Advance your career and make a difference in your patients' lives with the help of our online PhD in Nursing degree program.
Design an interdisciplinary focus area that reflects your professional goals and interests, broadens your perspectives, or enables you to work more effectively with diverse populations and teams. Choose three courses from the four other PhD in Nursing focus areas: Education, Healthcare Administration, Leadership, and Public Health Policy. Each course must be from a different focus area.
Walden students have up to 8 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 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 advisor at 855-646-5286.
|Course Code||NURS 8000||Course||Foundations and Essentials of Doctoral Study in Nursing||Credits||(1 cr.)|
Students in this course are introduced to Walden University and are provided with a foundation for professional development in doctoral nursing practice. Students learn professional standards and end-of-program expectations, and they 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, 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 DNP scholarly project.
|Course Code||RSCH 8110||Course||Research Theory, Design, and Methods||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||RSCH 8210||Course||Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||RSCH 8310||Course||Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Research Elective - choose one|
Advanced Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis
Advanced Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis
Advanced Mixed-Methods Reasoning and Analysis
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.
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. RSCH 8110 or RSCH 7110 or RSCH 6110.)
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. RSCH 8110 or RSCH 7110 or RSCH 6110.)
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. RSCH 8110.)
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.
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. RSCH 8110 or RSCH 7110 or RSCH 6110 and RSCH 8210 or RSCH 7210 or RSCH 6210 and RSCH 8310 or RSCH 7310 or RSCH 6310.)
|Course Code||NURS 8110||Course||Theoretical and Scientific Foundations for Nursing||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 8210||Course||Transforming Nursing and Healthcare Through Technology||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 8250||Course||Advanced Theoretical and Scientific Perspectives in Nursing||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 8300||Course||Organizational and Systems Leadership for Quality Improvement||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 8551||Course||Preparing for Dissertation||Credits||(5 cr.)|
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 practice, including biobehavioral, pathophysiological, psychosocial, and environmental sciences, and they explore the interrelationship among knowledge, research, and practice. Students also explore and discuss clinical inquiry, ethical issues, and models of evidence-based practice. Considering various philosophies, students describe their own philosophy of nursing. They also apply course concepts to a variety of practical assignments, including a literature review, concept map, and evaluation of current clinical practice problems, among others.
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 toward gaining the skills and knowledge to process and manage information systems/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 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.
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.
The focus of this course is on the development of leadership strategies and competencies to support healthcare and organizational quality delivery of care. Emphasis is placed on a systems approach exploring the organizational structures, which impact healthcare quality performance and, ultimately, patient outcomes. Using macro (enterprise-wide) and micro (individual and team performance) perspectives, students examine the leadership roles, which define, develop, and support decisions effecting quality strategies. In this course, students address how key organizational theories, principles, and concepts relate to achieving the effective and efficient delivery of safe healthcare services. Through the development of a quality program initiative, students demonstrate an understanding of the impact an initiative has on organizational structure, its environment, and the system's leadership.
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.
Choose three (3) courses:
|Course Code||EDDD 8110||Course||The Art of Online Teaching||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||EDDD 8021||Course||Understanding the Adult Learner||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||EDDD 8103||Course||eLearning||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||EDDD 8111||Course||Online Teaching Simulation||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HLTH 8111||Course||Leadership and Organizational Change||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HLTH 8112||Course||Governance and Public Policy||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HLTH 8136||Course||Leadership, Professionalism, and Ethics in Public Health Practice||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HLTH 8127||Course||Public Health Policy, Politics and Progress||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HLTH 8400||Course||Public Health Leadership, Management, and Systems Thinking||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HLTH 8431||Course||Finance and Budgeting for the Public Sector||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HLTH 8451||Course||Public Policy Analysis||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HLTH 8465||Course||Strategic Planning: Collaboration, Cooperation, and Coordination||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||HLTH 8475||Course||Advanced Program Implementation and Evaluation||Credits||(5 cr.)|
Higher education is undergoing a radical paradigm shift with the rapid growth of online degree, program, and course offerings. Educators are provided with the foundational skills necessary to successfully facilitate learning in an online environment in this course. They have the opportunity to acquire the essential pedagogical competencies to provide targeted instruction and accurately assess student work in a virtual setting. Through the exploration of simulated classroom interactions and creative problem-solving scenarios, educators experience how online learning leverages technology to enhance knowledge and skill development. Upon successful completion of this course, educators can demonstrate professional skills to meet the growing demand for facilitators of online learning and the potential to positively influence a global population of learners.
Unique and distinctive skills are required to engage and teach adult learners. Education professionals will explore adult learning and developmental theory and the wide range of research that supports it, including andragogy and transformation, phase and stage developmental theories, and effects of gender and culture on adult learning. Educators will also be provided with the opportunity to reflect on the relationship of course material with their own experiences as adult learners. Education professionals complete a variety of realistic assignments through which they practice communicating and presenting complex concepts, critique the work of major theorists, apply adult learning and development theories to educational practice, and construct their own positions on adult learning as scholar-practitioners.
Educators explore the theories, paradigms, trends, and issues in the field of eLearning. Research on eLearning is critiqued and analyzed as an ecosystem, including an examination of K–12, higher education, corporate, and personal learning communities. Current social and geopolitical trends and their impact on eLearning are analyzed. Delivery methods, human presence, and sustainability of eLearning design are investigated. Through this course, educators are provided with design and development experience through the creation of multimedia presentations in an eLearning environment.
