program is anywhere from three to four years. Now keep in mind that this is the full-time option. If the school you choose gives a part-time option, your time spent in school will drastically increase.
5.You will have to write a dissertation
A dissertation will be your final research project for your Ph.D. We are not talking about writing a couple of pages and being done with it. This work of art will require chapters upon chapters. Oh, and let’s not forget about the research that needs to be conducted for this project.
6.You must successfully defend your dissertation
In order to earn the prestigious title of being called Doctor, you must successfully defend your dissertation. If you do not pass your dissertation portion of the program after all the work you put into it, you may have to continue to revise it till it is acceptable. The worst-case scenario is that you may not be allowed to modify it to perfection and end up being dismissed from the doctoral program. Ouch! This really is one of the top disadvantages of a Ph.D. in nursing.
7.You may not be able to work full-time
Earning a Ph.D. is exceptionally rigorous. This terminal degree is like having a second full-time job. All the coursework demands for this degree may be so grueling that you will need to find an alternative to working full-time at your current job. This could also mean more debt.
8.Tenure is not guaranteed
Yes, earning your Ph.D. in nursing is quite an accomplishment but, it does not automatically entitle you to get a tenured job. In reality, obtaining tenure is pretty difficult, especially in the field of nursing.
9.No more free time
If you are a person who values your free time, well, you won't be able to appreciate it anymore because you won’t have any. Earning your Ph.D. in nursing is highly time-consuming, and any free time you once had will be consumed by your coursework.
10.It is not a necessary degree
Depending on what career path you choose in the world of nursing, a Ph.D. in nursing may not be necessary. It becomes a nice to have and not a necessity to have for some people. Keep in mind there is no such expectation that you have a Ph.D. in nursing at this current time to enter into the profession.
TOP PROS OF Ph.D. In NURSING
(The following are the top 10 pros of Ph.D. in Nursing.)
Those who earn their Ph.D. in nursing can expect to earn a higher salary. A pay increase is one of the top advantages of a Ph.D. in nursing. The average salary for those with their Ph.D. in nursing is around $98,619/year. That is not too shabby.
2.No more 12-hour shifts
Those who have their Ph.D. in nursing tend to work in either academia or research. Some may choose administration. These jobs are typically 9-5, which means you no longer have to work 12-hour shifts. This will help your work-life balance.
3.No more weekends or holidays to be worked
One really nice aspect of working in academia, research, or administration is that you will no longer have to work weekends or holidays. This will give you ample time to spend with family and friends. Another bonus if you work in academia is that you will get to have summers off and the official school breaks.
4.You have earned a prestigious title
If you have earned your Ph.D. in nursing, you should pat yourself on the back. Earning this prestigious degree is quite a feat and is another one of the top pros of a Ph.D. in nursing. You have now earned the right to call yourself a Doctor. Not many people can say that.
5.You can juggle anything
If you stepped up to the challenge of earning your Ph.D. in nursing, you have also acquired some pretty impressive time management skills. This degree takes a tremendous amount of work to complete. This workload will demand that you be well organized in your life to get it all done. So, when you finally resurface from all of this, you can time manage anything.
6.You have earned the highest degree
A Ph.D. in nursing is a terminal degree. This means you cannot earn any higher of a degree. Earning this top degree is another one of the top advantages of a Ph.D. in nursing. You did it! You reached the end. Way to go!
7.You can influence policy and practice change
Can you see yourself as an instrument of change? A Ph.D. in nursing will be one way to become this instrument. By earning this terminal degree, you can influence policy change and practice to affect patients and future students.
8. Can you see yourself as Chief Nursing Officer
If you have aspirations of being the chief nursing officer at an institution, earning your Ph.D. in nursing can help you reach that goal. Earning a Ph.D. in nursing administration will be the first step. You can find such programs at Walden University.
9. You can earn a prestigious job
Having a job that can only be filled with somebody with your expertise and degree is pretty prestigious and is one of the top pros of a Ph.D. in nursing. Think about it, this is not like an entry-level position where anybody can apply for it. When you have your Ph.D. in nursing, you join a whole new rank with a whole new type of job opportunity only somebody with your degree can fill.
10. You will be regarded as an expert in your field
You have completed an extensive educational career. You have earned the right to be acknowledged as an expert in the field of Nursing. Earning this degree should really make you feel confident since you are now regarded as an expert.
