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Nursing Doctorate Degrees

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An Introduction to the Doctorate of Nursing

There are many degree levels for professionals in the field of nursing. Many of the current popular degree programs may focus on providing students with the practical knowledge required to help patients in a clinical setting, while other degree levels may focus on providing improvements to the field of nursing as a whole. If you are a current nursing professional that is seeking a methods to help advance your career to higher levels, the online Doctorate of Nursing could be a great option for you to pursue.

The Doctorate of Nursing online is a degree program that can teach you more about the field of nursing, leadership, and financial management of healthcare organizations all over the country. Since a majority of these programs require that applicants have 2-5 years of professional experience as a licensed nurse, most students entering into this program are well aware of the practical components of nursing in the field. The goal of this program is to advance your understanding to higher levels, such as those that manage large teams of nurses or those that are interested in research to continually change the field as a whole.

Outline of the Degree Program

If you have made the decision to move forward into Doctorate of Nursing online programs, you should prepare yourself for a different type of training than you may have seen in undergraduate and even masters degree programs. At the doctoral level, you can pursue 1 of 2 paths - the Ph.D. or the Doctorate of Nursing. The Ph.D. path can provide you with skills relevant to nursing research and field improvement. A Doctorate of Nursing can assist you in learning more about what leadership may look like in the field of nursing as well as a deeper look into the ethics and federal regulations present in nursing overall.

The courses that can be enrolled in during these programs can provide you with skills that can assist you with managing teams of nurses, developing training programs to help improve the quality of service, and partnerships with other sectors of healthcare for a strong bonded facility. Some other topics such as personnel communication, the hiring process, and budgeting may also be covered in courses throughout this program. If your goal is obtain higher tier positions in the field of nursing, advanced degree programs such as this one could be a supporting resource along the way. Many positions in the field that are open for application may require that applicants have experience in the field of nursing, as well as advanced education pertaining to the management of nursing divisions in healthcare organizations.

Specialization Options to Consider

Like its parent healthcare field, the field of nursing can be an extremely diverse place to find a career. Nursing plays a role in nearly every aspect of healthcare, especially in practice and education. Current nurses seeking doctoral level degree programs to promote their career can choose a specialization that can lead them to new places after graduation. Our team has provided a list of a few of the most common specializations below for you to review.

Healthcare Administration

Nursing professionals can learn more about healthcare organizations as they gain experience in the field. Current nurses that are considering Doctorate in Nursing programs can choose specializations that can highlight their expertise of the healthcare field and help them to obtain better positions in their current medical facility. Healthcare Administration is a degree specialization that can include common concepts about healthcare finance and management that can teach you how to make effective decisions for the organization that you work for.

Population Health

While some upcoming students choose to focus on leadership or training, there are specialization options for upcoming doctorate professionals interested in increasing the quality of care within healthcare facilities. This specialization could be a great option for nurses that are seeking positions in research or treatment development.


In order for the trend towards better healthcare to continue, educated and experience nursing educators must be present to train the next generation of nurses. This degree specialization can help you learn teaching techniques, regulations and requirements of nurse educators, and allow you to explore new and upcoming topics for new nurses to be taught. If you have experience in the field and a desire to teach others what you know, this could be a great addition to your degree program.

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Learning in the Online Setting

Over the years, upcoming graduate students have been on the search for programs that could easily fit into their already busy schedules. Technology has influenced education in a way that can provide you with options for your education that may be more convenient than those offered in the traditional environment. Online Doctorate of Nursing programs can be found at universities all over the country and can provide you with a high quality educational experience to help advance your career in 2-4 years for most students.

While engaging in your courses during this program, you may find that online courses mirror what you can find in the traditional environment. This is because online programs are created to replicate your experience in a real-world classroom. These online programs are also subjected to all of the same accreditation requirements, making them reliable resources for your education. Online classes can be attended from any location that you choose, as long as internet accessibility is a factor in your choice.

Online classes may consist of opportunities for research, scenarios that require you to critically analyze situational issues, and even examinations that can test your knowledge of the material presented. All of your assignments can be completed via the online classroom and attendance can be at your convenience. Most online courses require you to log in at least 1-2 times per week, meaning you can fit your studies into a schedule that works best for you. The online degree experience can be an excellent option for busy professionals with the desire to do great things in their career.

