Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing

Intent and Purpose

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 College of Nursing PhD Program Will be Prepared to:

Develop the Science

  • Master in-depth knowledge in a substantive area.
  • Critique and integrate different science perspectives in the conduct of research.
  • Assume leadership in the conduct of culturally competent scholarship to improve nursing practice.

Steward the Discipline

  • Provide leadership in the creation and dissemination of new knowledge.
  • Collaborate effectively with interdisciplinary scholars in the scientific and professional communities.
  • Provide professional and research mentorship to others.

Lead Interdisciplinary Research Teams

  • Design, conduct, and evaluate original research.
  • Conduct team science.
  • Contribute to a global community of scholars.

The Difference Between a PhD and a DNP

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.

The Rutgers Advantage

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!