Ok, I will pose this question again, what are the pros and cons of a Ph.D. in nursing? Well, now that we have looked at the top 10 pros and cons of a Ph.D. in nursing, I am pretty sure you probably feel much more confident in making this decision about your career path. Just remember, at the end of the day, you need to choose what is suitable for you and what will fit best with your life and career goals. If you decide to pursue this degree, there are many top Ph.D. in nursing programs out there that can help you accomplish your goal.
Jennifer Schlette MSN, RN
Jennifer Schlette is a registered nurse in pediatric critical care in New York City. She is the former Director of Undergraduate Nursing at a college located in New York. After obtaining her BSN from the College of Mount Saint Vincent, she went on to complete her MSN.
Nurses with PhDs can equip the future generation of nurse scientists as faculty. In addition, they can serve as leaders in diverse settings such as clinical agencies, health policy organizations, professional organizations, governmental and state agencies, and industry.What are the advantages and disadvantages of doing a PhD? ›
- You can contribute new knowledge to the world. ...
- Employers look for candidates with your superior writing skills. ...
- You'll improve on all your soft skills. ...
- You'll collect an extensive network of professional colleagues. ...
- It's expensive. ...
- You'll experience extreme stress and frustration. ...
- There may be limited job openings.
- Incurring additional costs and time. Doctorate degrees can take several additional years to complete compared to standard higher education degrees. ...
- Increasing workload. The further education you pursue, the more specialized the subject matter becomes. ...
- Limited job experience.
- Working independently.
Graduates with a PhD in nursing often go on to make breakthroughs in disease management, patient care, and health care policy. They are likely to lead health care organizations and create the clinical treatment methods that thousands of nurses and nurse practitioners use to treat patients every day.Is there a benefit to getting a PhD? ›
A PhD can prepare you to enter a profession in any field, depending on the focus of your degree. Although you can still choose to pursue a career as a professor or researcher at a university, you can also look into a career in your chosen industry or a higher-level position in your current profession.What do you call someone with a PhD in nursing? ›
Introduction. Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANPs) provide at least a portion of the clinical care received by some Missouri residents. A subset of these ANPs have earned a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. Patients generally value the care they receive from their ANP clinicians, be they a DNP, or not.What is the hardest thing about a PhD? ›
- #1 Maintaining motivation. Every PhD student will agree that the hardest part of the degree is maintaining motivation. ...
- #2 Writing (a lot) Usually it's during the writing-up period that people's motivation starts to dwindle. ...
- #3 Receiving criticism. ...
- #4 Isolation. ...
- #5 Knowing what to do next.
Awareness of New Knowledge & Skills
PhD scholars from the USA not only got the knack to become famous through their theories and research work. But, also get the chance to become famous with their dedicated research. The USA gives global exposure to candidates; this is the only way you can ace in the world.
A master's degree is designed to deepen career-oriented knowledge and skills. A doctorate degree is a heavily research-based degree, designed to develop critical research,analytical and writing skills in an effort to fill industry knowledge gaps.Is PhD more stressful than work? ›
This is a question that many prospective PhD students ask themselves. While it depends on your personality, a PhD can be more stressful than a full-time job outside of academia. Several specific circumstances trigger high-stress levels among PhD students.
- Start research without reading. ...
- Stop reading after finishing the literature review. ...
- Avoid all "extra" work. ...
- Isolate yourself as a researcher. ...
- Isolate yourself socially. ...
- Procrastinate. ...
- Work without documenting your work. ...
- Work without a planning.
Ph. D. holders earn a median income of $97,916 per year, while those with professional doctorates earn $96,772 per year. This amounts to an approximately 25% increase compared to master's degree holders and a 218% increase compared to those with less than a high school diploma.What percent of nurses have PhD? ›
More than 64% of today's nursing workforce is prepared at the baccalaureate and higher-degree level, but only 1.2% have a DNP degree and 0.6% a PhD, according to American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) statistics.Is getting your doctorate in nursing worth it? ›
DNP-holders enjoy higher salaries than nurses with BSNs and MSNs, making it well worth it for practitioners with nursing bachelor's and master's degrees to earn advanced education.Are nurses with a PhD called doctor? ›
A doctorate is one of the highest degrees a nurse can earn and entitles them to be referred to as "doctor." The title of “doctor” (also earned through a Ph. D.), is an acknowledgment of the tremendous hard work and perseverance he or she experienced through the rigorous education requirements of a DNP or Ph.How hard is PhD? ›
Getting a PhD can be a very challenging process that requires several years of intensive research, coursework, and writing. However, the difficulty of obtaining a PhD can vary depending on factors such as the specific program and field of study.How much does a PhD cost? ›
On average, the total cost comes out to $32,846 per year, including tuition and living expenses. Students typically take 4-8 years to finish a Ph. D. program, so a doctoral degree can cost anywhere from $131,000-$263,000 before grants and assistantships.What is the difference between a doctorate and a PhD? ›
One of the main differences is that a PhD is typically an academic degree, while a doctorate can be either academic or professional. Additionally, a PhD is highly theoretical and research-focused, while a professional doctorate is practical and geared toward applying research to specific professional settings.Can a PhD nurse write prescriptions? ›
Yes, nurse practitioners can prescribe medications in all 50 states. This includes the power to prescribe antibiotics, narcotics, and other schedule II drugs such as Adderall. However, whether this task requires physicians supervision depends on the practice authority of each state.How long does a PhD in nursing take? ›
Students might spend 4-6 years earning a PhD in Nursing. However, PhD in Nursing programs do not typically require a certain number of clinical practice hours for graduation.
