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Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

Aug. 21, 2024

Next Start Date

17

Courses Required

$764

Cost Per Credit Hour

55

Total Credit Hours

Online Courses, Low Residency, Residency Required

Learning Formats

Careers in Research, Teaching, and Service

The Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing, offered by the WVU School of Nursing, is designed to educate nurse scholar-scientists for careers in research, teaching, and service. The program prepares graduates who will contribute to the body of nursing knowledge, educate the next generation, and assume collaborative leadership roles in shaping health policy, improving health, and reducing disparity. The program offers both part-time and full-time options.

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WVU Nursing students working on a dummy in a bed.

The goals of the program are to:

  • Rigorously test, generate, and extend knowledge to inform nursing science, practice, and policy.
  • Contribute to the development of knowledge and interventions to address health disparity and promote or improve health.
  • Assume collaborative leadership roles in academia, healthcare organizations, research teams, and scholarly networks.
  • Demonstrate expertise within an area of study that incorporates nursing and trans-disciplinary perspectives.

Ph.D. Program of Study and Progression Plan

The Ph.D. program requires students to take at a minimum: nursing core courses, cognate courses, and research courses comprising 55 credits of post-master’s coursework. The Ph.D. coursework provides content in scholarly processes, nursing science and an area of concentration that supports the student’s chosen area of scholarship. Students and their faculty advisors determine what other coursework and experiences are needed to support their dissertation research.

The schedule of courses can be found in the WVU School of Nursing PhD Progression Plan.

Once a student successfully passes the written and oral components of the qualifying examination, they must complete the research and dissertation phase, culminating in a written and oral dissertation defense.

Students must submit one first-authored manuscript to a peer-reviewed journal for publication prior to taking the Qualifying Examination and have one first-authored, peer-reviewed manuscript accepted for publication prior to the dissertation defense.

Residency

Doctoral education involves many learning experiences that take place outside the formal classroom setting. These involve observing and participating in activities conducted by the graduate faculty, using departmental and University libraries, attending lectures presented by visiting scholars, informally debating other students, and similar activities. To ensure that graduate students experience this kind of informal learning, doctoral programs at WVU generally require at least two semesters in residence on campus. However, an individual student or graduate committee may propose an alternative plan by which the student can gain equivalent educational experience. This plan must be submitted in writing, approved by the college or school dean or designee, and placed in the student’s program file.

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Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Admission Requirements

Qualifications

  • Submission of formal transcript of a nursing degree at the baccalaureate level or higher from a nationally accredited nursing program and a regionally accredited institution or equivalent.
  • Master's degree in nursing (or higher) from a nationally accredited nursing program and a regionally accredited institution. A Master's degree in a health-related discipline will be considered.
  • Official transcripts confirm an earned Master's degree in nursing from a nationally accredited nursing program and a regionally accredited institution. A Master's degree in a health-related discipline will be considered.
  • Official transcripts indicate a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in Master's degree work.
  • A minimum nursing GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale on all graduate work attempted. (Provisional admission may be considered if the overall GPA is 2.75-2.99 depending upon space available and other qualifications.)
  • An active, unrestricted RN license in at least one state at the time of application.
  • Provide evidence of current license to practice nursing.
  • Personal Essay: Submit a personal essay (APA format, and no more than 5 pages), addressing the following topics: How you have prepared for doctoral work (background), why you want a PhD (how does a PhD fit in your career plan), personal/academic strengths and weaknesses, research area of interest, and current/long term goals. View the guidelines here.
  • Qualified applicants will be invited for an interview. An invitation for an interview does not guarantee admission.
  • Transfer students must provide a statement of good standing from the program in which currently enrolled.

To be considered, applicants will be required to meet all WVU admission requirements in addition to program-specific admission criteria.

Note: Any student who has been dismissed from the West Virginia University School of Nursing or any other nursing program may be considered for readmission if the dismissal was academic and was followed by successful completion of an additional degree. Any student who has withdrawn from the WVU School of Nursing program may be considered for readmission. Students may apply for readmission in accordance with the following guidelines and criteria but must follow the standard admission procedures. Students must meet all original admission requirements.


Apply To WVU

Once you have reviewed the qualifications you can begin the application process. Below is a button that will take you to the WVU application page. To get started you'll first need to create an account on that page. Once you have done so, click "Start Application" and review your admission type prior to completing enrollment information.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until July 1 for a Fall term start date.

  • Click on the Apply Now button below.
  • Please select the following options on the New Application screen:
    • Type of Student: Doctorate
    • Which Program: Nursing PhD

Apply Now

Once you are done you will receive an email confirmation on receipt of application. You can also return to that site to track your documents and check your application status. Qualified applicants who are competitive with other applicants in the applicant pool will be invited for an interview. An invitation for an interview does not guarantee admission.


Request Official Transcripts from All Colleges and Universities Attended

It is preferred that official transcripts be sent via an online, secure service such as eScrip-Safe, National Student Clearinghouse, or Parchment to graduateadmissions@mail.wvu.edu. Alternatively, sealed, untampered, physical official transcripts can be sent to:

WVU Office of Graduate Admissions and Recruitment
P.O. Box 6510
Morgantown, WV 26506-6510

Or

WVU Office of Graduate Admissions and Recruitment
1 Waterfront Place
2nd Floor
Morgantown, WV 26505


Acceptance

Candidates for admission are evaluated on the entire admission packet. The WVU School of Nursing accepts new PhD students on a rolling admission basis and will review all qualified applications based on admission criteria. Acceptance is dependent upon space available in the program with the most qualified applicants being accepted at the time of review. Decisions will be emailed to students.

