The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program in Nursing is designed with the belief that nursing is a professional discipline, grounded in science and based on a unique body of knowledge. The body of knowledge can be applied, expanded, and validated through accepted methods of scholarly inquiry. The graduate will be a skilled researcher and sophisticated consumer of knowledge generated through research. Graduates will be socially responsible, competent, and innovative researchers, educators, and leaders who understand and appreciate the financial, political, clinical, and social factors that influence care models and population-based delivery systems. The central element of the program is the completion of a dissertation that incorporates original research and advances knowledge in the area of concentration. The core and directed independent study courses are designed to expand scientific inquiry and outcomes assessment, enhance research and consultation skills, and improve teaching and administrative expertise.
This program is ideally suited and structured for the nurse working in research, academia, administration, or in a clinical capacity and is tailored to link program goals with individual research interests. Nurses (RN or BSN degree holders) with a master’s degree are eligible for the program. During the three-year program, students will complete seven semesters, each consisting of three modules of coursework. Modules 1 and 3 may include readings and assignments, as well as online participation (i.e., threaded discussions or chats). Module 2 in each semester requires attendance on campus for lecture, demonstration, etc. For all courses other than the Directed Independent Study (which is only completed during Module 3), students complete coursework throughout the entire semester. A written qualifying examination at the conclusion of course work and prior to the doctoral dissertation is required.