Fireside Chat with Nurse Scientists: Should I Get a DNP or a PhD?

February 28, 2024

 This will be a virtual event!


Join the Nurse Scientists as they chat with faculty from the University of Texas Cizik School of Nursing about graduate and doctoral education pathways. This 60-minute webinar will explore education opportunities for BSN and MSN nurses interested in pursuing further education as well as possible career opportunities for doctorate-prepared nurses.

Target Audience

Registered Nurses

Learning Objectives

  • Discuss the similarities and differences between DNP and PhD programs.
  • Discuss BSN and MSN doctoral entry programs.
  • Explore career opportunities for doctorate-prepared nurses.
Course summary
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
02/28/2024 - 3:00pm CST
Event ends: 
02/28/2024 - 4:00pm CST
Virtual via Teams
United States

Linda Cole, DNP, RN, APRN, CCNS, CNE, FCNS Associate Professor, Non-tenured Instructional

Co-Director, DNP Program


Dr. Cole, associate professor at the Cizik School of Nursing (CSON) at the University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, teaches various courses in the master’s level Nursing Leadership program and DNP program and is co-director of the DNP program. Her BSN and MS in Health Education are from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS, and her MSN as a clinical nurse specialist and DNP are from CSON. Dr. Cole was inducted as a Clinical Nurse Specialist Institute Fellow in 2021. She has published and presented on educational innovations, evidence-based practice, integrative medicine, nurse resiliency, and nursing leadership.


Maja Djukic, PhD, RN, FAAN

John P. McGovern Distinguished Professor in Nursing

Associate Professor

Department of Research


Maja Djukic, PhD, RN, FAAN joined the Cizik School of Nursing on September 1, 2020 as the John P. McGovern Distinguished Associate Professor. Over the past ten years Dr. Djukic has led a vigorous program of research focused on nursing workforce determinants of healthcare quality. During this time, she obtained close to $8 million in extramural research funding with over $2.4 million as principal investigator and produced over 40 peer-review publications. Dr. Djukic has pioneered national research of new graduate nurses to identify key gaps in quality and safety competencies essential for high-value patient care. To close the identified competency gaps, Dr. Djukic led inter- professional research teams and academic-practice partnerships to design novel teamwork, quality improvement, and population health management workforce interventions using in-person and virtual simulations. Her groundbreaking study of physical work environment, informed by human factors engineering framework, made unique contributions to nurses' work environment research, by demonstrating direct and indirect influences of architectural, interior design, and ambient features on nurses' job satisfaction and their ratings of patient care quality. Dr. Djukic is a recipient of two prestigious career development awards - the Robert Wood Johnson Nurse Faculty Scholar Award and the Josiah Macy Junior Foundation Faculty Scholar Award. She was an elected co-chair of the Interdisciplinary Group on Nursing Issues (IRGNI) at Academy Health and is currently an Associate Editor for the Policy, Politics, & Nursing Practice journal and a member of the American Academy of Nursing Quality Health Care Expert Panel.


Kelly Kearney, DNP, APRN, PMHNP-BC

Associate Professor| Department of Graduate Studies

Co-Director, Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

Coordinator: Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Track


Dr. Kearney brings over a decade of experience as a dedicated Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), specializing in outpatient psychiatry and providing compassionate care to individuals across the lifespan, from children to adults, facing diverse mental health challenges.

In her academic role at the Cizik School of Nursing at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, she serves as an Associate Professor and holds pivotal leadership positions. As the Co-Director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, Dr. Kearney contributes to shaping the future of nursing practice by guiding aspiring nurse practitioners through advanced education and training. Additionally, as the Coordinator of the Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner track, she brings her expertise to the forefront, overseeing the specialized curriculum and ensuring that students receive comprehensive preparation to excel in the field of mental health nursing.

Dr. Kearney serves on the Board of Directors for Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Greater Houston area and is the Regional Representative for the Psychiatric Advanced Practice Nurses of Texas. She is also actively involved in national committees including the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties and holds a two-year appointment to the diversity committee. Additionally, she contributes to the International Society for Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses, American Psychiatric Nurses Association, and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nurses. Her passion lies in community service, advocacy, and advancing the field of psychiatric nursing.

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