Please Answer the below discussion including two paragraphs and 2 references no later than 5 years ago.

  1. Compare and contrast the roles of the practice (DNP) and research (Ph.D.) scholar

Compare to other health related professions, nursing science has evolved over the years. Considering this phenomenon, nurses are seeking higher level of professional education resulting in a terminal degree such as Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing Science. Most recently, one of my colleagues inquired about the reasons behind my choice to pursuing a DNP instead of a PhD. As both degrees being considered the result of terminal education, my answer was based on my current interests and future goals.  Most importantly when choosing between the two degrees, the individual nurse’s interest on whether he/she has interest in conducting research or if the nurse’s main interest is practice change and quality improvement (Rodriguez, 2016). A quick look into the difference between the two degrees conveys that a DNP education is practice-focused while a PhD is research-focused. However, a deeper dive in understanding and describing the role difference portrays the functional complementarity of both levels of education.

As the complexity in patient care continues to grow, more doctorate-prepared nurses are needed to ensure nursing contributions in healthcare transformation and policy change at the organization level. In addition, it is reported that DNP nurses have extensive knowledge in nursing ethics, psychosocial and biophysical science and is more versed in change theories. (Hartjes et al., 2019). As a DNP candidate nurse, I envision to acquire a broader range of knowledge in nursing leadership, evidence-based practice, healthcare policy, and informatics, thus providing me with the ability to provide patient care at a higher level.

  1. How do these roles complement one another in translating research into practice?

The wave of transformation occurring across all type of business industries has created a chain reaction in healthcare organizations, with tends to render them even more dynamic. Hence, in nursing, this constant change in healthcare generates the need for effective and sustained collaboration among different professional nurses by partnering to support and advance care delivery.

The collective skills of the DNPs and PhD scholars working together to improve patient outcomes is the perfect scenario. The PhD nurse, having a more extensive training in research field, typically does the original research study and answers the clinical questions. On the other hand, the DNP nurse raises the clinical questions and completes the quality improvement (PI) projects. These two roles can supplement each other and support the advancement of nursing science. A case in point, Cowan., Hartjes, and Munro (2019) demonstrated the effectiveness of collaboration between DNP and PhD nurses in the creation of a Quality Improvement (QI) clinical pathway in an intensive care unit (ICU) at a Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Medical Center. The DNP nurse on that project was credited for leadership acuity in identifying and presenting the issue for further investigation. Together with the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) and other stakeholders the Lean Model was utilized to categorize areas lacking the support of Evidence-Based Practices (EBP) and redundancy. The PhD nurse assisted with relevant literature review and evidence appraisal for the project. Collectively, these scholars developed the research study design and presented it to Internal Review Board (IRB)for approval. The strengths, education, experience, and collaboration of the DNP and PhD nurses and the team led to a successful, sustainable project for the institution and betterment of care delivery.

  1. How could these roles add value in addressing a practice problem at your hospital?

This question can be answered with a dive into a scenario reflecting a current practice problem at the hospital. Imagine for a moment that I am a DNP Nurse in charge of the large Orthopedic unit where we receive different type of patients with similar health issues. We develop various tests and treatment models with the potential goals of ensuring that our patients get the best possible care. However, we didn’t allocate enough resources to measure outcomes of our work. We do not know which surgical protocols need to be redesigned or which one produce the best outcomes? We are unclear as to who benefit from them the most, their demographics, their socioeconomic status, the level of disparities involved etc. As a DNP nurse, I can devise some project improvement (PI) processes, develop appropriate policy to attempt answering the above questions. Nevertheless, to fully address them and start generating supportive evidence, I would collaborate with a PhD nurse to study, analyze and evaluate the treatment protocols before we can adopt or reject them as models of practice.


Cowan, L., Hartjes, T., Munro, S. (2019). A Model of Successful DNP and PHD Collaboration.  Journal of American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 31(2). doi:10.1097/JXX.000000000000010510

Hartjes, T., Lester, D., Arasi-Ruddock, L., McFadden Bradley, S., Munro, S., Cowan, L. (2019) Answering the question: Is the Doctor of Philosophy or Doctor of Nursing Practice right for me? Journal of American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 31(8). doi: 10.1097/JXX.0000000000000273

Rodriguez, E. S. (2016) Considerations of the Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree. Oncology Nursing

Forum. 43(1), 26-9. doi: 10.1188/16.ONF.26-29