PhD FAQs

What is the purpose of the program?

This PhD program is designed to prepare nurses as teachers of diverse student populations in a variety of classroom and clinical settings within in academic programs.  In addition, nurses who complete this program will be well-prepared to establish programs of scholarship.

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What can I do with a PhD in nursing besides teach?

While this program is designed to address the nation’s shortage of qualified nursing faculty, PhD-prepared nurses are employed in a wide variety of settings, including health care systems, corporations offering health-care products and services, research institutions, government agencies as well as their own businesses.

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How many nurses in the United States have a PhD?

The best data from the federal government suggest that fewer than one percent of American nurses have PhD degrees in nursing or a related field.

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Will a PhD allow me to do independent nursing research?

Yes.  The doctoral program is designed to provide students with the skills needed to design and implement research projects, publish and prepare grants.  New graduates may enter academic systems at the entry level, that is, as assistant professors.  Some new faculty may find it necessary to work in collaboration with senior investigators to get their research programs established.  Upon graduation some students who intend to focus on their programs of research may undertake post-doctoral fellowships.

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Which is preferred--full-time or part-time study?

While full-time study is preferred, students are able to study part-time to address their personal circumstances.

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I am an international student. What can I do?

On-campus classes are offered for international students. Otherwise, the classes are offered via distance learning as noted below.

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How are the distance learning courses scheduled?

Fall and spring distance learning courses are synchronous online seminars. They are scheduled during two weekday evenings, Eastern U.S. time.

Your computer and communications hardware and software should meet or exceed the requirements as listed in the Computer Requirements for Distance Learning document.

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Do applicants need prior preparation or experience in the field of nursing education?

Students need not come with preparation in the area of nursing education or with teaching experience.  The focus of their MSN degree is not a consideration.

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How many credits are required?

The typical program of study entails 51 semester credits.

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Where can I find the curriculum plan?

The program plan is included on this website.

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How long will it take to complete the program?

Full-time students should be able to complete course work in just over two years.  Part-time students can complete course work in three years. Completion of the dissertation requirement will probably take an additional two years, but may be less depending on the study.

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Will there be opportunities for individual attention?

The program is planned so that numbers remain relatively small and will facilitate student-professor interaction.

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Is there a mentoring system in place for the program?

Doctoral students will work closely with a faculty advisor until they select the primary sponsor (chair) for their dissertation work. They will work closely with their primary sponsor throughout completion of the program.

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Are any courses offered on-line?

In fact, all fall and spring courses will be offered using various distance learning technologies.  Summer courses will be offered on campus during Summer Sessions, using traditional modalities.

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When did the program begin?

We began teaching the first group of students in June 2004. The first graduates completed the program in Spring 2008.

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When are applications being accepted?

Complete application packets for each annual cycle of admissions should be received by December 1.  Apply Now using our online application process.

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Is there any financial assistance available?

Yes, you can obtain information about financial assistance at the Financial Assistance web site.

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Can I still work while in the program?

Most PhD students are employed while in doctoral studies. Full-time students typically work on a part-time basis. We strongly discourage full-time students from attempting to work full-time. Full-time employees can study on a part-time basis, and most of our students to date have been part-time.

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What practicum sites will be used?

Students in this program will have a practicum experience in or related to nursing education. Students with little or no experience as teachers will have a precepted teaching experience; others may have an experience that focuses more on administration, regulatory or accreditation processes or advocacy for nursing education.

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PhD FAQs

 

My View

"The final reason I have chosen Villanova's program is because of the high quality of the institution which includes the expert faculty members, the comprehensive resources and the national recognition for the outstanding nurses that have graduated from the program over the years."

Cathy Poillon Lovecchio

My View

"I chose to attend the doctoral program at Villanova University College of Nursing because the mission of the program was consistent with my view of academic nursing scholarship.  I believe that to be an academic nursing scholar, one must be prepared to engage in the entire faculty role with a particular emphasis on the scholarship of discovery and teaching."

Sherry Burrell