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Nursing Career Outlook: Nurse Scientists and Nurse Scholars

Nursing Career Outlook: Nurse Scientists and Nurse Scholars

A PhD can expand your nursing career outlook vastly, creating opportunities for you to focus on research and scholarship. A doctoral degree in nursing allows practitioners to build upon the knowledge they’ve gained through direct patient care and equips them with specific skills for healthcare research. A PhD sets nurses apart, opening doors to careers in higher education and scientific advancement. If you’re considering a doctoral degree in nursing, here are some of the possibilities for your career outlook.

Nursing Faculty

The educational field for nursing is growing rapidly, with 19% growth expected through 2024.1 Nursing faculty are needed to educate and train new nurses at all levels, from those seeking associate’s degrees up to doctoral degrees. A current shortage of nursing faculty members was a leading factor in the denial of nearly 70,000 applicants to baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in 2014, 2 so colleges and organizations such as the AACN (American Association of Colleges in Nursing) are seeking ways to fill this gap in the educational system. In short, qualified faculty members are in high demand, and you can play a vital role in meeting that demand by pursuing the credential needed to teach at the highest levels in nursing education.

Nursing instructors and faculty members also have more teaching options than ever before, especially with the popularity of online nursing degrees. You’ll be able to seek positions within traditional on-ground nursing programs, as well as more flexible online venues, where you can impact the advancement of nursing education across the country. 

Nurse Scientist

Nurse scientists and researchers have highly specialized roles, and they are in demand across universities, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and research organizations. Researchers work with scientists from fields such as biomedicine and engineering, employing their clinical expertise to advance technology, pharmacology, and healthcare practice. Nurse scientists may engage in tasks such as:

  • Designing clinical studies and trials
  • Analyzing data and reporting findings
  • Writing articles or reports for journals of medicine and research
  • Applying for research grants
  • Collaborating with scientists from multiple industries
  • Presenting findings in professional venues such as conferences

If you are interested in healthcare advancement and innovation, a PhD in nursing will equip you with the research skills and specialized knowledge you need to pursue nursing research as a career. You can utilize a doctoral degree in nursing to affect positive change for future patient populations through scientific collaboration.

How the PhD Curriculum Impacts your Nursing Career Outlook

As a doctoral degree candidate, you’ve invested years toward the study of direct nursing practice in your undergraduate and master’s-level nursing programs. To shift into a role as a nurse scholar or scientist, you’ll need to expand your scope to include topics related to:

  • Advanced statistics
  • Research methodology
  • Data analysis
  • Identifying and evaluating clinical problems
  • Research proposals
  • Philosophy of nursing

These specialized areas of study set PhD holders apart in the nursing field and prepare them to pursue advanced opportunities in academia and research. If you aim to affect future generations through nursing education or scientific advancement, a doctoral degree that encompasses these topics is an invaluable credential.

To learn more about the curriculum for the online PhD in Nursing at The Catholic University of America, request more information or call 855-295-5711 to speak with an admissions representative.

1https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm#tab-6

2http://www.aacn.nche.edu/media-relations/fact-sheets/nursing-faculty-shortage