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Graduate Programs, Nursing

The roles of nurse leaders are increasingly expanding.

Changes in how we deliver health care are placing greater demands on nurses and nurse educators, and they must acquire broader perspectives on both the art and science of nursing as well as further education as designers, managers, coordinators, faculty, and leaders.

Widener's School of Nursing is committed to educating a new generation of nurses who will be prepared to step up to these new challenges through both master's- and doctoral-level education.

Health care complexity demands nursing leadership development in nursing education and practice. The roles of nurse leaders require nurses to have the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to generate new knowledge through inquiry and translate best evidence into practice. The School of Nursing is nationally recognized for its master’s and doctoral nursing programs, with a more than three-decade history of preparing nurses for educational leadership and for advanced practice nursing roles to design, implement, and evaluate care and provide systems leadership. 

Scholarship and research are the hallmarks of doctoral education. Original research is the primary focus of scholarly activity in the Doctor of Philosophy program. The goal of the PhD program is to prepare students to conduct rigorous inquiry for the advancement of the science of nursing and nursing education. The scholarship of application, which involves translation of research into practice, is the key component of the Doctor of Nursing Practice curriculum. The graduate of the DNP program will provide leadership for evidence-based practice.

Master’s Options

  • The Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist option prepares the graduate for the advanced practice registered nurse role of the clinical nurse specialist in the population of adult-gerontology.
  • The Family (Individual Across the Lifespan) CRNP option offers direct clinical practice to individuals and families with an emphasis on primary care across the lifespan.
  • The Nursing Education option prepares the graduate for the advanced nursing practice role of nurse educator in the clinical and academic environments.
  • The Executive Nurse Leadership option prepares graduates to transform the health care environment through leadership in a variety of settings and systems.
  • Post-Master’s Certificate options are available for the A-G CNS, FNP, Nursing Education, and Executive Nurse Leadership options.

Doctoral Programs

  • The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program prepares advanced practice nurses to provide clinical leadership in the delivery of culturally competent, evidence-based, disease state management, and/or system-based care.
  • The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program's goal is the preparation of nurse scholars and leaders in nursing education.

Accelerated Graduate Options

  • The RN to MSN option is for registered nurses holding a bachelor’s degree in another field of study who want to pursue a master of science in nursing (MSN).
  • The MSN to PhD option's goal is to prepare nurses for advanced practice and leadership roles in nursing education at a quicker pace than the separate degree programs.
  • The Post-Baccalaureate RN to DNP option prepares graduates for culturally competent, evidence-based, system-based care, inter-professional collaboration and practice leadership.

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