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PhD Program in Nursing

Stewarding the Discipline of Nursing

The focus of the University of Massachusetts Worcester Graduate School of Nursing PhD program is on the development and transformation of scholars who will lead the discipline of nursing. Our goal is to help students to expand their horizons through seeking new phenomena, raising further questions for scientific inquiry, applying qualitative and quantitative research methods and fulfilling their professional responsibility to nursing and society.

Our program is influenced by the cognitive philosophy of Bernard Lonergan, a Canadian philosopher. We engage the emerging scholar in a transformative process of wonder and discovery, self-reflection, critical thinking and genuine dialogue with other students and faculty. We emphasize the need for scholarship that addresses the broader conditions that influence human health.

The PhD program meets the standards established by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) for research-focused doctoral programs. Graduates will have a strong foundation in nursing inquiry and be prepared to assume investigator, academic, and leadership roles.

First year PhD students created THIS VIDEO as a class assignment in which they are challenged to apply nursing theory to science supporting the link between nature and health. They developed this video based on Nightingale's environmental theory which is perfect timing given that we are celebrating the 200th anniversary of her birth. Its message of healing through nature is also particularly fitting during this stress-filled time in which many people are turning to nature for restoration. The photographs were taken by the students.

Program Benefits

  • Rich Academic Health Sciences Environment
  • Supportive, Successful, Small Class Environment
  • All-day Tuesday On-Site Degree Program

Four Pathways to PhD in Nursing

Graduate Entry Pathway to PhD

  • Admits students with a bachelor's degree in another field to first become a registered nurse then complete the PhD in Nursing Program.

BS to PhD

  • Admits students who are registered nurses with a bachelor's degree to complete the PhD in Nursing Program.

Masters to PhD

  • Admits students who are registered nurses with a master's degree and non-nurses with a master's degree in a health-related field to complete the PhD in Nursing Program.

DNP to PhD

  • Admits students with a DNP degree to complete the PhD in Nursing Program.