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A Student's Guide to Distance Nursing Doctoral Programs

written by: R. Elizabeth C. Kitchen•edited by: Jacqueline Chinappi•updated: 1/22/2010

Have you been thinking about pursuing a distance nursing doctoral program? If so, read on to learn more about this degree and the exciting field of nursing.

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    A doctoral in nursing is the highest degree a nurse can obtain. Once students complete a distance nursing doctoral program they will be able to pursue a variety of careers, such as an advanced clinical practice nurse, nursing administration, clinical nursing research, nursing consulting, and nursing education.

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    Required Courses

    A doctoral degree in nursing typically consists of 90 semester hours. Students will take the following courses: theories of nursing practice (6 hours), natural health care (6 hours), advanced assessment (6 hours), health care ethics (6 hours), and health care law (6 hours). Students will spend 30 hours (10 hours each) completing three different nursing clinical specialty symposiums and they will spend 20 hours completing their doctoral project. Their specialty track can include case management, medical/surgical practice, holistic nursing, obstetrics, nursing education, pediatrics, hospice nursing, home health care, critical care nursing, oncology/hematology, thanatology, and gerontology.

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    Average Completion Time

    Distance Nursing Doctoral Program clock sxc.hu clix It will take students 2.5 to 3 years to complete this degree online. This time frame is for full-time students. It can take approximately 5 years to complete this degree when pursuing it part-time.

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    Top Online Schools

    Breyer State University, which has a home campus in Los Angeles, California, offers this nursing degree online. Students will pay $550.00 per course and $650.00 for their dissertation course. They will also pay a $50.00 admissions fee and will have to pay additional fees for all necessary text books.

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    Possible Careers

    Distance Nursing Doctoral Program career sxc.hu rbhavana Those who possess a doctoral degree in nursing will be able to work in hospitals, nursing homes, colleges and universities, or in research laboratories. They can work for the state or federal government or for private companies and hospitals. They can choose to teach on the college and university level, work for organizations that provide patient education, or they can choose to work the traditional nurses role and work with patients, treating them and their ailments.

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    Career Outlook

    Nursing is the largest healthcare occupation and is expected to continue to be an in demand career field for the next ten years. The median salary for those with this degree is $62,450.00 per year. The lowest salary is approximately $43,410.00 per year and the highest is approximately $92,240.00. The middle salary ranges between $51,640.00 and $76,570.00 per year.

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    Why is it Better to Obtain this Degree Online?

    Distance Nursing Doctoral Program online sxc.hu jaylopez There are many benefits to completing a distance nursing doctoral program, such as the ability to maintain current employment, not having to sacrifice too much family or friend time, ability to continue to do hobbies and participate in social events, and the ability to obtain this degree on the students own schedule. In many cases, obtaining this degree online will also allow students to begin the program when it is convenient for them and not just during typical college start times, such as August and January.