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Explore our PhD in Nursing Population Health specialization

Develop leadership and advanced population health nursing skills in community-based assessment, program planning, interventions, and outcomes. Learn to design and influence population health at the local, regional, and global levels by analyzing risk factors of disease and how to initiate preventive measures by conducting research to improve the health care needs of communities and populations. Explore how data is used to form policy recommendations and to draft legislation that promotes the equal distribution of health resources and reductions in health risks.

PROGRAM SAVINGS

Receive a $5,000 grant if you reside in the U.S. and start this program on November 30, 2020. Contact one of our Enrollment Specialists to learn more.

Get Started Now

Curriculum

Minimum Degree Requirements

  • 81 quarter credits 
    • Foundation course (1 cr.)
    • Research courses (20 cr.)
    • Core courses (25 cr.)
    • Focus area courses (15 cr.)
    • Dissertation (20 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 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

FOUNDATION COURSE

NURS 8001

Foundations and Essentials of Doctoral Study in Nursing

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 PhD dissertation.

(1 cr.)

RESEARCH COURSES

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. (Prerequisite(s): RESI 8401.)

(5 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. (Prerequisite(s): RSCH 8110 or RSCH 7110 or RSCH 6110, and 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. (Prerequisite(s): RSCH 8110 or RSCH 7110 or RSCH 6110, and RESI 8401.)

(5 cr.)

RESEARCH ELECTIVE - choose 1

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. (Prerequisite(s): RSCH 8110 and RESI 8402.)

(5 cr.)
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. (Prerequisite(s): RESI 8402.)

(5 cr.)
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. (Prerequisite(s): 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, and RESI 8402.)

(5 cr.)

CORE COURSES

NURS 8110

Theoretical and Scientific Foundations for Nursing

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. 

(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 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.

(5 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.

(5 cr.)
NURS 8300

Organizational and Systems Leadership for Quality Improvement

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.

(5 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.  

(5 cr.)

FOCUS AREA COURSES- choose 3 courses

NURS 8310

Epidemiology and Population Health

Students in this course are provided with an overview of epidemiologic methodology in the study of the distribution and etiology of disease and health-related conditions in human populations. Students examine important study designs and discuss the strengths and weaknesses inherent in each. They explore and discuss select global problems, such as infectious diseases, bioterrorism attacks, and effects of disasters and emergencies, and they apply epidemiologic and biostatistical methods to study factors related to aggregate, population, and individual health. Additionally, students work toward gaining cultural sensitivity and an interprofessional approach to caring for diverse populations at risk to ensure access to care.

(5 cr.)
PUBH 8030

Socioecological Perspectives on Health

Students in this course will identify social and ecological approaches to public health at the individual, interpersonal, organizational, community and environment, and policy levels. They will explore and apply the socioecological model (SEM) and other theoretical frameworks to address public health issues and reduce health disparities in morbidity and mortality. Students demonstrate an understanding of course concepts through peer discussion and research on specific health issues in special populations, identifying contributing factors and proposing appropriate interventions.

(5 cr.)
PUBH 8031

Public Health Administration and Leadership

In this course, students are provided with a foundational understanding of the administrative, managerial, and organizational practices of public health and healthcare delivery systems. Students examine theories of leadership as well as the professional attributes, skills, styles, and strategies required to advance public health goals. They engage in a variety of contextual and practical assignments focused on management theories, policy processes, systems thinking, strategic planning and partnerships, public health financing, human resource management, public health informatics, quality and performance improvement, leadership, and organizational behavior. Students also consider the impact of global trends on public health.

(5 cr.)
PUBH 8032

SPSS Revealed

In this laboratory course, students can learn the skills needed to use the statistical computer package SPSS (Software Package for the Social Sciences) in public health practice and research. Topics include importation of data, management of various types of data, creation and exportation of tables and graphs, and computation of basic statistical tests using SPSS.  

(1 cr.)
PUBH 8033

Interpretation and Application of Public Health Data

Students in this course learn about biostatistical methods and concepts used in public health practice and research. Emphasis is placed on interpretation and application of concepts rather than statistical formulas. Major topics include identification of levels of measurement, interpretation of narrative and graphical descriptive statistics, conceptualization of statistical inference and probability, and interpretation of commonly used statistical tests such as t tests, analysis of variance, correlation and regression, comparing proportions, contingency tables, and chi-square tests. Students are required to use the statistical computer package SPSS.   (Prerequisite(s): PUBH 8032.)

(5 cr.)
PUBH 8035

Epidemiology: Decoding the Science of Public Health

Public health officials frequently use epidemiologic research to develop educational strategies and intervention programs to improve the overall health of communities. Using an epidemiological approach, students in this course examine the incidence, prevalence, and patterns of disease and injury in populations and learn how to apply these concepts to the control of public health problems. Students identify key sources of data for epidemiological purposes and address principles and limitations of public health screening programs. Students calculate basic epidemiological measures and draw appropriate inferences from epidemiological data and reports. Through this course, students gain a deeper understanding of the various research designs and methodologies professionals use in public health research. PUBH 8032 and PUBH 8033

(5 cr.)
PUBH 8050

Global Health and Issues in Disease Prevention

Students in this course are provided an in-depth review of how global health-based strategies are used in the prevention of disease and disability in diverse populations. They explore global health topics and disease prevention activities from the perspective of understanding the determinants of health. Using a cross-disciplinary approach, students examine how economics, social factors, cultural competency, health literacy, health policy, urbanization, globalization, the environment, and other factors influence disease. Students consider how research in disease prevention, health determinants, cultural ecology, and global health applies to public and community health efforts.

(5 cr.)
HLTH 8127

Public Health Policy, Politics and Progress

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.  

(5 cr.)
HLTH 8475

Advanced Program Implementation and Evaluation

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. (Prerequisite(s): RESI 8401.)

(5 cr.)
HLTH 8451

Public Policy Analysis

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.

(5 cr.)
HLTH 8431

Finance and Budgeting for the Public Sector

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.

(5 cr.)

DOCTORAL WRITING ASSESSMENT

DRWA 8880

Doctoral Writing Assessment

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.

(0 cr.)

DISSERTATION

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

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.

Tuition and Fees

Curriculum Requirements Cost Total *
Tuition-Coursework 61 quarter credits  $745 per quarter hour for coursework credits $45,445^
Tuition-Dissertation  20–130 quarter credits $745 per quarter hour for dissertation credits $14,900–$96,850*
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 8-Year
 
$67,445
$153,315*+
(assuming completion in a 2.5-year time frame) (assuming completion in an 8-year time frame)

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 a $5,000 grant if you reside in the U.S. and start this program on November 30, 2020. Contact one of our Enrollment Specialists to learn more.

Get Started Now

Admission Requirements

Program Admission Considerations: A master's degree or higher.

General Admission Requirements:Completed online application and transcripts. Please note that the materials you are required to submit may vary depending on the academic program to which you apply. More information for international applicants.

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