Typically, nurses with a DNP degree have a higher annual salary than those with their PhD. That's in part due to the settings in which they work; since DNPs often practice clinically and see patients, they have a higher earning capacity than nurses in higher education or governmental positions.Is it worth it to get a doctorate in nursing? ›
DNP-holders enjoy higher salaries than nurses with BSNs and MSNs, making it well worth it for practitioners with nursing bachelor's and master's degrees to earn advanced education.Does having a PhD in nursing make you a doctor? ›
A doctorate is one of the highest degrees a nurse can earn and entitles them to be referred to as "doctor." The title of “doctor” (also earned through a Ph. D.), is an acknowledgment of the tremendous hard work and perseverance he or she experienced through the rigorous education requirements of a DNP or Ph.What is the most surprising difference between the DNP and PhD in nursing? ›
Put simply, the PhD in Nursing is a research doctoral degree, and the DNP is a practice doctoral degree. The PhD program prepares nurse leaders for careers in scientific research.Which subject is best for PhD in nursing? ›
- Nursing Leadership.
- Nursing Informatics.
- Nursing Theories and Theory Development.
- Pathology and Genetics.
- Medical-Surgical Nursing.
- Community Health Nursing.
More than 64% of today's nursing workforce is prepared at the baccalaureate and higher-degree level, but only 1.2% have a DNP degree and 0.6% a PhD, according to American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) statistics.How many years is a PhD in nursing? ›
Students might spend 4-6 years earning a PhD in Nursing. However, PhD in Nursing programs do not typically require a certain number of clinical practice hours for graduation.How do you address a PhD in nursing? ›
Dear Doctor Nurse, The title doctor is earned and granted to anyone with a doctoral degree be they a nurse, pharmacist, psychologist, administrator or educator.What is the highest paying doctorate of nursing jobs? ›
Of these positions, nurse anesthetists are the highest paid, earning a median annual wage of nearly $200,000, and the most competitive, requiring a master's or DNP and CRNA certification. Other jobs with higher DNP salaries include: Medical and Health Services Manager. Nurse Manager.What is the highest degree in nursing? ›
What is the highest level of nursing? The highest level of nursing education is the doctoral level. Positions that require doctoral nursing degrees include certain types of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), as well as leadership positions such as chief nursing officer or director of nursing.
Which is higher, NP or DNP? One is not higher than the other, as it's comparing an educational degree to a certification. An NP is a master's- or doctorate-prepared nurse that is certified and licensed as an advanced practice registered nurse. A DNP is a higher-education degree.How many nurses in the US have a DNP? ›
From 2020 to 2021, the number of students enrolled in DNP programs increased from 39,530 to 40,834. During that same period, the number of DNP graduates increased from 9,158 to 10,086.Why get a DNP instead of MD? ›
Earning a DNP opens doors to nurse executive roles, such as executive nursing director and chief nursing officer, and similar nursing positions of policy and operational influence. Completing a DNP program can also help nursing candidates differentiate themselves in an increasingly hot job market.Can you teach nursing with a PhD? ›
Background. A doctoral degree, either a PhD or equivalent, is the academic credential required for an academic nurse educator position in a university setting; however, the lack of formal teaching courses in doctoral programs contradict the belief that these graduates are proficient in teaching.Can you get a PhD in nursing without a Masters? ›
UCF's innovative BSN to PhD in Nursing degree track allows nurses to go straight from a bachelor's degree to a nurse scientist doctorate without a master's degree. This means fewer classes, lower cost and a faster time to degree.