Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

The Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD) Program prepares graduates to function in faculty positions in college and university settings; conduct independent research as nurse scientists, perform scholarly endeavors in nursing; generate and expand the theoretical, empirical, and philosophical bases for nursing practice; provide leadership to the profession; and interpret nursing to society. Students have opportunities to expand their theoretical knowledge and research skills in one of three emphasis areas (Health Systems, Symptom Science, or Education); develop expertise in nursing theory development; expand research skills; and gain a historical and philosophical perspective that broadens their professional orientation and provides a basis for understanding changing social expectations, cultural perspectives, and economic and political trends. The PhD Program prepares nurse scientists for the future with coursework in Precision Health, Data Science, and Grant Writing.

Nurses engaged in doctoral study are adult learners with unique perspectives gained from personal, professional, and educational experiences. These individuals tend to be self-directed, goal-oriented, highly motivated and capable of abstract, original thinking. Individual interests are explored through study in the selected emphasis area. Learning is achieved through independent study and research, as well as instructed courses.

PhD Program Objectives

  1. Develop expertise in the application of theoretical and conceptual frameworks to nursing.
  2. Conduct and communicate research that advances the body of scientific nursing knowledge.
  3. Analyze, develop, and evaluate concepts and theories that contribute to the science of nursing. 
  4. Evaluate the impact of the expanded knowledge base in nursing and external forces on the provision of health care to society and on the development of health care policy.
  5. Examine the ways in which nursing knowledge and practice are influenced by historical developments, philosophical thought, and cultural diversity.