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, and researchers who are well-prepared to establish programs of scholarship.

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.

Full-time students in the traditional program 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.

Conway Fellows are expected to complete the degree in 3 years.

The FCN PhD Program has 46 semester credits of coursework. Following completion of these 46 credits, students enroll in Dissertation Continuation, which is a 3-credit semester course. Students can expect to enroll in at least
12 credits, 4 academic semesters, in Dissertation Continuation to complete their dissertation study for completion of the degree.

Completed application packets for each annual cycle of admissions should be received by November 1.  Apply now using our online application process. CLICK HERE

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

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

Doctoral students will work closely with a faculty advisor until they select their dissertation chair and begin Dissertation Continuation. They will work closely with their dissertation chair and committee member throughout Dissertation Continuation to complete their study and the degree. 

All fall and spring courses will be offered using synchronous distance learning technology. Summer courses will be offered on campus during Summer Sessions, using traditional teaching modalities.

In 2022 fewer than one percent of American nurses have a PhD degree.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

Joanne and William PhD Conway Fellows agree not to work. If Fellows must work, they agree to not work no more than 10 hours per week. The Accelerated PhD Program should be considered a full-time job. 

Students who have not taken a teaching practicum course in their MSN degree or have not submitted a teaching portfolio for waiver of the teaching practicum course, are required to enroll in NUR 8954 Teaching Practicum. In this course students will have a precepted teaching experience in a designated clinical setting. 

Our alumni hold or have held a variety of position including:

  • Assistant Dean for College and Student Services
  • Assistant Dean for Curricular Affairs
  • Assistant Director, Center for Medical Simulation
  • Associate Dean for Graduate Programs
  • Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs
  • Chair of the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF) Committee on Education and Training
  • Chief Credentialing Officer
  • Dean, School of Nursing
  • Director General, Nursing, Ministry of Health (Saudi Arabia)
  • Director of Patient Experience and Magnet Programs
  • Director of Quality Improvement
  • Invited Member, Qualifications Framework Development Team of the Oman Academic
  • Accreditation Authority
  • NICHE Coordinator
  • Nurse Scientist for a Healthcare System
  • Nursing Department Chair
  • Postdoctoral fellow
  • Program Director  
  • Project Director
  • Research Consultant
  • Tenure Track Professor  
  • Vice Dean for Medical Applied Sciences (Saudi Arabia)
  • VP and Chief Nursing Officer