Nursing, PhD

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About the Program

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) prepares scholars who will pursue intellectual inquiry and creative scholarship through independent and collaborative research, advance nursing science, and provide leadership to the nursing profession. Students will develop a depth of knowledge in their scientific emphasis area through required course work and mentored research experience, selection of supporting electives, independent study, and dissertation research. Upon graduation from the PhD program, the student will be prepared to conceptualize and conduct independent research to advance knowledge in nursing and health care, and initiate and participate in interprofessional research with nurses and scholars from other disciplines.

Admitted students may be eligible for several scholarships, as well as research and teaching assistant positions. Students are taught by nationally and internationally recognized faculty. Ample opportunities are available for students to work with faculty on research projects and to apply scientific knowledge with faculty guidance.

Program of Study

The PhD in Nursing program builds on the MSN degree and requires a total of 78 credit hours of work (a minimum of 48 credit hours beyond the master's). PhD courses are offered via a variety of modalities including in-seat and online, with approximately 50 percent of classes face-to-face. In-seat classes are held approximately six times per semester, utilizing an executive format. In-seat class days provide opportunity for students to professionally interact with faculty and students, and participate in the Doctoral Student Organization.

The PhD in Nursing program prepares nurses for leadership roles in a variety of organizations, health-related agencies, and educational institutions.

Part-time and Full-time Options

View sample plans of study to learn about part- and full-time program options.

Students must complete 9 credits of a cohesive set of existing doctoral-level university courses designed with his or her advisor and the assistant dean of the program to contribute to the student's program of research. Examples include coursework in biostatistics, epidemiology, nursing administration, bioterrorism, conflict analysis, health policy, gerontology, or any other area consistent with the student's program of study and research.

More information about these concentrations is available in the PhD in Nursing Program catalog entry.

Student Outcomes

Students will develop a depth of knowledge in their emphasis area through required course work, mentored research experience, selection of supporting electives, independent study, and dissertation research.
Upon graduation from the PhD program the student will be prepared to:

  1. Conceptualize and conduct independent research to advance knowledge in nursing and health care.
  2. Initiate and participate in interprofessional research with nurses and scholars from other disciplines.

Student Requirements

All nursing students must maintain a current nursing license. Nursing students must meet certain mandatory requirements, including a certified criminal background check, immunizations, and other program-specific requirements. Specific information will be provided once the offer of admission to the nursing program has been accepted.

Questions?

Interested in learning more about earning a PhD in nursing? Schedule a one-on-one appointment with Dr. Mallinson at 703-993-1961 or via email to discuss how a PhD in nursing can advance your career.

For questions about the graduate admissions process, please contact the CHHS Office of Graduate Admissions at chhsgrad@gmu.edu or 703-993-1736.

R. Kevin Mallinson

R. Kevin Mallinson, PhD, RN, AACRN, FAAN
Assistant Dean, Doctoral Division
Associate Professor
Email