Contact Information

School of Nursing
Founders Hall

Office of the Dean
Joyce Rasin, PhD, APHN-BC, RN
Professor and Acting Dean
tel: 610-499-4214

Barbara Patterson, PhD, RN, ANEF
Director, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Program
tel: 610-499-4222

Shirlee Drayton-Brooks, PhD, CRRN, CRNP, FNP-BC, FAANP
Director, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program
tel: 610-499-4219

Paula Gray, DNP, FNP-BC
Director, Family (Individual Across the Lifespan) CRNP Program
tel: 610-499-4232

Donna Callaghan, PhD, RN, GCNS-BC, CNE
Director, Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Program
tel: 610-499-4208

Office of Graduate Enrollment Management
Muller Hall
tel: 610-499-4124

Accelerated PhD

If you're interested in reaching the pinnacle of nursing education but aren't too thrilled about the time it would take, the Widener School of Nursing can put you on the fast track.

The Accelerated Master of Science in Nursing/Doctor of Philosophy (MSN/PhD) prepares nurses for advanced practice and educational leadership roles at a quicker pace than the separate degree programs. Traditionally, both programs would take about nine years. Our accelerated option gets you your doctorate in four.

Graduates will provide leadership as practitioners, teachers, and scholars in support of evidence-based practice for nursing, health care, and education.

The program of study prepares nurse faculty leaders to facilitate learning, engage in professional and community service, conduct research, and advance nursing education within higher education. The master's component prepares advanced practice (AP) nurses with a clinical specialty focus such as family nurse practitioner (FNP) or clinical nurse specialist (CNS).

Upon completion of the master's and doctoral level requirements, graduates are eligible for American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) certification or the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) certification as a clinical nurse specialist with an adult gerontology focus.

  • First two years of study consist of master's level courses; a master's degree in nursing is awarded at the end of year two.
  • Year three consists of 18 to 21 credits of doctoral level courses; comprehensive examination is completed.
  • Year four consists of the dissertation proposal courses

Students must complete 55 credits within the master's level to earn the MSN degree for the advanced practice FNP role. Students must complete 41 credits within the master's level to earn the MSN degree for the CNS role. An additional 48 credits of doctoral course work plus dissertation advisement are required beyond the master's degree level.