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Nursing Resources : Find information about graduate programs?

Difference between a PhD and DNP

A PhD in nursing prepares nurse scientists who will GENERATE EVIDENCE to guide effective and safe nursing care. The PhD in Nursing will remain the accepted degree for nurse scientists. 

Whereas, a DNP degree prepares "practice" experts who will TRANSLATE EVIDENCE into practice across a variety of patient care settings.

Information about UW's Programs

Our DNP program provides students with excellence in educational preparation plus the opportunity to develop long-lasting professional colleagues. Our classes focus on developing clinical expertise in your chosen population area and leadership skills to expand your job prospects in health care.

The program meets the AACN Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice and the NTF Criteria for Evaluation of Nurse Practitioner Programs.  The Doctor of Nursing Practice Program at UW-Madison is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (

The purpose of the PhD program is to prepare researchers to develop, evaluate and disseminate new knowledge in nursing and health science. Our training provides nurses with the foundation to become leaders in research that advances the scientific basis of nursing and contributes to the health of the public.

Students complete core courses in the areas of Scholarly Inquiry, Theory and Practice of Nursing, Policy and Leadership, and Nursing Education. The core is supplemented through minor coursework outside of nursing and guided research experiences. Although our courses are supported by instructional technology, our program is delivered in a face-to-face format to actively and personally engage students in the practice of scholarly inquiry and to allow students to take advantage of the offerings of the campus. 

UW-Madison's School of Nursing also has an Early Entry PhD OptionThe Early Entry PhD Option in nursing is an innovative program designed for undergraduate students who are interested in pursuing a research career. With the assistance of a faculty advisory committee, early entry students plan an individualized program of study and research, drawing on existing undergraduate and graduate courses in nursing and related disciplines. The option consists of early and intensive research training, clinical practice, and required and recommended coursework.

PhD and DNP Programs

For more information about the PhD and DNP programs, other options for advanced study, please review the website Graduate Program website:


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