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Nursing Science (PhD)

The College of Graduate Health Sciences offers the Nursing Science PhD program, a research-focused doctoral nursing degree, to individuals with a Bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in nursing. The mission of this program is to prepare nurse scientists for collaborative and socially responsible inquiry that improves and promotes health today and for the future. This mission is achieved through an educational program that emphasizes developing and testing theories and models of nursing care; clinical and biological nursing research; and social, ethical, political, legal, and economic implications of health care policies and practices. The program was designed to educate nurse scientists who will use research-based knowledge, theories, and interventions in their roles as researchers, educators, and administrators.

Students work closely throughout their program of study with a faculty advisor or mentor with whom they share a common interest. The areas of faculty research concentration are self-management, neurobehavior, risk identification and management, and relational health. Faculty members have established local, regional, national, and international reputations for their contributions to nursing scholarship and leadership. Interested individuals should carefully examine the programs of research of faculty to determine which program best fits the student’s future goals as a scientist. The PhD program is a rigorous, mentored program of three to five years. Matching with a research mentor with similar interests is critical to success. Although nursing faculty teach most courses included within the curriculum, students have the opportunity to learn and network with faculty and doctoral students in other disciplines. Students may enroll in full-time or part-time study.

Requirements: Bachelor’s degree with a grade point average of at least 3.0 from an accredited college or university, a combined score (verbal and quantitative) of at least 300 on the revised Graduate Record Examination, official transcripts, an unencumbered RN license, current CPR card, a score of at least 213/79 on the computer-based/Internet- based TOEFL or evidence of proficiency in English for students whose native language is not English, letter of intent or essay describing the applicant’s specific area of interest, and three letters of recommendation from individuals who can describe the applicant’s potential for success in a research-focused doctoral program.

Deadline: February 1

Chair: Wendy M. Likes, PhD, DNSc | 901.448.6144

Program Director: Dr. Carolyn Graff | 901.448.6544 |


May 26, 2022