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Graduate Studies

The Nursing PhD program is included within Graduate Studies at UNMC. In addition to the information included here, more information about the program is included on the Graduate Studies pages.

For additional information: Nursing PhD in Graduate Studies


The purpose of the PhD program is to prepare nurse scientists to be transformational leaders in the discovery of knowledge to improve health and advance the profession of nursing. Nurse scientists improve the health of human beings through the development, testing and dissemination of nursing science. The doctoral program is committed to quality graduate education and to a learning environment that prepares graduates for leadership roles in research, education, practice policy, and academic administration.


Graduates of the doctor of philosophy in nursing program will be prepared to:

  1. Master in-depth theoretical and research knowledge in an area of emphasis.
  2. Generate and test knowledge for patient care, health systems, or nursing education.
  3. Collaborate with interdisciplinary colleagues to conduct team science.
  4. Utilize professional judgment in the conduct of research with regard to legal, ethical, political, cultural, and economic implications.
  5. Analyze the evolution of nursing science and the implications for the roles and responsibilities of nurse scholars.
  6. Demonstrate leadership in education, professional organizations, and various professional and public groups.
  7. Communicate research findings, as well as their implications for policy, nursing practice, and the profession, to lay and professional audiences.

Areas of Research Emphasis

The UNMC College of Nursing has faculty ready to serve on dissertation committees that focus on the following areas:

  1. Promoting and managing health in at-risk populations and in chronic illness
  2. Health Systems and Quality (leadership, policy, administration)
  3. Nursing Education (undergraduate and graduate)

Additional information regarding PhD Research Focus Areas can be found at:

Two Paths to PhD

UNMC offers two paths to your PhD. The MSN to PhD is for students who have their master's degree and will earn their PhD degree. The BSN to PhD is for students who have received their bachelor's degree and will include courses required to obtain an MSN-level specialty (required by many state boards of nursing for faculty roles) as they earn their PhD degree. This is typically 12-15 additional credit hours, though actual number of credits depends on the clinical specialty and specific career goals.

Additional Information Resources

Additional information regarding the PhD Program is available at the College of Nursing website at: