Skip to Main Content
Salisbury University BW
A Maryland University of National Distinction
navigation icon opens header SALISBURY UNIVERSITY

Graduate School Website
mobile menu icon

What Can You do With a Doctorate Degree in Nursing?

Job Titles | Places of Employment | Related Linksnursing

  • Click here for SU's Doctorate Degree Nursing Program
  • Click here to return to graduate program index

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program addresses the growing need for nurses in advanced-practice nurse roles with special skills in managing complex health needs in a cost-effective and collaborative manner. The curriculum emphasizes the use of evidence-based practice and technology to guide administrative and clinical decisions, as well as policy development. DNP graduates practice at the highest level, whether working with individuals, groups or organizations, and serve as leaders in health care for the state and region.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice prepares graduates to promote the delivery of safe, high-quality care for patients with increasingly complex health care needs.  In addition, these graduates will be able to develop and implement new policies designed to improve the health care outcomes of individuals, groups and communities. They will be adept at navigating healthcare systems, working with other disciplines toward quality improvement and improved patient outcomes.  DNP graduates will also be able to move into clinical faculty roles, helping to ease the shortage of RN’s in the area by serving as faculty for institutions of higher education.

Job Titles:  top

  • Click here to find out more about the job titles below- (Occupational Outlook Handbook)
  • Family nurse practitioners
  • Clinical nurse specialists
  • Nurse midwives
  • Nurse anesthetists
  • Nurse administrators
  • Nurse educators
  • Nursing or medical profession researcher
  • Postsecondary nursing instructor
  • Travel Nurse
  • School Nurse
  • Psychiatric Nurse
  • Nurse Educator
  • Flight Nurse
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse
  • Managing other nurses and staff
  • Leadership roles in providing patient care
  • Development of policies and procedures
  • Conducting research
  • Educating patients and the public on health care issues
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice

    The DNP program usually takes three years to complete and prepares students for both clinical and administrative positions in the health care field. The programs differ from the Ph.D. in Nursing in that they are designed for students who are interested in developing their clinical skills.

    Students entering this program must be registered nurses. After earning their degree, graduates will likely pursue careers in advanced practice nursing. Degree programs offer specializations for aspiring nurse practitioners, midwives and clinical nurse specialists, among others. These professionals often provide primary care to patients and work alongside physicians in hospitals and other health care facilities.

Places of Employment:  top

  • Evidence-based practices
  • Health policy and health care systems
  • Health care management systems
  • Finance departments
  • Quality improvement facilities
  • Health promotion and clinical prevention
  • Genetics and genomics agencies
  • General medical and surgical hospitals: Working in a hospital with a doctorate in nursing means playing a bigger role in influencing patient treatment plans. Many nurses conduct research and help to create new policies for better health care in the hospital.
  • Public health offices: Many doctorate-level nurses become experts in public health which is a great place to put your expertise to work. You’ll be able to influence policymakers and health officials and help craft smart, research-based solutions to health issues.
  • Research facilities: If you choose to earn your PhD in nursing, you might find work conducting research on health issues facing people today. Nurses with PhDs research causes behind modern medical issues or work to find cures for current health problems.
  • Independent practice: Starting your own practice is no easy task, but as an advanced practice nurse holding a doctorate degree, it’s entirely possible. The benefit to launching your own practice is that you can dictate your own hours and decide what type of treatment you want to deliver.
  • Hospitals and health systems
  • Insurance companies
  • Health information technology companies
  • Consulting firms
  • Federal and state agencies
  • Nurses who teach, conduct research, evaluate programs, write books, lead health care organizations and work for the government.
  • Colleges and universities

Related Links:  top

Certification and accreditation boards:

Need help or have questions about this page? Please visit our Ask a Question or Report a Problem page.
Salisbury University 1101 Camden Avenue Salisbury, MD 21801 410-543-6000