Example Courses

As you transition into online Doctorate in Nursing degree programs, you should expect to take part in courses meant to expand your understanding of the field as a whole. Some specialized programs may focus on the practical aspect of nursing and how they can be improved, while other programs allow you to relate the healthcare field and its policies to nursing specifically. The courses that you take within each program can vary, while some topics remain intact regardless of which program you are in. In order to help you see the general trend of these online programs, our team has pulled information from current doctoral programs offered in the U.S.

Each program may have diverse course offerings that meet the same standard for education institutions in this field. Variables such as majors and concentrations can play a role in the type of courses that your program offers. The courses below represent what you may find at various universities, as well as the information that is intended for you to learn. Read through each of these courses in order to get a better understanding of what you might learn during this program.

Advanced Scientific Perspectives in Nursing

Nursing is part of the changing field of healthcare. With that knowledge, students can learn to continuously explore new ideas, question what is known, and compare theoretical foundations in order to develop more effective methods of practice. This course can introduce students to some of the most well-known theories in nursing, as well as provide students with the opportunity to develop their own ideas during the process.

Healthcare Technology

The field of nursing has been influenced over the years by the use of technology. As computer systems, new treatment devices, and better communication methods arise, nurses in the field should be prepared to work with and manage these systems on a daily basis. In this course, students can explore some of the current technologies in order to effectively utilize them in the field. Also, this course can prepare learners for implementing new technologies in the future.

Nursing Leadership for Quality Improvement

Potentially one of the most critical components of doctoral level nursing is leadership that leads to better quality in the field. This course can allow students to explore some of the current policies surrounding nursing practice, case studies that can enhance student learning, and methods for success in nursing leadership. Students interested in pursuing management level positions in the field could benefit from the skills taught in this course.

Career Opportunities with this Degree

As you can see when looking through potential specializations in the field, there are many directions that you can choose to move in when choosing your degree path. A majority of the specializations for the online Doctorate in Nursing either focus on leadership, research, or education. If you have a strong desire to be an influence in any of these fields, you should take a look at the career opportunities available for each sector of nursing.

Your training and your demand in the field can play a role in your earnings and career availability along the way. In order to help you make the best decision for your program, our team of educational experts has organized a list of common careers for those that have achieved their online Doctorate in Nursing. Each of the positions below can play a role in the accurate application of nursing practice within society, as well as the quality of nursing as a whole. See if any of these positions match what you expect to do and make while working in the field.

Professional Organizations to Know

Being a professional in the field of nursing can be a great experience regardless of which type of position you choose. The online Doctorate in Nursing can prepare you to work as a leader among other nurses in the field or perhaps even a lead researcher that provides new ideas to help improve the field as a whole. In order to efficiently support your experience as a graduated professional, you should consider becoming a member of professional organizations in the field, or even learning more about what each organization can offer.

The list below contains some of the most well-known organizations in the field of nursing. Some of these agencies can provide you with research to review, new ideas, and even new regulations as they release. Others can provide you with more information about accreditation and high-quality degree programs – which is helpful for upcoming students that are not yet enrolled in their desire program. Take a look through these organizations in order to familiarize yourself with what each can offer.

The American Nurses Association

Professionals that have met all of the educational and training requirements for nursing, as well as students of nursing programs can join the American Nurses Association to help jump-start their careers. This organization permits membership to professionals and students interested in learning more about the field of nursing and sharing new information about the field as it is released. As a professional in the field of nursing, it is important to maintain connections to other professionals in the field for networking and support purposes.

The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing

The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing is an important agency to know for students interested in pursuing any level of degree in nursing. This organization is the leading accreditation agency for degree programs at the certificate, associates, bachelors, and masters levels, making it an organization important for upcoming students to know.

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Accreditation agencies in nursing can be a great resource for information about reliable degree program, as well as lists of colleges that provide accredited degree programs. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education can be a great organization to know while working in this field, since it plays a role in approving bachelors and masters level programs in nursing.

Search Online Colleges by State

There are over 2,500 colleges with online degrees in our database. Many students find that there are universities that offer their programs online, but are in their vicinity. The majority of students studying online actually chose a college that is close to them, or at least within their region. Simply click on the state of your choice to view all of the online colleges in your state.