Earn your PhD in Nursing from the leader in graduate nursing education.¹
Whether you want to influence policy or shape the next generation of nurses, earning your PhD in Nursing from Walden can empower you to impact the healthcare industry at a higher level. Find your voice, and gain the confidence you need to turn your knowledge, experience, and ideas into action.
The PhD in Nursing is the highest-level graduate degree in the nursing field. It’s geared toward those who wish to teach in academia or contribute original new research to the profession.
Prepare with confidence when you earn your online PhD in Nursing from Walden, the leader in doctoral nursing education.1
We offer two pathways to a PhD in Nursing. Whether you hold a BSN or an MSN, you can start your journey toward your doctorate.
In our online PhD program in nursing, you have the flexibility to focus your coursework and learning in your chosen area of expertise.
Walden’s PhD in Nursing curriculum is designed to help you become a catalyst for social change in your organization and community.
A Personalized Guide to Completing Your Doctorate
Earning your online PhD in Nursing requires commitment, perseverance, and hard work. You can do it, and Walden is here to help—with our Doctoral Degree Coach™.
- Map and Track Milestones: Break your research down into manageable, sequential steps. See where you are, what’s ahead, and what you’ve already accomplished—all in one place.
- Meet Weekly Targets: No more guesswork. Set prompts based on your to-do list and receive reminders and updates directly to your inbox.
- Connect With Faculty: Stay on the same page and keep your progress on track. With shared access to your dashboard, your chair can easily guide you through your checklists, goals, and timelines.
- Access Helpful Resources: Quickly find support from the right person at the right time. Our comprehensive resource guide points you in the right direction—no more frustrating searches.
Walden offers students who hold a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree a shorter path to a PhD in Nursing.
Program Admission Considerations (BSN-PhD): To be considered for this doctoral program track, you must have a current, active RN license, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or equivalent from an accredited school, and meet the general admission requirements.
Program Admission Considerations (MSN-PhD): To be considered for this doctoral program track, you must have a current, active RN license, a Master of Science in Nursing or higher from an accredited school, and meet the general admission requirements.
Lead Nursing Into the Future
Drive continuous improvements in nursing science, education, or practice with a PhD in Nursing online from Walden. Gain the expertise to conduct research and develop healthcare policies, systems, and services for tomorrow’s nursing professionals. By earning your PhD at Walden, a pioneer in distance learning, you will benefit from our 50 years of experience educating doctoral students.
Nancy MossProgram Director
With more than 25 years of experience, Dr. Moss is a certified nurse-midwife and family nurse practitioner (FNP). With deep expertise in online learning, she has developed and implemented curricula for various nursing programs, including a university nurse-midwifery program and nurse-midwifery practices for rural communities.
Leslie HusseyAcademic Coordinator
Dr. Hussey served as a tenured faculty member at several universities, with a teaching and clinical focus on intensive care nursing. She has experience developing and implementing MSN-level practitioner and doctoral program curriculum. Her research interests include chronic disease and health literacy.
Joan HahnAcademic Coordinator
Dr. Hahn’s body of research has led to the development of a health assessment tool for people with intellectual disabilities. She is known as a longtime proponent for addressing the gap in nursing education regarding people with intellectual and other disabilities.
Graduates of this online PhD in Nursing program will be prepared to:
- Utilize current research and theory to develop prevention and intervention strategies that advance the knowledge and practice of nursing.
- Demonstrate advanced competency in research design and methodology to address social problems and needs.
- Engage in scientific inquiry that advances the knowledge base of research and practice in the profession.
- 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.
- Synthesize nursing’s philosophical and/or theoretical underpinnings in the practice of research.
- Contribute to the science of nursing through social change and social policy initiatives.
- Apply ethical decision-making and values to the profession.
- Advocate for policies and programs that improve health outcomes among culturally diverse populations.
- Lead professional communication that supports the discipline and practice of nursing.
- Demonstrate the ability to act as a role model and mentor to others who wish to pursue the profession.
Demand for nursing faculty is especially high. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for postsecondary nurse instructors are expected to grow by nearly 18% through 2029.2 The nursing field needs educators, leaders, and innovators who are committed to transforming the profession.
An online PhD in Nursing degree can empower you to reach your full potential as a nursing professional and impact the lives of many. Pursue meaningful work that makes a difference while opening the door to new paths and opportunities in your career.
An online nursing PhD program can academically prepare you to pursue a variety of career options, including:
- Nursing instructor or teacher in postsecondary education settings2
- Nurse scientist3
- Nursing executive (e.g., chief nursing officer, clinical director, nursing manager, nursing director)4, 5
Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.
An online nursing PhD program can academically prepare you to work in settings such as:
- Colleges and universities
- Public health agencies
- Research institutions
- Healthcare organizations
I have been promoted to oversee the development of curriculum and outcomes for all residents participating in the graduate medical education programs and facilitate educational research to determine best practices.
Janeane Walker PhD in Nursing Graduate
I teach first-year nursing students at a small college and have clinical days at a large hospital. I was able to use what I was learning at Walden to help guide my students.
