With the need for nursing academics and researchers never greater, UVA's PhD program offers an exceptional route for the next generation of nurse scientists and scholars
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Hershaw Davis, Jr., MSN `12, PhD student
Who is the PhD in nursing for?
Are you deciding whether a PhD or DNP is the right degree path for you? Take a look at this comparison of PhD and DNP programs.
The PhD program prepares students for careers as scholars, nurse scientists and academics and to contribute to nursing science, knowledge, theory and practice through systematic inquiry. By graduation, PhD students will:
While applicants for the PhD most often possess an MSN, nurses with other graduate degrees (MPH, MBA, MS in Health Administration, etc.) are also encouraged to apply.
UVA consistently ranks as one of the top nursing schools in student awards by the National Institutes of Health. Every year, UVA PhD nursing students are awarded F31 training grants (National Research Service Awards) for their doctoral studies, and many publish and present around Virginia, the US and internationally.
UVA's PhD in nursing program is focused on research, and the curriculum includes courses in qualitative, quantitative and historical research. Over the course of the program, all PhD students submit a research proposal for peer review, and many submit proposals to the NIHNR's annual service awards competition.
Because research is such a critical element of the PhD program, we seek to admit students whose own research interests are congruent with those of our faculty.
"The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) represents the highest level of formal education for a career in research and the scholarship of discovery. It prepares scholars for the expression and communication of the knowledge base in the profession. The PhD graduate develops the science, stewards the profession, educates the next generation of nurses, defines its uniqueness, and maintains its professional integrity. In the academic setting, the PhD is the highest academic degree and is required for success as a scientist in the multiple disciplines represented within educational institutions. In the scientific arena within and beyond the Academy, the PhD is the beginning preparation for the development of independence in scientific pursuit. Post-doctoral study is recommended for depth in a field. Attainment of the PhD requires a strong scientific emphasis within the discipline; an understanding of the science of related disciplines and translation science; dissemination of innovations; and interdisciplinary† collaboration. In addition, for the profession to achieve this vision and make the maximum impact on the healthcare system, PhD nursing scientists should reflect society at large.”
- from The Research-Focused Doctoral Program in Nursing: Pathways to Excellence (AACN, 2011)
BSN-to-PhD program: Exceptionally well-qualified registered nurses without a master's degree in nursing may be considered for admission to the doctoral program. If admitted, such students will be required to complete a customized curriculum leading to the MSN in conjunction with doctoral study.
*All applicants are required to take the GRE general test. The School of Nursing accepts GRE scores that are more than five years old. If you have your 'older' scores, you may submit a copy of the Student Report. The institutional code for the University of Virginia is R-5820.
Steps to apply
Those interested in applying to the PhD in nursing program apply through UVA's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS), which prefers to receive one package containing the all supporting materials (recommendations, transcripts and scholarly writing). The completed application, the application fee and all supporting data must be received no later than December 15.
Note: Applications may be accepted after the December 15 deadline on space-available basis. Students are welcome to submit applications before this deadline as the admissions committee makes rolling admissions decisions.Tuition
Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) positions
Loan programs for future nursing faculty
PhD students do their coursework at one of two paces: those on the accelerated track take classes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and usually complete their coursework in 24 months or less. Students in the non-accelerated track take classes one day a week, and usually complete their coursework within 36 months.