Ph.D. in Nursing

Lead as a scholar and educator. Nurses must be constantly prepared to adapt to the ever-evolving health care industry. Now, more than ever, there’s a critical demand for knowledgeable and qualified nurse educators and scholars. You can play a crucial role in strengthening the future generations of highly-skilled nurses.

Our Ph.D. in Nursing program prepares you with next-level skills to advance your health care career in academia or clinical practice. In our program, you’ll receive early engagement with a faculty chair during your dissertation process, giving you the guidance you need from start to finish. And, our fully online program is designed for working professionals, providing you with a structured balance between family, career, and continuing your education.


  • Earn your Ph.D. fully online* in just under three years.
  • Learn to synthesize empirical and theoretical literature from nursing and other disciplines regarding nursing education and clinical practice.
  • Design a nursing research study that examines, refines, and advances nursing science theory to transform nursing education and clinical practice.
  • Study in a supportive, student-focused educational environment. Our programs are designed so you can complete coursework when and where it’s convenient for you.

In addition to rigorous academics, Wilkes University is committed to broadening access to education. Our net tuition cost for nursing programs is among the most competitive for regionally accredited universities.

*Fully online save for an on-site, 3-day weekend seminar prior to the start of the program.

You really can do this. It only takes a minute...

Please correct highlighted fields...
Yes! By submitting this form I ask to receive email, texts and calls about degree programs on behalf of Wilkes University, and agree automated technology may be used to dial the number(s) I provided. I understand this consent is not required to enroll.

Ph.D. in Nursing: Courses

Acquire the skills necessary to become a better leader, researcher, scholar, and educator in the health care industry. Wilkes University’s 32-month Ph.D. in Nursing program prepares experienced nurses with next-level skills and knowledge to advance their health care career in academia or clinical practice. This program is designed specifically for students interested in pursuing academic education or research roles within health care agencies.

Ph.D. in Nursing Courses
47 credits
NSG 615 (1)
Introductory Seminar

This seminar is a weekend residency that focuses on the dissertation process and student orientation to the university and Ph.D. program.

Course Prerequisites: Doctoral Standing

NSG 616 (3)
Philosophy of Science

The focus of this course is to prepare doctoral students to examine the development and organization of nursing knowledge. Philosophies of science, epistemologies and their influence on knowledge development in the discipline of nursing, and strategies for theory development and analysis are explored.

Course Prerequisites: NSG 615

NSG 617 (3)
Theory in Nursing Education

This course acquaints students with philosophical issues and nursing theories relevant to nursing education. An overview of central metaphysical, epistemological, and ethical system, considering specific issues in the philosophies of science and ethics that are of particular focus in nursing education.

Course Prerequisites: NSG 615

NSG 618 (3)
Health Care Issues and Policies

The nurse researcher contributes towards the development of healthcare policy and politics in local, state, national, and global healthcare markets. Application and analysis of evidence based research on policy and politics will impact population health outcomes and the future of nursing education, research, and practice.

Course Prerequisites: NSG 615

NSG 619 (3)
Research Process

This course introduces students to the seven steps of the research process, focusing on the development of researchable problems, literature review, and hypothesis/question generation within the context of quantitative and qualitative research designs and methods.

NSG 620 (3)
Seminar I

This course builds on the knowledge of philosophy, theory, and research process. The student, in consultation with his/her chairperson, begins the dissertation process.

Course Prerequisites: NSG 616, 617, 619

NSG 621 (3)

This course applies knowledge of statistical methods used in nursing research. Topics include parametric and non-parametric methods of data analysis and model building. Alternate approaches to analysis of data are considered.

Course Prerequisites: NSG 619

NSG 622 (3)
Writing for Grants and Publication

This course explores the current state of nursing research and the major research and funding trends in nursing and health care. Students will be engaged in preparing a fundable grant application for dissertation study and strategies used to publish research funding.

Course Prerequisites: NSG 615

NSG 623 (3)
Quantitative Research and Analysis I

This course focuses on research methodologies that guide the design of studies which collect and analyze quantitative data. The focus will be on writing quantitative research questions and selecting appropriate research methodologies. Focus is placed on descriptive, correlational, experimental and quasiexperimental designs as applied to nursing problems.

Course Prerequisites: NSG 619, 621

NSG 624 (3)
Qualitative Research and Analysis

The focus of this course is on qualitative inquiry as an approach to the discovery of knowledge in the science of nursing. This course will focus on the scientific underpinnings, methodologies, and data analysis techniques in qualitative research for advancing nursing knowledge.

Course Prerequisites: NSG 619, 621

NSG 625 (3)
Quantitative Research and Analysis II

This course builds on the understanding of quantitative designs in nursing and health related topics. The course provides the opportunity for applied practice in quantitative methods using common statistical tests and SPSS.

Course Prerequisites: NSG 623

NSG 626 (3)
Measurement and Data Collection

This course provides an overview of principles of measurement, instrument design, and data collection methods. Methods to critically evaluate and select theoretically congruent instruments are explored.

Course Prerequisites: NSG 621

NSG 627 (3)
Seminar II

The student, in consultation with his/her chairperson, writes a Literature Review and identifies a Mode of Inquiry.

Course Prerequisites: NSG 615, 616, 617, 618, 619, 620, 621, 622, 623, 624, 625, 626

NSG 628 (1)
Ph.D. Competency

The comprehensive written examination is a series of questions that focus on the synthesis and integration of knowledge learned during doctoral coursework. Students demonstrate their ability and preparedness to move forward in the doctoral research program.

Course Prerequisites: NSG 627 and authorization from student’s Chair to register for comprehensive examination

NSG 629 (3)
Dissertation Seminar

This course focuses on completion of the first three chapters of the dissertation and submission of the proposal to the IRB committee(s) for approval. Students will then undertake proposal defense before continuing into dissertation implementation.

Course Prerequisites: NSG 628

NSG 630 (3)
Dissertation Implementation I

This course focuses on implementation of the student’s doctoral research study. After completion of the first three chapters, successful proposal defense, and IRB approval, the student, under guidance from their chair, begins the data collection process.

Course Prerequisites: NSG 629

NSG 631 (3)
Dissertation Implementation II

This course continues with the implementation of the dissertation. Students complete data collection and analysis
thus, finalizing chapters 4 and 5 and satisfying final defense.

Course Prerequisites: NSG 630


Download your free program brochure!