Bachelor of Science in Nursing to Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science

May 2022 Entry
  • Applications available online: September 3, 2021
  • Deadline to apply: November 15, 2021
Length of Program

Full time, four years; part time, six years

Degree Awarded

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science

Distance Learning


Our distance-accessible PhD program will prepare you for a career in nursing education, research, health systems, or clinical science to enhance the care of individuals and families across the lifespan.  Our PhD offers both a full time and a part time track, and you will first complete your BSN to PhD bridge coursework before beginning your PhD courses.

The PhD Program is a distance-accessible program using videoconferencing technology to synchronously place you in the classroom with your classmates.  You can also choose in-person classes (if available) if you prefer to learn in a face-to-face setting.  We attempt to schedule the required PhD courses across one day each week so that students know in advance which day to plan to be available for class.  PhD students will attend two required, on-campus, multi-day Intensives during the first two years of the PhD program. These Intensives are typically held in summer and give you the opportunity to engage peers and faculty, attend professional development sessions, meet with faculty mentors, and network during a variety of informal events.  

As a PhD student, you are linked with faculty researchers who provide supportive mentoring throughout your entire PhD program. You can choose to work with faculty experts in Clinical Nursing Science or Health Systems, which includes Nursing Education.

Clinical Nursing Science concentrates on the interrelationships of health promotion, health behavior, and quality of life in acute and chronic illness throughout the lifespan. This focus area includes the prevention and early detection of disabilities across the continuum of care and the enhancement of the health and well-being for individuals, families, and communities. Examples of scholarship and faculty research in clinical nursing science include:

  • Improving quality of life in persons with chronic illness, including epilepsy, stroke, and renal disease
  • Behavioral oncology across the cancer continuum (including cancer prevention, detection, and symptom management)
  • Childhood and family adaptation to chronic illness
  • Family caregiving across the lifespan
  • Tailored intervention studies to improve quality of life
  • Patient care safety

Health Systems operate to create structures and resources that enable individuals and communities to achieve optimal health. This focus area includes the science of nursing education, informatics, health policy, and administration. Examples of scholarship and faculty research within the focus of health systems include:

  • Nursing Education
  • Teaching and learning in web-based courses
  • Clinical reasoning
  • Assessment of learning and program evaluation
  • Health policy and public policy analysis
  • Computer systems to enhance care delivery
  • Nursing informatics
  • Patient care simulations
  • Community-based care coordination

Learn more about faculty research interests. 

Student Learning Outcomes

As a PhD graduate you are well positioned for a successful career as a leader within academic and practice settings.  Graduates of the program are expected to:

  • Synthesize knowledge from nursing as well as biological and behavioral sciences to investigate health phenomena.
  • Utilize analytical and empirical methods to extend nursing knowledge and scholarship.
  • Conduct and communicate Independent research that advances the body of scientific knowledge.
  • Defend the social significance of the expanded knowledge base of nursing.
  • Interpret nursing science within an inter-disciplinary context.

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