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Preparing Clinician-Scientists

The dual DNP-PhD program prepares students for a dual role in research and advanced clinical practice in primary care. Students gain an essential skillset for conducting research and will be fully prepared to take the national board certification examination in their primary care specialty track upon graduation.


The dual DNP-PhD in Nursing program admits students with an earned bachelor’s degree in nursing (BS) and requires full-time (nine credit hours minimum per term) enrollment for five years. Students can choose their specialty track for advanced practice from four primary care areas:

  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP)
  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Certified Nurse Midwifery (CNM)
  • Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP)

All dual DNP-PhD program applicants are required to complete separate applications for both the DNP and the PhD programs. Applications are reviewed by both PhD program faculty and appropriate DNP specialty track faculty Applicants must be accepted by both programs in order to enroll as a dual DNP-PhD student.

What is the difference between a PhD and a DNP?




FOCUS Nursing practice Nursing research
DEGREE OBJECTIVE Prepare the highest level of nursing practice scholars for clinical, administrative, and academic career; terminal degree in practice Prepare scholars for research and academic careers in public or private sectors of healthcare; terminal degree in research
CAREERS High-level advanced leadership/practitioner within health care system, quality improvement management, health care informatics, clinical educator or professor, policymaker Nurse researcher, nurse scientist, policymaker, academic professor,  educator for health care facility, author
CURRICULUM Coursework will focus on research and analytical methods, theory, and nursing science. Most programs allow student to specialize in research interests that will directly relate to their careers—this research will culminate in a dissertation. Coursework will focus on a combination of health care policy and advocacy, information systems and technology, health care quality improvement, evidence-based practice, and organizational/systems leadership.

Nursing Education Xchange (NEXus)

Opportunities are also offered for doctoral/graduate students, through the Nursing Education Xchange (NEXus), enrolled at member colleges and universities to take elective courses that may not be offered at his/her home institution for a common price.

Contact Us

DNP Program Manager
Shelley Kern, MPC

PhD Program Manager
Carrie Radmall
Phone: 801-581-8798

Office of Student Services
Phone: 801-587-3194

Questions for a graduate advisor?


Welcome from the Assistant Deans