Nursing PhDs: Ultimate Degree

Choose from Academic, Practice, and Scientific Research Programs

Nurses that earn a Ph.D. degree in their field are an elite group. Nursing is shortchanged when it comes to academic leaders. The perpetual nursing shortage is proof of this. Most sources claim that shortages in the field of nursing exist at both ends; among entry-level staff nurses as well as at the top. Nursing educators, administrators and top-flight nursing researchers are in short supply. Their absence is a contributing factor to the problem, as well as a larger systemic symptom. However, this puts nursing Ph.D. candidates into a very in-demand group of professionals, as well.

Male Nurse With Patient.

Nursing professionals that pursue a Ph.D. are likely already experienced in a sub-specialty of nursing. Candidates enrolled in doctoral programs attain career positions in which they have the opportunities to contribute to nursing practice and theory; or help redefine the role of nurses as a whole. Doctoral candidates must have their Masters in Nursing and be able to prove above average GPA from previous academic work. Nurses interested in high-level administrative roles or ultra-specific research work are sought after in Ph.D. programs.

Find a Doctoral Program

Where there are nursing schools there are most often nursing Ph.D. programs. Candidates might look within their region or for those programs most suited to their career intentions. Nursing Ph.D. programs are demanding academically and personally. Students must understand their academic commitment could interrupt their professional lives and place heavy time demands on them personally. Most programs may take up to four years to completion of a dissertation.

Doctoral Curriculum

A nursing Ph.D. program invites professional nurses with a strong clinical foundation along with experience in more academic or administrative roles. Coursework focuses on much deeper nursing practicum, complex nursing theory and how both relate to the career field on the whole. Candidates have the opportunity to study alongside leading researchers as well as nursing executives and researchers that are in the process of re-shaping the career field. Most common types of nursing doctorate programs include:

  • Doctor in Nursing Science prepares professional nurses interested in very specific research as it relates to nursing care and practice. Students may develop innovative care paradigms from a global or personal perspective. Technological advances in care as well as cutting edge informatics are critical components in nursing science.
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice is one of the newest doctoral programs and is designed for advanced practice nurses, such as midwives and nurse practitioners. This new designation is intended to place the utmost academic demands on nursing professionals that occupy some of the most important clinical roles in the field. Candidates participate in curriculum that leads them to the highest levels of clinical expertise. Most eventually assume roles as nursing educators within their specialties.
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing is possibly the most traditional doctoral program. Candidates with career goals in academic nursing research tend to gravitate to this degree. Candidates typically already have specific research interests and study is heavily geared toward statistics, clinical research methodology, and ethics.

Nursing educators and administrators at every level have been working steadily over the last few years to redefine the needs of doctoral level nurses. Now three major types of Ph.D. nursing programs effectively underscore the professional scope. Demands for nurses with Ph.D. degrees will grow as the industry works to respond to the deep and widespread shortage of nurses, brought about in some ways from a critical shortage of highly trained educators and administrators.

Get Free Information Today

Capella University

Walden University

Maryville University

More Nursing Doctoral Programs

We have a broad array of exciting online programs available in our database.

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice, Leadership Track (MSN to DNP) - Bradley University
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice, Family Nurse Practitioner Track (BSN to DNP) - Bradley University
  • DNP Doctor of Nursing - Liberty Unversity
  • Dr. Business Admin, Healthcare Management - Liberty University
  • DNP, Doctor of Nursing Practice - Wilkes University
  • PhD, Business Administration: Health Care Administration - Northcentral University
  • DBA, Health Care Administration - Northcentral University
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) - Grand Canyon University

To see a complete up-to-date listing of these opportunities, please click here.

Graduate Certificates

Specialty nursing certificate programs may offer additional career advancement opportunities.

  • Post Graduate Certificate in Family Nurse Practitioner - South University
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Adult Health Nurse Practitioner - South University
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Nurse Educator - South University
  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Health Information Management - The University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Post MSN Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certificate - Maryville University
  • Post MSN in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Certificate - Maryville University
  • Post MSN in Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate - Maryville University
  • Post MSN Pediatric (Primary Care) Nurse Practitioner Certificate - Maryville University
  • Grad Cert, Global Health - Liberty University
  • Grad Cert, Health Promotions - Liberty University
  • Grad Cert, Healthcare Management - Liberty University
  • Grad Cert, Nutrition - Liberty University
To see a complete up-to-date listing of currently available certificat programs in our database, please click here.


Get Your Free Information on Nursing & Healthcare Programs