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Doctoral Degree
A Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD) will allow you to hold leadership positions in academia, research, healthcare facilities and more.
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Course Length
4–6 years
Average annual salary
University lecturer, head of a laboratory and other managerial positions. They’re all within reach.
Chance to grow
Your knowledge and experience will set you up to take on more advanced roles.
Earning potential
Advanced qualifications and more expertise bring a bigger salary.
What you’ll learn
Your studies will include the following classes, exams and practical training.

Core Classes

You’ll get into the more academic side of nursing, with courses including research, statistics and data analysis, history and philosophy. The details of your studies will depend on the doctoral degree you choose to pursue.

Hands-on experience

To prepare you for an executive position, the practical part of your degree will be clinical leadership in a healthcare facility.

What you’ll do
You’ll be ready to step into executive and leadership roles in a healthcare facility, teach at university level or go into research.


Your qualifications will allow you to pick and choose from many interesting positions, including Nurse Educator in a lab, Health Policy Nurse for the government, Nurse Educator at university level and Nurse Executive.

Managerial duties

Heading up a hospital, lab, faculty or another healthcare management position is a natural progression for nurses with a doctoral degree. You’ll play an important role in helping improve the healthcare system.

Where you’ll work
  • Universities
  • Research labs
  • Government labs
  • Healthcare organizations
  • Magnet hospitals
  • Hospitals
  • Doctor's offices
Did you know
Only 1% of nurses in the US have a doctoral degree.

How to get ahead

One of the best parts of being a nurse is you never have to stop learning. You have the option of studying further after your doctoral degree.

Postdoctoral Studies
You can continue your education by pursuing additional research, training or teaching. Most postdoc students work closely with a mentor who supports them and helps them achieve their goals.
Take the next step on your nursing journey.
A group of nurses and healthcare professionals smiling
A group of nurses and healthcare professionals smiling
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