5 Most Advanced Degrees in Healthcare

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Advanced degrees provide you with more knowledge and enhanced skills. Having an advanced degree in your field increases your value in the industry. You get a chance to network with leaders in your industry that can lead to a wide range of career opportunities.

The healthcare industry’s goal is to maintain the physical, mental, and emotional health of people by licensed professionals. It provides several services and has a number of different professionals like nurses, pharmacists, behavioral scientists, nutritional scientists, and more working in this industry.   

Healthcare workers often pursue advanced degrees to advance their careers, enhance their skills, and increase their earning potential. Several universities across the US offer online and on-campus doctorates. However, every doctorate has its eligibility criteria and pre-requisites which you must fulfill to secure admission. Based on the degree you choose, your doctorate can qualify you to carry out research and educate the younger generation or enable you to work in upper positions in your industry. Either way, an advanced degree makes you more marketable and significantly increases your chances of getting hired.

Advanced degrees in healthcare can include post masters DNP online or on-campus Programs, Pharm.D programs, DMD degrees, and more. Let’s discuss the various advanced degrees in healthcare along with their scopes and career prospects.

1.    Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

DNP is a practice-based training in nursing and is designed to produce leaders in the nursing industry. DNP graduate nurses have high-quality nursing skills and can work in a clinical setting or leadership role based on their experience and overall interest. The primary responsibilities of DNP graduates can include;

  • Initiating quality care initiatives
  • Managing healthcare organizations
  • Directing clinical programs
  • Teaching clinical skills as faculty members

DNP graduates can work as healthcare executives, advanced practice registered nurses, clinical researchers, healthcare lobbyists, and more. Furthermore, it is a growing profession and is predicted to grow 45% in the next decade by the US Bureau of labor statistics.

2.    Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Nutritional Sciences

It is an interdisciplinary training that prepares students to apply their advanced knowledge in nutrition sciences in public health and clinical healthcare settings. Ph.D. in nutritional sciences program help students understand nutrition, metabolism, related biological, molecular, behavioral, and biochemical sciences. Moreover, this degree empowers them with various skills that enable them to develop original hypotheses in nutritional sciences. You can specialize in community nutrition, human nutrition, international nutrition, and molecular nutrition. Students pursuing this degree can work as;

  • Public health nutritionist
  • Leader in nutritional science education or industry
  • Lecturer at a university or a college
  • A researcher in a private or government institute

According to the US Bureau of labor statistics, the profession of nutritional scientists is predicted to grow by 11% from 2020 to 2030, which is much faster than average. Therefore, we can conclude that it is a promising career.

3.    Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.)

It is a professional degree that enables you to become a clinical pharmacist or to practice the profession of pharmacy. The program has a clinical education part that educates students about the safe and effective use of drugs. Students also spend a lot of time in direct patient care and research during the degree hence, and they are practice-ready upon graduation. Pharmacist graduating with a Ph.D. may work as;

  • Researchers
  • Drug Manufacturers
  • Industrialists
  • Clinical practitioners
  • Teachers

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) only approves of pharm D as an accredited degree that makes students eligible to sit for the pharmacist licensure examination. According to the Bureau of labor statistics, the pharmacy profession is predicted to decline by -2% in the upcoming decade. However, there are still 11,300 openings each year for this job as people often switch to other careers.

4.    Ph.D. Nursing and Midwifery

This doctorate program qualifies you to become a leader in midwifery. A midwife is a health professional who cares for a newborn child and mother. They provide support and prepare families for parenthood. Experienced midwives may work at hospitals, private clinics, birthing centers or are self-employed.

Ph.D. in midwifery involves a considerable amount of training and clinical practice. It enables graduates to either serve as midwife leaders or to become faculty members to educate and train the new generation of midwives. They are also empowered to research to understand the process of birth in more detail and develop effective techniques to help mothers deliver babies. This degree also focuses on developing your communication skills, compassion, empathy, and teamwork skills. Midwives are in demand, and the profession is expected to grow by 45% in the upcoming decade, according to the Bureau of labor statistics.

5.    Ph.D. in Public Health

Public health careers focus on protecting and promoting community health. A doctorate in public health is a terminal degree and offers vast field experience in public and private health settings. A doctorate in public health qualifies graduates for various positions like epidemiologists, advanced researchers, advocates, educators, biostatisticians, and more. Some roles of Ph.D. in public health graduates may include;

  • Promoting social work
  • Understanding the genetics of a population
  • Researching maternal and child health
  • Measuring nutritional needs of a deprived community and providing them with enough nutritional resources

According to Pearson, this profession has a growth trajectory of 15% from 2019 to 2029. The demand for public health workers who are qualified to handle ongoing challenges like the recent opioid abuse has increased. Therefore, if you want to better the communities around you while making money, then it can be a promising career pathway. 

The Wrap Up

Healthcare professionals often pursue advanced degrees to enhance their skill set, increase their knowledge, and widen their network. The advanced degrees can be a master’s, doctorate, or postdoc. These advanced degrees are offered online or on-campus to accommodate students. In this article, we discussed the various doctorates offered in healthcare fields. We specifically discussed a Ph.D. in nursing practice, pharmacy, midwifery, public health, and nutritional sciences. Working in any profession in the healthcare industry can be fulfilling but, all the discussed degrees also have a promising career outlook. Hopefully, this article will help you understand the few advanced degrees in healthcare that we have discussed.   




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