PhD Program

The goal of the PhD Program in Nursing is to prepare nurse scholars who will build nursing science by leading interdisciplinary research initiatives targeting the interface between chronic illness and care systems. The purpose of these initiatives will be to better understand, develop, and test innovative interventions, and to translate research into practice. The PhD Program builds on the foundational knowledge and expertise acquired in BSN education and on the advanced substantive and expert knowledge gained in MSN education to develop nurse scientists who will contribute significant new knowledge related to chronic illness and care systems.

Our approach is to admit a small number of highly qualified applicants so that every student will work closely with one or more faculty members in a series of mentored experiences, supported by formal course work, to:

  • ensure socialization to the role of research scientist;
  • ensure significant knowledge and skill acquisition for launching a successful program of independent research post doctorate; and
  • prepare for an entry level role in an academic setting.

To that end, the Program provides the student with:

  • a broad perspective on philosophy of science and its application to solving challenging health problems facing our nation, particularly those related to chronic illness and care systems;
  • experience with common and emerging research design and methods;
  • rigorous training in statistics; and
  • mentored research and teaching experiences to reinforce knowledge acquisition and skill development.

In addition to addressing the standards of Duke University, to further ensure the highest-quality PhD education, the PhD Program in Nursing is designed to meet the indicators of quality in research-focused doctoral programs set forth by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Study with expert faculty focused on:

  • Acute & Long-Term Care Systems
  • Adaptive Leadership
  • Decision Making
  • Disease Prevention
  • Family Caregiving
  • Informatics
  • Palliative and End-of-Life Care
  • Perioperative Care
  • Symptom Management
  • Specialty Populations
  • Premature and High Risk Infants
  • Children with Acute and Chronic Illnesses
  • Adults with HIV, Hepatitis C, Diabetes, Sickle Cell Disease, Cancer, or Cardiovascular Disease
  • Older Adults

Course work emphasis:

Exploring the interface between chronically ill individuals and their care environments, a continuum that extends from illness prevention to care at the end of life.

Developing expertise in state-of-the art longitudinal methodologies and quantitative and qualitative techniques of analysis.

Applicants must have a BSN and/or MSN and submit:

  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (taken within the past 5 years).
  • Transcripts for all college-level course work.
  • Three letters of recommendation.

Applicants will be expected to identify a research focus match with a PhD faculty mentor in the school.

Students are admitted once a year in the Fall Semester. The program requires a minimum of 47 credit hours of course work prior to the dissertation. Full-time study is required. The program can be completed in 3-5 years. PhD students receive full tuition support and an annual stipend.

Applications for the PhD program in Nursing should be submitted online to Duke University Graduate School website: http://gradschool.duke.edu/admissions/.