Small group of PhD students in discussion with professor
DNP program students in the suture lab

Graduate Programs

The UW–Madison School of Nursing provided me the experience to conduct interdisciplinary research with scholars from different areas that could build from nursing research questions. This allowed me to conduct a dissertation study that involves nursing, neuroscience, and sleep medicine.

Chooza Moon PhD ’16

Which Graduate Program is Right for You?

A side-by-side comparison of our two doctoral programs: the DNP and PhD.

wdt_ID Comparison Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
1 Program Objective Prepares you for the highest level of nursing practice in your specialty and to translate evidence into practice.

A doctoral degree in practice.
Prepares you to conduct research in nursing and interdisciplinary teams and advance the science that guides nursing practice.

A doctoral degree in research.
2 Career Opportunities • Clinical faculty
• Nurse educator
• Nurse practitioner (4 specialties)
• Adult gerontology clinical nurse specialist
• Nurse executive
• Advanced population health
• Advanced practice leadership
• Non-profit health care leaders
• Academic faculty
• Clinical nurse scientists in health care systems and industry
• Health policy development, implementation and advocacy specialists in government or other health organizations
• Health care leaders and entrepreneurs
3 Program Outcomes Evaluate and apply research to innovate in practice and improve outcomes.

Practice at the highest levels of nursing with diverse populations.

Inform health care policy.

Implement and evaluate clinical programs.
Advance the nursing discipline and practice through research, education, and health policy.

Conduct and disseminate independent research.

Participate in interdisciplinary research to respond to regional, national, and international priorities.
4 Areas of Focus Seven (7) specialty tracks for advanced practice:
• Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
• Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
• Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
• Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
• Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
• Population Health
• Systems Leadership and Innovation
Six (6) signature research areas:
• Aging & Care of Older Adults
• Children, Families & Reproductive Health
• Health Disparities
• Health Systems & Public Health
• Mental Health & Substance Use
• Symptom Science & Palliative Care
5 Clinical Requirements 1,000 hours in advanced specialty practice across the last two years of the program hours

Faculty arrange, oversee, and evaluate all practicum to assure quality of experience and alignment with certification
6 Research Requirements Use existing research to improve practice. Knowledge generation and dissemination.
7 Scholarly Activity Evidence-Based Scholarly Project

Research Dissertation Study

8 Length of Time 3-4 years 3-5 years
9 Credits 68 credits 52 credits
10 Student-Faculty Ratio 6 students per clinical faculty 2-5 students per faculty

Leaders in Research & Practice

Contact Us

Graduate Admissions


Phone: 608-263-5180

Suite 1100 Signe Skott Cooper Hall

Patrick Stevens

Position title: Director of Admissions and Recruitment


Phone: 608-262-2729

1167 Signe Skott Cooper Hall

Lynaye Stone

Position title: Graduate Advising Manager


Phone: 608-263-5258

1130 Signe Skott Cooper Hall