The acceptance letter will provide information to prepare you for the PhD program including course dates for the summer session, course registration, orientation, overnight accommodations, parking permits, required software and textbooks.

In programs with limited capacity and competitive admissions, the most qualified students are selected among those that meet the minimum requirements. Students who want to appeal the Undergraduate or Graduate Admissions Committee decision as unfair, arbitrary, or capricious may contact the director of Admissions and Enrollment for the School of Nursing. The request will be forwarded to the program director for consideration, and the student will receive detailed information regarding the formal appeal process.

Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid

WVU provides a comprehensive approach to helping you finance your education. Learn more by visiting the Student Financial Services website.

Students are encouraged to:

  • File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form by the March 1 deadline to determine their eligibility for federal and state funds as well as scholarships. WVU’s FAFSA Code is 003827; and
  • Check with your employer to see if they provide financial support for earning your graduate degree.

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing total degree cost: $42,020 – Residents and Non-Residents

Credits Cost
1 $764
3 $2,292
6 $4,584
9 $6,876

Tuition and fees are usually not the only educational expenses you may have while pursuing a degree. You may have other costs such as books, supplies and living expenses. Please see the Estimate Costs and Aid webpage for how to estimate and plan for other potential expenses.

Courses and Curriculum


Core Requirements

Course Title Credit Hours
NSG 727 Contemporary Nursing Science 3
NSG 728 Nursing Science Theory/Philosophy 4
NSG 732 Seminar in Nursing Scholarship 3
NSG 735 Principles: Nursing Education 3
NSG 736 Advanced Health Policy and Ethics 3
NSG 737 Leadership 3

Cognate/Electives (6)

Select two 3 credit courses. One course must be an advanced methodology course and at least one of the two courses must be taken outside the School of Nursing

Research

Course Title Credit Hours
NSG 724 Health Research Statistics 1 3
NSG 725 Health Research Statistics 2 3
NSG 729 Quantitative Methods 3
NSG 731 Qualitative Research Methods 3
NSG 733 Research Grant Development 3
NSG 734 Use of Data 3
NSG 781 Research Mentorship 1
NSG 783 Dissertation Seminar 2
NSG 797 Research 8
NSG 785 Qualifying Examination 1

Residency Requirement *

Total Hours: 55

* Meet the residency requirement of the university prior to taking the qualifying examination.

Your future with a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing degree

The purpose of the Ph.D. program is to prepare nurse scholars/scientists for roles in research, teaching, and service. The program prepares graduates who will contribute to the body of nursing knowledge, educate the next generation, and assume collaborative leadership roles in shaping health policy, improving health, and reducing disparity.

The Benefits of choosing a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing degree at WVU

The PhD in Nursing at WVU is a blended program composed of on-campus classroom and distance learning components. The goals of the program are to prepare graduates who will:

  • Rigorously test, generate, and extend knowledge to inform nursing science, practice, and policy.
  • Contribute to the development of knowledge and interventions to address health disparity and promote or improve health.
  • Assume collaborative leadership roles in academia, health organizations, research teams, and scholarly networks.
  • Demonstrate expertise within an area of study that incorporates nursing and trans disciplinary perspectives.

Career Outlook for the D.N.P. program

Ph.D. nurses' salaries differ depending on their chosen career path after graduation. Nurse researchers, which is a popular career path for Ph.D. nurses, have a median salary of $90,000, as reported by Payscale.com. On the other hand, Ph.D. nurses who opt for a teaching position can expect a median annual wage of $77,440, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2021. Factors such as geographical location, length of career, and level of experience can also impact the annual salary of a Ph.D. nurse.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing different from a Doctor of Nursing Practice?

A Ph.D. nurse is an individual who has obtained a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing degree, which represents the highest level of education within the nursing field. Unlike a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, which emphasizes advanced clinical practice, a Ph.D. in Nursing program is centered on research and science. Such a degree equips nurses with the knowledge and skills to pursue careers in conducting essential medical research that will help to progress the entire nursing profession, as well as teaching nursing at the college level.

What are some typical jobs for a Ph.D nurse?

The majority of Ph.D. nurses pursue careers in either the research or teaching fields, so their day-to-day duties will vary depending on which career track they have chosen.

For a nurse researcher, typical duties may include:

  • Identify research questions, and design and conduct scientific research in partnership with other scientists from various fields
  • Collect and analyze scientific data and publish reports detailing findings
  • Write proposals and apply for grants to help fund their research
  • Establish and maintain quality assurance programs to ensure the validity of their data findings
  • Train and supervise laboratory staff and other nurses or scientists

For a Ph.D. nurse educator who has chosen to pursue a faculty position, typical duties may include:

  • Plan, prepare, and revise curriculum and study materials for nursing courses
  • Deliver lectures to undergraduate and graduate level nursing students
  • Supervise students' laboratory and clinical work
  • Grade students' classwork, laboratory, and clinical performance
  • Mentor and advise students regarding their future work in the nursing industry

For faculty members who pursue department chair or administration roles, additional duties may include:

  • Hire, supervise and conduct performance reviews of faculty members
  • Assist with the scheduling of classes and professors
  • Oversee department curriculum and provide quality control as to the content and materials of given nursing courses

Source: registerednursing.org/phd)

What are the Ph.D. nurse workplace settings?

A Ph.D. nurse can work in a variety of settings, depending on the career path he or she has chosen. A Ph.D. nurse may find employment at a hospital, medical laboratory, research facility, or university as a research scientist, or may work at a nursing school, college, or university as a faculty member or department chair. In some cases, a Ph.D. nurse may also work as a public health nurse in a government setting, helping to develop research-based solutions to public health issues.

Source: registerednursing.org/phd)

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