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.

Why Choose the Walden Online PhD in Nursing Program?

  • Pursue your passion while advancing your career: Choose from five PhD in Nursing specializations to focus your coursework in your chosen area of expertise.
  • Impact lives and communities: Walden’s unique curriculum is focused on helping you become a catalyst for social change. Gain the education you need to make a difference for the nursing profession and the quality of patient care.
  • Collaborate with a community of learners: Complete Interdisciplinary coursework and participate in engaging discussions with other students to deepen your understanding of the healthcare landscape.
  • Robust Dissertation Support: From writing and research assistance to one-on-one faculty guidance, dedicated dissertation support is central to Walden’s nursing PhD program.
  • Earn your PhD without putting your life on hold: Our PhD in Nursing program includes a structured set of online courses as well as four residencies, two of which can be attended virtually, all designed to help you reach your professional goals.

Curriculum by Specializations

Walden’s PhD in Nursing program offers a variety of specializations to help you meet your personal and professional goals. Learn more about each specialization and its related curriculum:


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.

Learning Outcomes

As a graduate of Walden’s PhD in Nursing online program, you’ll be able 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.

Career Outlook

Demand for nursing faculty is especially high. A lack of nurse educators is forcing many nursing schools to turn away thousands of qualified applicants to bachelor’s and graduate programs.3 The nursing field needs leaders and innovators who are committed to transforming the profession.

A 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 the possibilities of increased salary, promotion, and new career opportunities.4

A PhD in Nursing can prepare you to pursue career options such as:

  • Nursing educators
  • Nursing professor or assistant professor
  • Director of public or private research
  • Chief nursing officer

A PhD in Nursing can prepare you to work in settings such as:

  • Colleges and universities
  • Public health agencies
  • Research institutions
  • Healthcare organizations

Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

Meet Your PhD in Nursing Faculty

Nancy MossNancy Moss, PhD
Program Director

With more than 25 years of experience, Dr. Moss is a certified nurse-midwife and family nurse practitioner (FNP). She received her PhD from the University of Utah in Health Education and Health Care Administration with a focus on stress management. Dr. Moss has developed and implemented a university nurse-midwifery program as well as several nurse-midwifery practices for rural communities.

Leslie HusseyLeslie C. Hussey PhD, RN, CNE
Nursing PhD Academic Program and Residency Coordinator

Dr. Hussey has served as a tenured faculty member at several universities with a teaching and clinical focus on intensive care nursing. She received her PhD from the University of North Texas in Higher Education and Administration with a focus on Gerontology. Dr. Hussey has experience developing and implementing MSN-level practitioner and doctoral program curriculum.

Testimonials

Jaimee Kastler

Jaimee Kastler

MSN Graduate / PhD in Nursing Graduate
My inspiration for getting my degree was the idea of giving back to the community.
I now have the best of both worlds: to educate and care for future nurses.
Kristina McCall PhD in Nursing graduate
Roberta Salmon Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) graduate, PhD in Nursing student

FAQ About Walden’s Online PhD in Nursing 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.

Note on licensure
The PhD in Nursing is not a licensure program and will not prepare students as nurse practitioners.

1Source: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) IPEDS database. Retrieved February 2020, using CIP codes 51.3801 (Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse); 51.3808 (Nursing Science); 51.3818 (Nursing Practice). Includes 2017–18 provisional data.

2 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.

3Source: American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Nursing Faculty Shortage Fact Sheet.

4Source: Data from January 2019 to January 2020 for this analysis of job postings for nurses with a PhD was retrieved using Burning Glass Technologies Labor Insight Real-Time Labor Market Information Tool. Results are at the national level and may not reflect local and/or short-term job conditions and are subject to change. Some jobs may require other credentials besides completion of a degree. Walden makes no representation or guarantee that completion of Walden coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain state licensure or other credential.

5Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections, Occupational projections and worker characteristics. National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, do not guarantee actual job growth, and are subject to change.

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Questions about our PhD in Nursing?
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