Doctoral Degree

Nursing (PhD, DNP)

Join a proven doctoral program that will prepare you to lead as a nurse scientist or nurse scholar in advanced clinical practice.

Nursing doctoral student with faculty mentor

Program Overview

In our nursing doctoral programs, you’ll take the inside track to a future as a nurse scientist or nurse scholar in advanced clinical practice through one of two program options:

You’ll experience the benefits of close faculty mentorship from professors who are advancing the science of nursing.

Our flexible course delivery system is designed for working practitioners to ensure that you can meet the program requirements in a timeframe that fits your schedule.

Program Options

With a nursing PhD degree, you’ll graduate ready for a career as a faculty, scholar, leader, and researcher that will advance and inform the nursing profession.

With a DNP degree, you’ll be prepared as an advanced practice nurse ready to translate evidence to practice, lead innovative change, and deliver high quality healthcare.

Program Highlights

With a doctoral nursing degree from Widener, you'll leverage experiences from a program known for clinical, academic, and research excellence.

1 of 6

schools nationwide designated as a Center of Excellence for Advancing the Science of Nursing Education.

Accredited Programs

Our bachelor's, master's, and DNP programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Leadership Development

Our program emphasizes personal leadership development. Your student experience will be enriched with a specialized leadership course focused on the behaviors required as a leader and the necessary skills to overcome the challenges that face higher education and health care settings.

Faculty Mentorship

Thrive in a learning community that provides close mentorship and one-on-one support. Our full-time faculty members bring active clinical and academic research experience to the classroom. Here, you'll build a network that will follow you long after graduation.

Research Opportunities

You'll have opportunities to collaborate with Widener's Leadership Center for Nursing Education Research whose mission is to advance the science of nursing education through rigorous educational and educational-clinical research. Expert research consulting services for constituents within the nursing and nursing education community and professional development are available. 

Faculty

Kim A. Noble
Associate Professor

I believe that an education with a foundation in science is essential for entry into nursing or advanced practice nursing. Nursing clinical reasoning skills grow as students apply an understanding of disease as the loss of normal function.

Students have great variation in their manner in which they acquire, process, manipulate, store, and retrieve learned information. It is a faculty priority to assist students with the development of metacognitive strategies to assist learning success and retention.

Nancy Laplante
Associate Professor

I consider myself to be compassionate and caring, and strive to engage my students in respectful dialogue. Teaching is a collaborative process between students and faculty, and there is a reciprocal relationship as we all learn from each other. As an advanced holistic nurse, I incorporate self-care, self-responsibility, spirituality, and reflection in my teaching and seek to be a role model for my students.

Barbara J. Patterson
Professor

"As an educator, researcher, and student advisor, I am passionate about preparing the next generation of nurse leaders, educators, and scholars. I believe advancing the science of nursing education is dependent upon preparing doctoral students who question and explore how they teach while generating the best evidence for their teaching practices."

Shirlee M. Drayton-Brooks
Professor of Nursing

I ascribe to a pragmatic philosophy of teaching and learning. I believe that nursing education must be practical and logically aligned to the diverse needs of the population we served.

Rose Rossi Schwartz
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs

"As a teacher, my role is to help students go beyond the facts. It is equally important to help students grow as people, support their professional and intellectual development, and to expand their world views. Through this growth process, students better understand themselves, their clients, and the clients' experiences."

Paula A. Gray
Clinical Associate Professor of Nursing

"I am a proud graduate of Widener's FNP program and very passionate to teach, mentor and guide students to achieve their goals in becoming successful graduates of this program. The program is well known in the Tri-State area and beyond, and because of our certification pass rate and graduate's preparedness for the work-force, our graduates are able to be employed as APRN's very soon after graduation."

Donna M. Callaghan
Professor

"My teaching philosophy has its roots in Bandura's Theory of Self-Efficacy. I believe that students learn (and clients change behaviors) through observing others perform activities, doing the activities themselves, having positive feedback provided, and having their anxieties decreased."

Darrell Spurlock Jr.
Professor and Scholarship Director

"I teach because I believe sharing knowledge and stimulating thinking is a fundamental task of any discipline. I believe that education is change, and change is a constant human feature; education is, in this way, choosing to change. Though the focus of my scholarship and teaching centers on research methods, measurement, evaluation, and quality improvement, these knowledge areas form the bedrock of evidence-based practice—the kind of practice all health care professionals aspire to deliver to patients, families, and communities."

Take the Next Steps

Join a leading university dedicated to your success.

Visit Us

To visit Widener is, more often than not, to fall in love with the place. To fit your timeline and schedule, we offer a variety of ways to get to know us.

View Tuition and Fees

Explore program costs and payment options.

Financial Aid

At Widener, opportunities for financial aid extend to graduate students. Discover how Widener can help make obtaining your degree possible.

Next steps to apply

We’re glad you made the decision to apply. All applications and supplemental materials are submitted through the online application system. There is a $35 application fee to apply to Widener.

Get in Touch