DNP vs. PhD: Which Doctoral Nursing Program is Right for Me?

Both doctoral programs in Azusa Pacific’s School of Nursing are built on a strong scientific foundation, foster rigorous scholarship, and are led by experienced, supportive faculty-mentors. Learn more about the PhD in Nursing and the Doctor of Nursing Practice to discover which program is right for you.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Degree Objective: Prepare advanced practice nurses to bring the highest level of clinical expertise to patients, healthcare systems, etc., with an evidence-based clinical approach that emphasizes nursing leadership in interpersonal healthcare teams, working to improve care systems, safety, and clinical outcomes.

Curriculum Focus: Translation of evidence to practice and the transformation of health care, population health, and systems-level care

Program Units and Length: 39 units; 6 semesters over 2 years

Modality: Online, with intensives once per semester in Monrovia, California

Career Possibilities: Healthcare administration, advanced clinical nursing, nursing faculty

View DNP Course List

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD)

Degree Objective: Prepare graduates to lead interdisciplinary research teams, design and conduct research studies, and disseminate knowledge for nursing and related disciplines, particularly addressing trajectories of chronic illness and care systems.

Curriculum Focus: Generation of high-level evidence through original research

Program Units and Length: 55 units; 4-5 years

Modality: Face-to-face classes during fall, spring, and summer terms in Monrovia, California

Career Possibilities: Nurse scientist, nursing faculty

View PhD Course List

Note: This information is current for the 2023-24 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.

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