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Review the curriculum and program design for KU School of Nursing's Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing degree.
The KU School of Nursing has three entry options to the Ph.D. in Nursing program. You can apply to the research doctoral program after completing a BSN, M.S. or DNP degree.
M.S.-to-Ph.D. degree requires 67 credit hours: 52 credits of coursework and 15 credits of dissertation.
BSN-to-Ph.D. students complete six additional credits from the graduate nursing core: NRSG 748 Theories for Practice and Research and NRSG 754 Healthcare Research.
DNP-Ph.D. students complete a special curriculum of 42 credit hours: 27 credits of coursework and 15 credits of dissertation.
Each student has a primary faculty mentor. The KU School of Nursing faculty mentors teach in the doctoral program and are approved for dissertation chair privileges.
The Ph.D. in Nursing program is heavily focused on research skill-building through didactic coursework, seminar learning and application experiences.
The oral comprehensive exam will be conducted at the time of the dissertation proposal defense. Students are required to demonstrate competency in research skills and responsible scholarship.
The first summer intensive provides all students with an orientation to doctoral education, allows a match with an academic and research mentor and offers a structured opportunity to network with fellow students and doctoral faculty.
During the subsequent summer residencies at the end of year two and year three, students will be immersed in coursework and synthesis workshops with faculty advisors/mentors and fellow students.
Each of these workshops will end with a qualifying exam that will evaluate each student's depth of knowledge and skill development. Students must pass this qualifying exam in order to progress to the next level of study.
The median time to degree completion for the Ph.D. program is three years for students who graduated in 1986-2012 and completed the course work on a full-time basis. The median time for all students who graduated with a Ph.D. from 1986-2012 is 5.7 years.
Of the Ph.D. program graduates, 75% have been employed in nursing education as faculty members, researchers and administrators. Employment categories for the remaining 25% include directors of research in hospitals, hospital systems and other health agencies, pharmaceutical research, clinical practice settings, National Institutes of Health, consultation, professional writing and nursing administration positions in hospitals and other agencies.
Students can customize their Ph.D. program of study by completing 11 credit hours in one of three emphasis areas: Health Systems, Symptom Science or Education.
Working in consultation with a faculty mentor, students select nine credits of emphasis area coursework that support their research interest. The final two credit hours of the Emphasis Area are completed through enrollment in NRSG 970 - Emphasis Area Synthesis.
For DNP to Ph.D. students, the advanced practice or leadership cognate area from the DNP degree program serves as the emphasis area.
Choose an emphasis area below to view details and dissertation examples:
The study of health care systems is essential to enhanced patient experience, reduced costs, population health and a meaningfully engaged workforce. The Health Systems emphasis area includes the science of organizational leadership, informatics, data science, health services and health policy. Students may choose from a variety of recommended graduate courses in nursing, health policy and management, preventive medicine and statistics.
Examples of KU Ph.D. in Nursing dissertations with a Health Systems emphasis:
Symptom science focuses on understanding the biological and behavioral aspects of symptoms with the goal of developing new knowledge and strategies to foster health and quality of life. Improving understanding of the biology underlying symptoms requires advanced methodological expertise. An "omics" approach advances biomarker discovery and bridges the gap between phenotype and biological mechanisms in order to understand perturbations in homeostasis that may lead to particular symptoms. Symptom science is the pathway to precision health.
The recommended coursework for this emphasis area includes NRSG 950 Symptom Science, NRSG 951 Biomarkers and an elective course.
Examples of KU Ph.D. in Nursing dissertations with a Symptom Science emphasis:
The education emphasis area provides a foundation in education for students interested in traditional faculty positions that engage students to learn a clinical practice discipline. Educational theory is augmented with evidence-based curriculum design and evaluation for those with research interest in traditional educational environments as well as staff development and patient education. Educational scholarship, with an emphasis on interprofessional team preparation and technology-based teaching-learning modalities (including simulation), is encouraged.
Students will select three of the following courses: NRSG 870 Teaching Strategies, NRSG 871 Curriculum/Program Planning and Evaluation, NRSG 873 Teaching with Technologies, NRSG 874 Health Professions Educator Preceptorship.
Examples of KU Ph.D. in Nursing dissertations with an Education emphasis: