PhD in Nursing

The PhD program in nursing is designed to prepare graduates for research and active scholarship in nursing that will extend the knowledge base of nursing and improve the delivery of health care for rural and other vulnerable populations. Graduates will be prepared to conduct research and develop theory related to these populations. Graduates of the program will also be able to design future practice models, direct the development of policy initiatives and effect meaningful change within healthcare delivery systems. The program includes:

  • Research and Conceptualization:
    • Study in advanced research methods, theory development and analysis, advanced statistics for health research, conceptual analysis, instrumentation and measurement, and involvement in active research programs
  • Nursing and Health Policy:
    • Study in the healthcare needs of rural or vulnerable populations, and the issues, strategies and policy development interventions for healthcare delivery for these populations
  • Cognate Courses:
    • Selected courses advancing student's knowledge in their specific area of interest
  • Dissertation:
    • An independent original research project

Students are admitted to candidacy upon satisfactory completion of the following:

  • required coursework;
  • University Graduate School residency requirement;
  • a comprehensive examination;
  • successful defense of the dissertation proposal;
  • a teaching requirement.


For students who intend to pursue admission to the PhD program click here.

Financial Assistance

Financial aid and scholarship information and links to apply as an admitted student can be found online.

Course Descriptions

For course descriptions, please see the University Bulletin.

PhD in Nursing Program Plans


  • Students that were admitted from Fall 2012-Spring 2014, click HERE to view your PhD program plan of study.
  • Students that were admitted FALL 2011-Spring 2012, click HERE to view your PhD program plan of study.
  • Students who are part-time or who started prior to FALL 2011 should consult the appropriate University Bulletin by catalog year or plan to meet with their faculty adviser or consult with the PhD Program Director for guidance with program planning.

PhD Curriculum Plan

Year 01    
Fall   Credits
  NURS 600. Advanced Quantitative Analysis 3
  NURS 601. Theoretical and Conceptual Analysis of Nursing Science 3
  NURS 640. Rural People and Communities in Metropolitan Society I 4
  NURS 690. Research Seminar I 3
  Semester Total 13
Spring   Credits
  NURS 602. Conceptual Analysis for Investigation of Nursing Phenomena 3
  NURS 691. Research Seminar II 3
  NURS 603. Advanced Statistics: Multivariate 3
  NURS 621. The Rural Imperative: Theoretical Analysis OR NURS 622 3
  NURS 622. Vulnerable Population: Theoretical Framework OR NURS 621 3
  Semester Total 12
Year 02    
Fall   Credits
  NURS 604. Qualitative Methods for Nursing Research 3
  NURS 623. Clinical Seminar in Rural Health: Health Promotion OR NURS 624 3
  NURS 624. Clinical Semester Rural Health: Response to Illness OR NURS 623 3
  NURS 633. Advanced Health Systems 3
  NURS 692. Research Seminar III 3
  Semester Total: 12
Spring   Credits
  NURS 607. Advanced Research Practicum 3
  NURS 693. Research Seminar IV 3
  NURS 634. Health Policy Formulation 3
  NURS 660. Leadership in Nursing Education 3
  NURS 661. Teaching Practicum (required if student has no teaching experience) 2
  Semester Total: 12-14
Cognate:   Credits
  Cognate course may be taken in any of the above semesters or while writing the dissertation. 3
Remaining    semesters Credits
  Exam - Comprehensive/Qualifying Examination 1
  NURS 699. Dissertation - [Note: Students will register for 1 credit per semester until Dissertation is completed and defended.] 1
  Program Total Credits: 52-54

For more information regarding the PhD in nursing, please click here.

Last Updated: 4/11/14