Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the new doctoral nursing degree that Drexel is offering?
The Drexel Dr.N.P. is a doctorate of nursing practice in nursing science.

2. What kind of nursing doctorate is this?
The Drexel Dr.N.P. is a clinical research doctorate with an increased focus on clinical nursing practice. Our graduates will be educated for many diverse career roles and will also be able to engage in practical, clinically oriented scholarship and research.

3. Is the Drexel Dr.N.P. a practice-doctorate?
Yes, the Drexel Dr.N.P. is a doctorate of nursing practice degree, but it is a hybrid. It is modeled after the Dr.P.H. (doctorate of public health) and the Psy.D. (psychology doctorate) degrees, but is an academic doctorate (similar to the Ph.D.) in that a clinical dissertation is required.

4. Is the Drexel Dr.N.P. like the D.N.P. programs that are forming around the country?
No, the Drexel Dr.N.P. is not a D.N.P. The D.N.P. is a professional doctorate and it does not require the dissertation. The Drexel Dr.N.P. is a hybrid academic doctorate (instead of a professional doctorate), and we believe the Drexel Dr.N.P. degree will give the graduate more career options.

5. What career options am I prepared for if I complete the Drexel Dr.N.P.?
The Dr.N.P. was primarily designed for students in two tracks: Practitioner Track for the student who wants to remain in clinical practice post-graduation, and Educator Track for the student who aspires to a career as a nursing professor, but who also wants a doctorate more grounded in clinical practice. Two other tracks also are available: Clinical Scientist Track for graduates who seek a clinical research career, particularly in clinical trials management or as a stepping stone to a postdoctoral research fellowship; or Clinical Executive Track for graduates who want careers in executive nursing and healthcare management, but who still prefer a nursing doctorate with a connection to clinical practice.

6. What are the research requirements for the Drexel Dr.N.P.?
Although the Drexel Dr.N.P. is not as research intensive as the Ph.D., all Drexel Dr.N.P. students will complete a clinical dissertation similar to the clinical dissertation that students in Psy.D. (psychology doctorate) programs typically complete. The clinical dissertation is scholarly and is generally completed in one year. It should substantively contribute to our growing need for more evidence-based nursing practice and nursing science knowledge development, but differs both in scope and in its applied emphasis from the typical Ph.D. dissertation.

7. How long will it take to complete the Drexel Dr.N.P.?
The Drexel Dr.N.P. is designed as a cohort program. It can be completed part-time by continuous year-round enrollment in three years. There is also an alternate cohort program for students who want to slow the pace of coursework down (starting in year two) and this program can be completed part-time in four years. The Dr.N.P. Program requires a minimum 48 quarter-credit hours.

8. Can I complete the Drexel DrNP online?
Yes, we are a fully online program. We meet in person for orientation and residency in the summer.

9. What makes the Drexel Dr.N.P. unique?
First, while our program is the second Dr.N.P. in the country, it is the first clinical research doctor of nursing practice. Our program has a heavy technology focus and all students are supplied with high-tech PDAs for use in their two doctoral practica. Our students will also twice attend an intensive one-week residency each summer where a clinical scholar-in-residence will network with Dr.N.P. students.

10. Why did Drexel decide to develop this unique degree and not the D.N.P.?
At Drexel, we believe in innovation and our faculty is committed to clinical practice excellence. We wanted to create a doctoral degree that would develop clinical scholars who could make a major impact on nursing practice, but who could also contribute to nursing science knowledge development. This program was designed for the working adult who wants a rigorous, reputable doctorate that offers outstanding career advancement and the skills to engage in practical clinical scholarship. Drexel wanted to prepare our highly educated doctoral graduates for as many diverse career options as possible.

Note: On December 1, 2005, the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission announced a different position statement on the accreditation of clinical practice doctorate programs than the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. This can be found at: