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Explore Our DNP to PhD in Nursing Bridge Option

Walden offers students who hold a Doctor in Nursing Practice degree (DNP) a shorter path to the PhD in Nursing.

Recognizing your previous academic progress, we will apply up to 26 credits toward your doctoral program, significantly reducing the time to completion and your total costs. This accelerated DNP to PhD in Nursing option builds on your current knowledge and experience with scholarly research and relevant coursework that will further academically prepare you for leadership positions in nursing administration, policy, or academia.

PROGRAM SAVINGS

Receive up to a $4,000 Walden Care & Compassion grant if you reside in the U.S. and start this program on August 30, 2021. Contact one of our Enrollment Specialists to learn more.

Get Started Now

Curriculum

Minimum Degree Requirements

  • 81 quarter credits* 
    • Foundations course (1 cr.)
    • Research courses (20 cr.)
    • Core courses (25 cr.)
    • Focus area courses (5–15 cr.) students can earn an additional 10 transfer cr. by choosing a focus area congruent with their DNP clinical area of expertise
    • Dissertation (minimum 15 cr.)
  • Four PhD residencies (Students will participate in four residencies during their second, fourth, sixth, and eighth terms.)

Walden students have up to eight years to complete their doctoral program unless they petition for an extension.

In general, students are continuously registered in the dissertation/doctoral study course until they complete their capstone project and it is approved. This usually takes longer than the minimum required five terms in the dissertation/doctoral study course shell.

To complete a doctoral dissertation, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the Chief Academic Officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the Dissertation Guidebook.

This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 855-646-5286.

Courses

Course Code Title Credits
NURS 8003
Foundations and Essentials in Nursing

Students in this course are introduced to Walden University and are provided with a foundation for professional development as a PhD scholar practitioner. Students learn professional standards and end-of-program expectations and explore the role of the scholar-practitioner as one who effects positive social change. They engage in course assignments focused on the practical application of professional writing, critical-thinking skills, research, and the requirements for successful participation in an online curriculum. Students also explore the essentials of being a Walden doctoral student, relevant professional and specialty standards of doctoral-level nursing, intra- and interprofessional collaboration, and the process of the PhD dissertation.

(1 cr.)
NURS 8710
Doctoral Seminar I

Seminar I gets students prepared for the dissertation process. Students are introduced to the Doctoral Degree Coach, helpful dissertation resources, time management strategies, and potential topics relevant to their field of study. Students also examine exemplar dissertations to better understand the journey they will be undertaking.

(1 cr.)
NURS 8112
Theoretical and Scientific Foundations of Nursing Research

In this course, students focus on the integration of scientific, philosophical, and theoretical concepts as the basis for the highest level of nursing practice. They examine the scientific underpinnings for nursing knowledge development, including major theoretical frameworks and the interrelated concepts that inform nursing knowledge, research, and practice. Students explore scientific inquiry and ethical issues related to research. Considering various philosophical worldviews, students describe their own philosophy of nursing and research. They apply course concepts to a variety of assignments designed to prepare for their dissertation research.

(5 cr.)
RSCH 8110
Research Theory, Design, and Methods

In this research course, students are provided with core knowledge and skills for understanding, analyzing, and designing research at the graduate level. Students explore the philosophy of science, the role of theory, and research processes. Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods research designs and data collection methods are introduced. The alignment of research components is emphasized. Students also explore ethical and social change implications of designing and conducting research. Students demonstrate their knowledge and skills by developing an annotated bibliography.

Prerequisites

Doctor of Social Work

  • SOCW 8110 or SOCW 8110W

PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision

  • COUN 8001
  • COUN 8110
  • RESI 8801C

PhD in Social Work

  • SOCW 8110 or SOCW 8110W

All Other Programs

  • RESI 8401

(5 cr.)
NURS 8301
Leading Organizations for Quality Improvement Initiatives

The focus of this course is the development of leadership competencies and strategies to support organizational and systems leadership for continuous improvement in health outcomes and the delivery of quality care. Emphasis will be on understanding the challenges and complexity in the healthcare system and the development of skills and knowledge to lead, manage, evaluate, and innovate to transforms the healthcare environment. Essential topics include leadership for change and transformation, quality improvement tools and methods, safety principles, and project management.

(5 cr.)
NURS 8720
Doctoral Seminar II

Seminar II represents the preboarding phase of the journey. Students learn how to use the library, develop doctoral-level writing strategies, and write a literature review. Students also examine how social problems drive scientific inquiry.

(1 cr.)
NURS 8250
Advanced Theoretical and Scientific Perspectives in Nursing

Students in this course focus on the sufficient formal and informal learning experiences to build scientific depth in an identified area of study. Students gain the competencies to critique, utilize, and integrate different theoretical and scientific perspectives for the conduct of research, including team science, to generate new ideas based on a critical evaluation of existing knowledge. Attention is given to integration of the components of scholarship, research, teaching, mentoring, and service to the profession gained from understanding the theoretical/scientific underpinnings of nursing and other disciplines.

Prerequisites

  • RSCH 8110N

(5 cr.)
NURS 8210
Transforming Nursing and Healthcare Through Technology

When used effectively, information technology can support generation of new knowledge and emerging information technologies. In this course, students examine the critical appraisal and use of information technology in advanced nursing practice. Students work to gain the skills and knowledge needed to research, develop, process, integrate, and manage data, communication and information systems, and programs through technology resources in consumer, clinical, and public health settings. Students engage in a variety of discussions and assignments designed to provide practical application of content on topics including retrieval and critical analysis of digital data and emerging technology to support healthcare quality improvement; electronic health records integration and evaluation; and web-based learning and intervention tools to support and improve patient care. They also explore ethical, regulatory, and legal issues as well as the healthcare standards and principles for selecting and evaluating information systems and patient care technology.

Prerequisites

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

  • NURS 8000 or NURS 8000A or NURS 8000C or NURS 8000F or NURS 8000S

PhD in Nursing

  • NURS 8110N

(5 cr.)
NURS 8730
Doctoral Seminar III

Seminar III has students take off into developing critical elements of a scientific study. Students distinguish the characteristics of strong quantitative and qualitative research questions and evaluate conceptual and theoretical frameworks with respect to their alignment with a study. Students will engage in an iterative process of developing research questions through peer review and feedback.

(1 cr.)
RSCH 8210
Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis

In this research course, students are provided with the opportunity to develop core knowledge and skills for designing and carrying out quantitative research at the doctoral level, including the application of statistical concepts and techniques. Students explore classical common statistical tests, the importance of the logic of inference, and social change implications of conducting quantitative research and producing knowledge. Students approach statistics from a problem-solving perspective with emphasis on selecting appropriate statistical tests for a research design. Students use statistical software to derive statistics from quantitative data and interpret and present results.

Prerequisites

Doctor of Social Work

  • RSCH 8110K or RSCH 8110W

PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision

  • RSCH 8110
  • RESI 8801C

PhD in Social Work

  • RSCH 8110K or RSCH 8110W

All Other Programs

  • RSCH 8110 or RSCH 7110 or RSCH 6110
  • RESI 8401

(5 cr.)
RSCH 8310
Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis

Students in this research course are provided with the opportunity to develop basic knowledge and skills for conducting qualitative research at the doctoral level. Students explore the nature of qualitative inquiry, how theory and theoretical and conceptual frameworks uniquely apply to qualitative research, data collection procedures and analysis strategy, and how the role of the researcher is expressed in the ethical and rigorous conduct of qualitative research. Students practice collecting, organizing, analyzing, and presenting data, and they develop a detailed research topic for conducting a qualitative study.

Prerequisites

Doctor of Social Work

  • RSCH 8110K or RSCH 8110W

PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision

  • RSCH 8110
  • RESI 8801C

PhD in Social Work

  • RSCH 8110K or RSCH 8110W

All Other Programs

  • RSCH 8110 or RSCH 7110 or RSCH 6110
  • RESI 8401

(5 cr.)
NURS 8740
Doctoral Seminar IV

Seminar IV has students fly toward completing their prospectus by developing methods appropriate to answer a research question as well as explain the nature and significance of a scientific study. Students evaluate how to align various elements of a scientific study and ensure ethical concerns are addressed. Students end this course with a solid draft of their prospectus.

