Our research-focused PhD in Nursing program is designed for nursing professionals committed to shaping the future of healthcare as nurse researchers, educators, or policymakers.

Through multi-disciplinary projects with other doctoral students from various health disciplines, you can develop the skills to lead or collaborate with cross-functional healthcare teams and promote positive change. Choose from five focus areas of study to gain the advanced expertise required for a career in nursing research and scholarship that meets your interests.

This program is designed to help advance your career and support continuous improvements in nursing science, education, and practice. Whether you want to advance scientific knowledge in the field, educate the next generation of nursing professionals, or influence policy and practice in our increasingly complex healthcare environment, Walden’s PhD in Nursing program can prepare you to make a difference in patients’ lives, in communities, and across the globe.

Elements of Walden's Doctoral Nursing Programs Walden offers two doctoral degree programs designed to meet your career goals. View the chart to help determine which program is right for you.

In this research-focused doctoral program, you can:

  • Gain the advanced scientific expertise and experience to conduct research in hospitals, educational institutions, pharmaceutical companies, and other health-related industries.
  • Engage in interdisciplinary projects that prepare you to lead or collaborate with diverse healthcare teams.
  • Develop the knowledge and leadership skills required to develop healthcare policies, systems, and services for tomorrow’s nursing professionals.
  • Join Phi Nu, Walden’s chartered chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, and connect with nurses around the world to share the latest nursing research and best practices in clinical, scientific, and leadership areas.
  • Attend academic residencies.

Graduates of this program will be prepared to:

  1. Utilize current research and theory to develop prevention and intervention strategies that advance the knowledge and practice of nursing.
  2. Demonstrate advanced competency in research design and methodology to address social problems and needs.
  3. Engage in scientific inquiry that advances the knowledge base of research and practice in the profession.
  4. Evaluate the role of research and scholarship in the field of nursing in relation to its role in improving health interventions and advancing the development of related theory.
  5. Synthesize nursing’s philosophical and/or theoretical underpinnings in the practice of research.
  6. Contribute to the science of nursing through social change and social policy initiatives.
  7. Apply ethical decision-making and values to the profession.
  8. Advocate for policies and programs that improve health outcomes among culturally diverse populations.
  9. Lead professional communication that supports the discipline and practice of nursing.
  10. Demonstrate the ability to act as a role model and mentor to others who wish to pursue the profession. (Stewardship)

Find detailed information for this program, including possible occupations, completion rate, program costs, and median student loan debt.

Walden Facts


Almost 95% of Walden alumni responding to our survey say that their program helped them to advance positive social change.*


More than half of Walden doctoral graduates who responded to our survey say their degree contributed to earning a pay raise.*

Source: www.WaldenU.edu/survey_methodology; % calculated on total number of respondents to our 2014 survey.


Andrew Gross

Andrew Gross

MSN Graduate / DNP Student
I like the structure of the courses and the professors give feedback that both challenges and improves my skills.
What I learned in the classroom, I immediately applied to my work.
Walden afforded me the ability to work full time and attend school. The Walden staff was helpful, friendly, and walked me through using the computer as a tool to learn.
Jaimee Kastler MSN Graduate / PhD in Nursing Student
Jaimee Kastler
James McDaniel MSN Graduate / DNP Student
James McDaniel
Luzviminda Miguel MSN Graduate / DNP Student
Luzviminda Miguel
Man researching online education on laptop
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