Choosing a DNP or Ph.D.
Find out the differences between the KU School of Nursing's Ph.D. and the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degrees.
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program
The DNP offers sophisticated, cutting-edge experiences that help nurses actively engage in a complex, dynamic and demanding health care field. Skills in collaboration, innovation, and evaluation — complemented by advanced nursing practice skills — prepare nurses to shape the future of health care.
Graduates of the DNP program provide patient-centered care that is evidence-based, contribute to the development of evidence-based practice and pursue leadership roles in a variety of health care and educational settings.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program
The KU School of Nursing Ph.D. program prepares graduates to function in faculty positions in college and university settings; conduct independent research and scholarly endeavors in nursing; generate and expand the theoretical, empirical and philosophical bases for nursing practice; provide leadership to the profession; and interpret nursing to society.
The focus is on the development of critical thinking, independent decision-making and evaluation. The student develops expertise in research methods related to the biological, social, and nursing sciences. Development and analysis of concepts and theories used in nursing education and practice are integral components of doctoral education.