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Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

Quick Facts


School: School of Nursing

Mode: Entirely Online

Total Credit Hours: 58

Our Mission: We shape the future of nursing through the power of education, discovery and collaboration.

Our Vision: VCU School of Nursing will be the destination for those committed to transforming health care.

The VCU School of Nursing doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) program in nursing prepares students to develop knowledge in the discipline of nursing and to become scholars or pioneering researchers committed to the highest ideals of nursing excellence. The program examines knowledge development in nursing through an understanding of the impact of a wide range of historical influences on the discipline and through analysis of how emerging societal issues influence knowledge development. Knowledge in the humanities and social sciences and an understanding of knowledge development in other disciplines is viewed as foundational to a full understanding of knowledge development in nursing. Methodologic competency (i.e., knowledge of research designs, methodologies, and tools) is also essential to a full understanding of the scope, range, and path of knowledge development and the relevance to nursing practice.

The online Ph.D. program includes a combination of online courses and on campus or virtual immersions each semester to offer students a dynamic, interactive learning experience that will prepare them to become nurse scholars and scientists. This format is designed to expand the Ph.D. program’s reach to a wider range of highly motivated, independent students who aspire to become nurse scientists and scholars, make a significant difference in the field of nursing and study with nationally recognized nurse scientists.

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