Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) has created challenges in nursing role identification in the highest level of nursing program. But when we look closer to their roles, we can appreciate the value that they can bring to the nursing profession. DNP program is a practice-focused or knowledge application nursing, where its concentrations is in innovations and evidence-based nursing, and application of research findings to the highest level of practice (American Association of Colleges of Nursing [AACN], 2006, as cited in Cygan & Reed, 2019, para 2). Wherein PhD is a researched-focused or knowledge generation nursing which concentrate on research methodology that will create a supporting research project through dissertation defense and related research papers (AACN, 2010, as cited in Cygan & Reed, 2019, para 2).
Though these are two advance graduate level nursing programs with different focus, when they collaborate and build partnership, they complement each other. A study discussed in Cowan et al., (2019), A model of successful DNP and PhD collaboration, the collaboration between DNP and PhD resulted in improvement of interprofessional staff communication, and uniform and improved patient care. The DNPs’ role had identified the problem, created plan on how to improve patient outcome through quality improvement (QI) projects and the PhD as a consultant provided the staff with comprehensive literature reviews and evidence appraisal before clinical pathway development. Understanding the role difference of each other can sustain the success of collaborative projects (Cowan et al., 2019).
Military medicine has a problem of sustaining communication and collaboration of healthcare providers across the different branch of service. D’Angelo et al., (2016) explained that if the military health care system is interested in harnessing the power of interprofessional care teams, they must address the questions of what, how effective , and how can an interprofessional team affect the military health care settings and it’s clinical context? (para 4). Knowing the roles of DNP’s and PhD’s who can relate and understand the different factors that are associated with military medicine such as the range of patients and care provided in different medical settings (military hospital, in the field, clinic, and during peacetime or war time), their collaboration will help in initiating a research on how to create an effective interprofessional healthcare teams that will improve the delivery of healthcare to our service members, retirees, and dependents.
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