(1 cr.)
Advanced Research Course - 5 credits - choose one from the group below
RSCH 8260
Advanced Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis

Students in this research course build upon knowledge and skills acquired in the prerequisite quantitative reasoning course and are presented with opportunities to apply them. They are provided with more specialized knowledge and skills for conducting quantitative research at the doctoral level, including understanding multivariate data analysis and applying more advanced statistical concepts, such as factorial ANOVA, mediation, moderation, logistic regression, ANCOVA, and MANOVA. Students explore existing datasets and apply suitable statistical tests to answer research questions with social change implications. In this course, they approach statistics from a problem-solving perspective with emphasis on selecting the appropriate statistical tests for more complex research questions and social problems. Students use statistical software to perform analyses and interpret and present results. They will apply and synthesize their knowledge and skills by carrying out a quantitative research project.

Prerequisites

Doctor of Social Work

  • RSCH 8210K or RSCH 8310K or RSCH 8210W or RSCH 8310W

PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision

  • RSCH 8110
  • RSCH 8210
  • CPLB 802L

PhD in Social Work

  • RSCH 8210K or RSCH 8210W or RSCH 8310K or RSCH 8310W

All Other Programs

  • RESI 8402

(5 cr.)
OR
RSCH 8360
Advanced Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis

Students build upon the knowledge and skills acquired in RSCH 8310 - Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis. and have experience applying them. Students develop a more sophisticated understanding of the theoretical antecedents and practical applications of eight contemporary qualitative approaches. Students gain experience developing qualitative interview guides, collecting data, and managing the process from transcription through analysis. The unique challenges of confidentiality and ethical issues are explored as well as implications for social change. Students will apply and synthesize their knowledge and skills by developing a qualitative research plan using a topic relevant to their capstone.

Prerequisites

Doctor of Social Work

  • RSCH 8210K or RSCH 8310K or RSCH 8210W or RSCH 8310W

PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision

  • RSCH 8110
  • RSCH 8310
  • CPLB 802L

PhD in Social Work

  • RSCH 8210K or RSCH 8210W or RSCH 8310K or RSCH 8310W

All Other Programs

  • RESI 8402

Note: This course was previously RSCH 8350.

(5 cr.)
OR
RSCH 8460
Advanced Mixed-Methods Reasoning and Analysis

Students build upon knowledge and skills acquired in RSCH 8210 - Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis and RSCH 8310 - Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis for more specialized knowledge and skills to design mixed-methods research at the doctoral level. Students are provided with more specialized knowledge and skills for designing mixed-methods research at the doctoral level. They gain an understanding of the types of mixed-methods designs and how to select the most appropriate approach for the research question(s). The emphases of this course are on integrating quantitative and qualitative elements into true mixed-methods studies, practice in data analysis, and integration of qualitative and quantitative data within a research write-up. Students will apply and synthesize their knowledge and skills by developing a mixed-methods research plan that incorporates qualitative and quantitative elements appropriately.

Prerequisites

PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision

  • RSCH 8110
  • RSCH 8210
  • RSCH 8310
  • CPLB 802L

PhD in Social Work

  • RSCH 8210K or RSCH 8210W or RSCH 8310K or RSCH 8310W

All Other Programs

  • RSCH 8110 or RSCH 7110 or RSCH 6110
  • RSCH 8210 or RSCH 7210 or RSCH 6210
  • RSCH 8310 or RSCH 7310 or RSCH 6310
  • RESI 8402

Note: This course was previously RSCH 8450.

(5 cr.)
NURS 8750
Doctoral Seminar V

Seminar V culminates the student's journey towards developing a prospectus. This course focuses on completing the Prospectus Form. Students deliver an asynchronous oral and visual presentation of their proposed doctoral study and get feedback from peers and the instructor.