Kristina McCall PhD in Nursing Graduate
I am confident that I will be a successful nurse scientist.
Jaimee Kastler PhD in Nursing Graduate
FAQ About Walden’s Online PhD in Nursing Program
A PhD in Nursing is a terminal degree, with the main goal of adding original research findings to the scientific foundation of nursing and healthcare. Some nursing PhD programs offer specializations in high-priority areas that emphasize research and teach critical attributes such as leadership, education, healthcare administration, interdisciplinary health, and public health policy.
Time to completion will vary from student to student. Walden’s PhD in Nursing program can be completed between 2.5 and eight years.* Students may be eligible to complete their required coursework sooner by transferring applicable required graduate credits into a Walden degree program.
*Note: Time to completion and cost are not estimates of individual experience and will vary based on individual factors applicable to the student. Factors may be programmatic or academic, such as tuition and fee increases; transfer credits accepted by Walden; program or specialization changes; unsuccessful course completion; credit load per term; part-time vs. full-time enrollment; writing, research, and editing skills; use of external data for the doctoral study/dissertation; and individual progress in the program. Other factors may include personal issues such as the student’s employment obligations, caregiving responsibilities, or health issues; leaves of absence; or other personal circumstances.
In order to apply for Walden’s PhD in Nursing program you will need the following:
- Online application
- Official transcripts
- Copy of RN license
- Clinical hours verification form
Admission requirements include a master’s degree in nursing (minimum GPA 3.0/4.0) from a U.S. school accredited by an accrediting organization recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or the U.S. Department of Education, or from an appropriately accredited non-U.S. institution. An active registered nurse (RN) license. You will also need a documented MSN specialization area recognized by CCNE.
Salaries for a PhD in Nursing–prepared professional will vary based on several factors, such as role, industry, and experience. If, for example, you are choosing to enter academia, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, faculty salaries typically range from approximately $80,000 at the assistant professor level to over $115,000 at the professor level. If you choose to pursue a leadership role within a healthcare organization, such as chief nursing officer (CNO), according to PayScale the average salary for a can exceed $129,000.*
*Sources: American Association of Colleges of Nursing and PayScale: Chief Nursing Officer salary (accessed October 2020) National salary projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, do not guarantee actual salaries, and are subject to change.
A PhD in Nursing opens the door to careers in academia, research, and leadership. 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 online PhD in Nursing program can prepare you to make a difference in patients’ lives, in communities, and across the globe.
A PhD in Nursing is a degree focused primarily on research and interdisciplinary studies. It is designed for nurses who want to help guide the future of healthcare. If you want to conduct scientific research at the highest levels in your field, shape healthcare policies as a government policymaker or program director, or educate the next generation of nursing professionals, a PhD in Nursing can give you the advanced expertise you need to succeed. This is a great nursing degree for any nurse who wants to make a difference in healthcare.
A Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a terminal degree for clinical nurses. The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree is becoming an increasingly valued and sought-after credential. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing has encouraged the medical community to make the DNP the expected degree for those who want to become nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and nurse anesthetists. Many online degree programs allow you to earn your DNP while continuing to work within the nursing profession. This option allows you to advance your career whether you’re just starting out or have worked as a nurse for many years.
Walden’s PhD in Nursing program’s online classrooms feature state-of-the-art learning technologies, media, and support materials. From interactive simulations, engaging case studies, and a robust online library, you will be highly prepared to earn your credentials as a PhD in Nursing professional.
Walden’s PhD in Nursing program offers a strong support staff that is dedicated to your success, including academic advising, the Writing Center, librarians, research assistance, one-on-one faculty guidance, dedicated dissertation support, and statistical support.
Our program is developed by industry experts who have been working in the nursing field. One hundred percent of our College of Nursing faculty hold doctoral degrees* to ensure our program covers relevant and real scenarios and skills needed.
*100% of BSN, DNP, PhD, and MSN (Nurse Executive, Nursing Informatics, Public Health Nursing and Nursing Education specializations), faculty are doctorally prepared, and 100% of MSN nurse practitioner (NP) didactic faculty are doctorally prepared. MSN-NP clinical faculty are either doctorally prepared or are APRNs with many years of advanced practice training as a licensed NP.
Walden’s PhD in Nursing offers a rigorous curriculum guided by respected teaching faculty who are not only 100% doctorally prepared* but also experts in research and have real-world experience in the nursing profession. Walden’s PhD offers five relevant focus areas: nursing education, population health, leadership, interdisciplinary health, and healthcare administration. The program also offers a bridge option for students who hold a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. Each student works with a doctoral mentor, one who fits their research interests and needs, while earning their degree. PhD residencies are designed to help students to make progress toward their dissertation with the collaboration of faculty and through networking with other students.
*All didactic faculty in the DNP, PhD in Nursing, MSN (Nurse Executive, Nursing Education, Nursing Informatics, and Public Health Nursing specializations), and BSN programs hold doctorates.
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