In this simulation course, learners have an opportunity to practice the art of online teaching hands-on and to develop an online instructional presence that encourages positive student outcomes. In this unique practical experience, learners develop and reinforce the skills needed to succeed as an online instructor. Scholar-practitioners hone their online teaching skills by engaging in realistic classroom scenarios with guidance and feedback from experienced online faculty members and in collaboration with their peers. With careful oversight, mentoring, and coaching, learners practice and analyze online facilitation activities, including interacting though discussion boards, assessing student work, and posting announcements.
Successful organizations in a rapidly changing and complex world require leaders who embrace change and are able to engage others in change. In this course, students use traditional literature, current articles, and interactive media to explore the qualities, characteristics, and skills of effective leaders as well as the theories, models, and relationships between leadership and organizational change. They assess the ethical issues and standards as well as the opportunities and challenges related to leading diverse organizations through change. Students also examine how current leaders employ leadership and organizational change to contribute to social change, and they consider how to use these lessons to make further positive changes within an organization or their own community.
Democratic principles are the foundation of modern life. Students in this course are provided with an overview of democratic governance in public administration, public policy, or nonprofit or nongovernmental organizations in modern society. Students examine the theoretical underpinnings of democratic governance and public policy in their chosen area of specialization necessary for doctoral-level research. Students examine the context in which public and nonprofit leaders function and the social institutions that influence public policy and guide administrative decision making. Students also review fundamental theories of governance, research current literature on a specialized topic, and apply best practices as they relate concepts to complete practical application assignments and a final case scenario project.
Critical issues, such as infectious diseases, inadequate healthcare access, and an aging population, require leaders who have a diverse skill set as well as the professional and ethical sensibilities needed to lead efforts that improve quality of life for individuals and communities. In this course, students examine theories of leadership as well as the professional attributes, skills, styles, and strategies required to advance public health goals. They explore ethical choices, values, professionalism, opportunities for advocacy, and the application of principles of social justice implicit in public health decisions and practice. Students learn how to employ collaborative methods for working with and motivating diverse communities and constituencies, and they consider methods and develop new strategies for evaluating and solving current problems in healthcare.
In this course, students examine the role of federal, state, and local government in the assurance of public health through health policy and law. Consideration is given to contemporary policy, law, and regulatory issues arising in public health practice, as well as to the economics and financing of public health programs. The advocacy, political, and creative process in the formulation, implementation, and modification of health policy are examined and discussed. Students also learn how to write and structure a health policy analysis.
Students in this course focus on leadership models and theories, the core principles of public health leadership, and the application of systems thinking to public health. Students examine how to create strategies and solutions from a systems and ecological perspective that efficiently utilize public health and healthcare resources. Students discuss descriptive and prescriptive systems, focusing on the application of these processes to current public health issues and challenges at the organizational and community levels.
Sound financial practices are crucial to managing scarce funds in both public and nonprofit operations. Students in this course examine finance and budgeting concepts, policies, and practices related to organizations as well as the fiscal climate within which they operate. They assess theories for motivating major fiscal-policy debates, and they explore and discuss auditing practices, tax systems, financial management, budgetary reform, financial technology systems, the use of dashboards for financial reporting, and the impact of globalization on finance and budget. Students read and analyze budgets, financial statements, and reports. They contextualize their learning as they apply knowledge gained from their analysis to develop a new budget and financial plan for either a public or private organization.
Contemporary public administrators work in a dynamic, partisan environment with unprecedented access to public policy data—conditions leading to extraordinary opportunities and, often times, severe constraints. Students in this course thoroughly examine key stakeholders involved in the public policy process and devote special attention to their function, impact, and constraint on policy development. In addition, students explore professional ethics related to the role of the policy analyst and consider the significant social outcomes of public policy. They examine the theories and strategies used by policy makers and policy analysts to develop, implement, execute, evaluate, and promulgate public policy. They also assess the impact and consequences of public policy and evaluate it though a social justice framework. Using critical-thinking and communication skills, students craft a policy memorandum regarding a current public policy problem, for which they consider and evaluate competing policy alternatives.
In an increasingly complex world, leaders and managers in public, private, and nonprofit organizations need to be strategic in planning and creating effective, collaborative programs and services. Students in this course explore the role and process of strategic planning, with an emphasis on collaboration, cooperation, and coordination within and among organizations. Students apply these concepts to real-life situations and organizations.
Students in this this course focus on the competencies required of the public health professional in planning for the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of community health promotion and disease prevention initiatives. Attention is given to needs assessment, logic models, and collaboration with stakeholders. Strategic approaches to planning, implementation, and evaluation with particular attention to study design and sampling are addressed. Health behavior theories are considered in the development of health promotion programs, the application of evaluation findings, and prioritization of community concerns and resources.
|Course Code||DRWA 8880G||Course||Doctoral Writing Assessment||Credits||(0 cr.)|
This course is part of Walden’s commitment to help prepare students to meet the university’s expectations for writing in courses at the doctoral level. In this course, students write a short academic essay that will be scored by a team of writing assessors. Based on the essay score, students will complete or be exempted from additional required writing support needed to meet writing proficiency standards. This required assessment course is free. Students will be enrolled automatically in it at the beginning of their doctoral program.
|Course Code||NURS 9000||Course||Dissertation||Credits||(5 cr. per term for a minimum of 4 quarters until completion)|
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 4 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.