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Graduate Studies

The Nursing PhD program is included within Graduate Studies at UNMC. In addition to the specific nursing information included here and in this Admission section, more information including basic admission requirments and the core PhD curriculum are located on the Graduate Studies pages at 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 knowledge in a substantive area.
  2. Appreciate the history and philosophy of science.
  3. Critique and integrate different science perspectives in the conduct of research.
  4. Understand the evolving nature of the nursing discipline.
  5. Generate new ideas based on a critical evaluation of existing knowledge.
  6. Conduct original research.
  7. Assume leadership in the conduct of culturally competency scholarship to improve nursing practice.
  8. Utilize professional and research ethics and judgement in the conduct of research.
  9. Conduct team science and participate and lead interdisciplinary research teams.
  10. Integrate the components of scholarship, research, teaching, mentoring, and service to the profession.
  11. Understand the evolving roles and responsibilities of a nurse scholar.
  12. Lead in advancing the profession.
  13. Provide professional and research mentorship to others.
  14. Contribute to a global community of scholars.
  15. Contribute to the formal and informal education of future nurses through discovery, application and integration.
  16. Communicate research findings to lay and professional audiences and identify implications for policy, nursing practice, and the profession.
  17. Communicate scholarship including peer-referred and publications and presentation for professional interdisciplinary 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 some graduate level courses in addition to PhD core courses as they earn their PhD degree. Beginning fall semester 2021, the BSN-PhD path does not have an option of taking courses for Advanced Nursing Practice as a Nurse Practitioner. For those who are interested in an advanced clinical practice as a Nurse Practitioner, we encourage you to consider the Post-Graduate Certificate after completing your PhD.