RN to PhD in Nursing Programs

Programs that allow RNs to obtain their Ph.D. in Nursing are available to students around the country. This article covers some of these programs in greater detail.

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Individuals who have received their registered nurse (RN) designation may be interested in continuing their education by enrolling in an RN to Ph.D. in Nursing program. We will look at these programs in greater detail below by exploring their length and nature, what types of courses are commonly required in them, and admission information.

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Information about RN to Ph.D. in Nursing Programs

A Ph.D. in Nursing is typically designed for students who have an interest in the academic and research side of nursing, rather than hands-on nursing practice. With a Ph.D. in Nursing, graduates are prepared to obtain teaching positions at the university level, work as administrators or leaders in health care settings, and conduct research. While these programs can be completed on a part-time basis, many of them prefer candidates who enroll full-time. In addition to completing a dissertation, students will need to complete some courses, five of which are discussed below.

Theories of Nursing

Many Ph.D. programs in nursing will require that students take a course covering the theoretical aspects of the nursing field. Students will explore the history of various theories, their implications, and how they apply to the practice of nursing. They will also analyze theories and discuss how relevant they are to various aspects of nursing, from the practice of nursing to research in the field of nursing.

Quantitative Research and Methodology

A course that focuses on quantitative research and methodology will expose students to various methods of conducting and analyzing quantitative research. Some topics that may be discussed in this course include sampling, ways of measuring, research design, and analysis. Students will likely examine how these various methods can be used within the field of nursing, as well as how to write a quantitative research question.

Qualitative Research and Methodology

Another common course in RN to Ph.D. in Nursing programs is a course that focuses on qualitative research and methodologies. In this course, students will learn how to design and conduct qualitative research studies, as well as various ways of collecting and storing qualitative data. Students will likely also discuss various ethical and moral questions that relate to the gathering of qualitative data, with particular regard to human subjects.

Ethics in Health Care and Nursing

This course may focus on various modern ethical dilemmas and issues in nursing and health care, how these problems have developed over the years, and what factors have played a role in the development of these issues. Students will likely discuss the role that the nursing professional plays and their ethical and moral obligations to their patients and job. Some other topics may include ethical decision making, legal implications, and the ever-developing health care arena.

Theories of Science and Scientific Inquiry

A course that focuses on theories of science and scientific inquiry will provide students with an overview of the field of science from a philosophical point of view. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of the process of scientific explanation, as the way in which scientific theory has developed over the years. The course will also focus on scientific theory, which students will be expected to study, analyze, and critique during the course.

Admission Requirements for Ph.D. in Nursing Programs

To apply to a RN to Ph.D. in Nursing program, there are a number of admission requirements that applicants must fulfill. Students are expected to have already earned a Bachelor of Nursing, so RNs who have only earned an associate's degree will need to earn a bachelor's degree before being considered for the program. A master's degree isn't required.

Students must also prove that their nursing license is active and valid. When applying, students will generally be expected to submit an application, academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a resume. Some programs may require a minimum GPA and/or GRE exam scores.

In summary, individuals with an RN and bachelor's degree in nursing are eligible to apply for a Ph.D. program in nursing. These programs combine coursework with a dissertation and prepare graduates for careers in education and research.

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