Academic Programs | PhD in Nursing
The PhD program in nursing was initiated in 1989 and is the first PhD program in nursing in New Jersey. In order for nurses to engage in evidence-based practice, evidence must be generated by researchers who understand nursing problems and nursing practice. Consequently, nurse scientists and researchers are urgently needed to inform best practices, explore perplexing patient problems, test strategies to increase patient safety and care quality, lead interdisciplinary teams to improve the health care system, and to, overall, add to the profession's valuable body of knowledge. Nurses who hold a PhD are in great demand and a world of opportunity awaits them!
Graduates of the Rutgers School of Nursing PhD Program Will be Prepared to:
Develop the Science
Steward the Discipline
Lead Interdisciplinary Research Teams
A PhD is a research-focused degree that prepares nurse scientists to generate evidence that will guide effective and safe nursing care. This is important work that MUST occur before evidence-based practice can take place. The DNP degree prepares practice experts who will translate research evidence to affect changes in their practice setting.
At Rutgers we have a large faculty who are actively engaged in their own funded programs of research and who are nationally and internationally renowned for their work. These faculty members will offer you expert guidance and practical advice as you begin to think about your own research interests. You will have the opportunity to work side by side with this expert faculty in a "research practicum" during which you gain hands-on experiences that prepare you for your own dissertation work. Furthermore, as a highly rated research-intensive university, Rutgers offer you bountiful resources such as research centers, links to health care facilities, computer labs, and a world-class library system. Importantly, all of these advantages are available at the reasonable tuition costs available at state universities, making Rutgers an excellent educational value!
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Students entering the PhD program are expected to have successfully completed a master’s level course in nursing theory, nursing research, and a basic statistics course before enrolling in the nursing PhD sequence.
The examination is designed to determine whether a student has acquired sufficient mastery of the evolution of nursing knowledge, nursing research, and theory development in nursing to warrant admission to candidacy for the PhD degree.
The written qualifying examination must be taken after the student has satisfactorily completed Philosophy of Nursing Science, Measurement of Healthcare Phenomenon, Qualitative Research Methods, and Theory and Application to Nursing Research and the major portion of the research methods and statistics requirements (9 hours required). It should be taken not later than six years after the student first registered in the Graduate School-Newark. All "incomplete" grades must be removed and all grades for completed course work must be officially recorded in the student's permanent file before the test date.
The Director of the Graduate Program selects Graduate Faculty to develop questions and to be readers. The questions cover the content in the nursing courses in the Ph.D. Program in Nursing. The questions are comprehensive and analytic in nature.
The in-class curriculum requires a minimum of 67 credits. Of that total, 9 credits are allocated to cognate courses; of these cognate credits a minimum of 6 must be taken outside of the discipline of nursing. The remaining credits are taken within the School of Nursing and include 15 credits allocated to statistics, measurement, philosophy of science, and data management, 13 credits allocated to research methods and theory development, 6 credits allocated to scholarship and policy development, 3 credits for a research practicum, 3 credits for an education practicum, 3 credits for a dissertation seminar, and 15 credits for dissertation research. A complete listing of required courses and credit allocations are listed below.