(1 cr.)
NURS 8551
Preparing for Dissertation

The focus of this course is on the preparation for the dissertation phase of training. In this course, students identify a dissertation topic and potential dissertation committee members; begin to conduct a literature review; develop a problem statement and research questions; and evaluate research designs, methods, and types of analyses to use for their dissertation. Students also complete their initial premise in this course and an annotated outline of their prospectus.

Prerequisites

  • RSCH 8310N

(5 cr.)
Focus Area Courses: 15 credits (10 Credits can be Waived for DNP)
NURS 9000
Dissertation

In this course, doctoral students have the opportunity to integrate their program of study into an in-depth exploration of an interest area that includes the completion of a research study. Students complete the dissertation independently, with the guidance of a dissertation supervisory committee chair and committee members, in a learning platform classroom in which weekly participation is required. Students complete a prospectus, proposal, Institutional Review Board application, and dissertation.Students take this course for a minimum of four quarters and are continuously enrolled until completion of their dissertation with final chief academic officer (CAO) approval.To complete a dissertation, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the chief academic officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the Dissertation Guidebook.

(5 cr. per term for a minimum of 4 quarters until completion)
VIEW ALL COURSES Less Courses

Tuition and Fees

Curriculum Requirements Cost Total *
Tuition-Coursework 66 quarter credits  $745 per quarter hour for coursework credits $49,170^
Tuition-Dissertation  15–125 quarter credits $745 per quarter hour for dissertation credits $11,175–$93,125*
Technology Fee $160 per quarter $1,600–$5,120*
Residency Fee Four residencies $1,375 each (virtual)
$1,475 each (in-person: travel, lodging and other expenses are additional.)             
$5,500–$5,900
Estimated Range:     2.5-Year Minimum 8-Year Maximum
 
$67,445
$153,315*+

These are ranges of what a student can expect in terms of time and tuition cost to complete a degree. It does not include other fees, nor is it adjusted for tuition increases over time. Walden faculty has concluded that generally students who do not complete their program in eight years are unlikely to complete and only allow students to exceed that time frame when a student petitions for an extension and provides good reason for the delay and assurances that obstacles to completion can be overcome. Time is calculated using the time allowed for each semester or unit that the student completes. Students are encouraged to work continuously during the program so as not to extend the time needed to complete the degree as work can become stale and students lose focus. Students who earn two grades of “Unsatisfactory,” who repeatedly drop a course before a semester or unit has been completed, or are unable to complete in the eight year time frame, should expect that they may be dismissed from the program. Walden believes that it is in the best interest of a student who is unable to complete the degree in the stated ranges to strongly consider withdrawal or obtaining a lesser degree.

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 and/or the student’s transfer credits accepted by Walden; program or specialization changes; unsuccessful course completion; credit load per term; writing, research and editing skills; use of external data for their doctoral study/dissertation; and/or individual progress in the program. Other factors may include personal issues such as the student’s employment obligations; care giving responsibilities or health issues; part-time vs. full-time enrollment; leaves of absence; and/or other personal circumstances.

Tuition and fees are subject to change. Books and materials are not included. Students may incur additional costs for remedial writing assistance, if necessary.

^This assumes students successfully complete their coursework on the first attempt.

Based on a 2.5-year minimum completion requirement and an eight-year maximum time frame as outlined in Walden academic policy.

*Tuition and fees will be higher if students petition to extend the eight-year maximum time frame or choose to take more expensive elective courses.

+Tuition and time to complete may be reduced if transfer credits are accepted, or if you receive grants, scholarships or other tuition reductions. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 844-642-0198.

FINANCIAL AID

Many Walden degree-seeking students—67%—receive some form of financial aid.* Create a customized plan that makes sense for you.

*Source: Walden University’s Office of Financial Aid. Data reports as of 2018.

Find Ways to Save

PROGRAM SAVINGS

Receive up to a $4,000 Walden Care & Compassion grant if you reside in the U.S. and start this program on August 30, 2021. Contact one of our Enrollment Specialists to learn more.

Get Started Now

Admission Requirements

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.

General Admission Requirements:Completed online application and transcripts. More information for international applicants.

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