In our nursing science doctoral degree program, you’ll join a tradition of academic excellence that will prepare you to be a nurse scientist. For more than three decades, our powerhouse program has guided nurses to become scholars and leaders in nursing education and to go on to inform the nursing profession.
Here, you’ll be engaged in nursing science and develop the skills to conduct research that advances theory and generates the evidence for nursing education and practice.
Led by our expert, full-time faculty, our program offers you the flexibility to meet the course requirements on a timeframe that complements your demanding career and family responsibilities.
View the Loading... for information on coursework and curriculum requirements.
The PhD program offers full- and part-time options. Classes are offered in an evening format to meet the scheduling demands of working educators and practitioners.
Part-time students can progress at their own pace within the established seven-year time limit for degree completion for doctoral students.
The PhD program in nursing science includes both in-person and synchronous online learning opportunities for Chester, Main Campus students.
An accelerated MSN-to-PhD option is available. Visit the Loading... to view program requirements and admissions information.
Graduates of accredited BSN, MSN, or DNP programs are invited to apply for admission by submitting evidence of:
A completed online application.
Transcripts from previously attended higher education institutions.
A minimum of 3.5 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) in the highest degree obtained.
A graduate statistics course with a grade of at least B (3.0) is recommended.
A graduate course in nursing theories and conceptual models with a grade of at least B (3.0) is recommended.
Two references—one from an educator and one from an employer with a graduate degree. One of these must have a research doctoral degree.
Statement explaining goals for doctoral work in nursing with emphasis on proposed area of specialization.
Interview with a School of Nursing faculty member (this is arranged after a preliminary review of application materials).
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International students need satisfactory Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores. They should contact the International Student Services Office at 610-499-4499 for immigration requirements. More information can be found by visiting International Students Admissions.
August 15—for matriculation in the fall semester
December 15—for matriculation in the spring semester
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 facing higher education and health care settings.
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. Widener provides the opportunity for you to build a professional network that supports you long after graduation.
You will 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.
Partner with expert faculty who aren’t just teaching the courses but are creating the science of nursing education.
"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."
"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."
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.
A mentoring relationship between a nursing faculty member and her doctoral student – now an alumna – developed into a professional collaboration that is producing applicable research to returning service members.