Dec 09, 2023  
2009-2011 Graduate Catalog 

Nursing Ph.D.

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Individuals who complete the PhD in Nursing Program will be prepared for roles as leader, scholar/researcher, and educator in academia, the health care industry, or government and private organizations focused on health care. Graduates will demonstrate the following program outcomes:
  • Provide leadership in the advancement of nursing as an academic and practice discipline and in political processes that affect nursing and healthcare.
  • Conduct original research that generates new knowledge.
  • Develop, implement and evaluate innovative approaches to teaching and learning.

Program Entrance Requirements

Admission into the nursing doctoral program is contingent upon the qualifications of the applicant and the availability of positions. Students are admitted once a year in the fall. Applicants must have submitted all required materials by March 1.

Admission Requirements

  1. Earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from programs accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education; persons educated outside the United States need to demonstrate proof of equivalent education and advanced degrees.
  2. Persons holding a bachelor’s degree in nursing and master’s degree in a health-related discipline from an accredited institution are eligible for admission but will need to successfully complete  ,    and   from the MSN program prior to taking doctoral courses.
  3. A minimal grade point average of 3.5 (4.0 = A) earned in a nursing or health-related master’s program of study.
  4. Successful completion of graduate course work in statistics and research.
  5. Licensed as a Registered Nurse in at least one state or territory of the US.
  6. Applicants must present competitive GRE scores on verbal, quantitative and analytic measures. The exam must have been taken within the last five years.
  7. Three letters of recommendation are required from individuals who can evaluate the applicant’s motivation, academic capability, scholarship potential, and personal integrity for doctoral study in nursing.
  8. Evidence of current health and malpractice insurance. Accepted applicants must, prior to enrollment, show proof of completion of the Hepatitis B vaccine series, a titer indicating presumptive immunity, or a statement from a health care provider indicating that vaccination is contraindicated for health reasons and validation of a negative drug screen. Other immunization and health data requirements are identified in the student handbook.
  9. Applicants must submit the following written materials for review: a. Two representative samples of scholarly work (e.g., thesis, demonstration project, publications, etc.). b. Written statement of personal career, educational and scholarship goals including identification of research interests. The applicant’s research interests must be within the realm of our faculty expertise in order to pursue a doctoral degree in this program. c. Curriculum Vita or resume.
  10. Applicants are required to participate in an interview with members of the Admissions Committee, either in person or by telephone.

Course Offerings

Doctoral courses offered by the School of Nursing are web-based. However, students are required to be on campus three days at the beginning of each fall semester. These meeting times and dates are set in advance to allow students adequate time to plan their schedules and most likely occur on Friday and/or Saturday.

Programs of Study

There are two options in the current PhD in Nursing Program: “Nursing Education” Option and “Urban Sustainability: Health” Option (approved and is scheduled to enroll students in Fall of 2010). The UNLV SON PhD in Nursing Curriculum Framework outlines the shared required core courses in the PhD in Nursing Program as well as the selected Option required courses.

A minimum of 65 graduate credit hours is required. Students who have completed appropriate nursing education courses prior to admission will complete a reduced number of credits for a total of no less than 53 graduate credit hours. Students can enroll for either part-time or full-time study.

Credit Hours and Grade Point Average

A minimum of 65 graduate credit hours is required (students who have completed courses 709, 710, 724, and 733 or equivalent course work in either their masters’ or postmasters’ education are required to complete a minimum of 53 credits of required course work). A grade point average of 3.0 must be maintained in all courses required for the degree; no grade less than B is acceptable for curricular completion of the program. Each student, upon admission, will be assigned an initial academic advisor who will plan the student’s entire program of study for submission to the Ph.D. Coordinator for approval. Approved courses will include those taught in other disciplines and must relate to the student’s area of research.

Progression and Policies

Initial advisors monitor the student’s progress through the program of study. In addition, the Ph.D. Coordinator will monitor the student’s progress, including adherence to all established policies of the Graduate College. After the student has selected a research topic, the student may either continue with the assigned initial advisor or request a change of advisor based on research focus and needs. Upon student recommendation, faculty acceptance, and approval from both the Ph.D. Coordinator and the Graduate College, the advisor will be changed.

Dissertation Prospectus

Upon successfully completing the comprehensive examination, the student submits a dissertation prospectus to his/her committee for approval. Once the prospectus is approved by the committee, the student submits a “Prospectus Approval Form” to the Graduate College. Upon completion of these requirements, the student achieves candidacy and can register for dissertation credits and begin independent study. The student’s major advisor and dissertation committee are responsible for the student’s progression through the dissertation.

Comprehensive Examination

Upon completion of all required course work other than dissertation and research seminar, each student must take a written Comprehensive Examination that will assess a doctoral student’s readiness to begin the doctoral dissertation. Specifically, the examination will evaluate a student’s written and oral articulation of a possible dissertation research focus or problem.

Upon completion of these requirements, the student achieves candidacy and can register for dissertation credits and begin independent dissertation study.

Final Oral Examination

Upon completion of the dissertation, the student must pass a final oral examination which involves the successful defense of the dissertation study. All dissertation committee members must be present for this examination and may question the student following presentation of the study. The defense will be scheduled and conducted in accordance with the Graduate College’s policies for dissertation completion.

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