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Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing


Important Documents

Approval of Minor Paper form PDF document (image)

Progress Toward Degree (Do-all) Form PDF document (image)

Dissertation Formatting PDF document (image)

PhD Student Manual PDF document (image)

Expand your course options through NEXus!

KU is a member of the Nursing Education Xchange, a collaboration between nursing programs to allow doctoral students at member institutions to take courses that may not be offered at his/her home institution. Details

Related Info

Information for Prospective Students at KU Medical Center

Computer Standards

Online Learning Is it Right for You?

School of Nursing Faculty Directory

KUMC Student Handbook

The doctoral program at the University of Kansas School of Nursing has been in existence since 1983. Only 23 doctoral programs in nursing were established prior to our KU program. Beginning in the Summer Semester of 2006, the program has been available online.


The four purposes of the PhD program in nursing are to prepare graduates to function in faculty positions in college and university settings; to conduct independent research and scholarly endeavors in nursing; to generate and expand theoretical, empirical, and philosophical bases for nursing practice; and to provide leadership to the profession and interpret nursing to society.


The doctoral program in nursing at the University of Kansas School of Nursing is based on theory and research skills gained in baccalaureate and master's education in nursing. The focus is on the development of critical thinking, independent decision-making and evaluation. The student develops expertise in research methods related to the biological, social, and nursing sciences. Development and analysis of concepts and theories used in nursing education and practice are integral components of doctoral education.

The nurse engaged in doctoral study in nursing is an adult learner with unique perspectives gained from personal, professional, and educational experiences. This individual tends to be self directed, goal oriented, highly motivated and capable of abstract, original thinking. Individual interests are explored through study in a related discipline. Learning is achieved through independent study and research, as well as through completion of courses of instruction.

The KU School of Nursing doctoral program prepares nurse educators and research scholars for positions in college, university, or health care settings. Graduates are prepared to advance the art and science of nursing and to assume leadership positions in the profession.


  1. Develop expertise in the application of theoretical and conceptual frameworks to nursing.
  2. Conduct and communicate research that advances the body of scientific nursing knowledge.
  3. Analyze, develop, and evaluate concepts and theories that contribute to the science of nursing.
  4. Evaluate the impact of the expanded knowledge base in nursing and external forces on the provision of health care to society and on the development of health care policy.
  5. Examine the ways in which nursing knowledge and practice are influenced by historical developments, philosophical thought and cultural diversity.

Time to Degree

The median time to degree for students who graduated in 2004-2009 and completed the course work on a full time basis is  4 years.  The median time for all students who graduated in those years is 5 years. 

Employment After Graduation

Of the 99 graduates (1986-2009), 74% have been employed in nursing education as faculty members, researchers, and administrators.  Employment categories for the remaining 28% include directors of research in hospitals, hospital systems and other health agencies, pharmaceutical research, clinical practice settings, National Institutes of Health, consultation, professional writing and nursing administration positions in hospitals and other agencies. 

Questions? Contact Us!

The University of Kansas School of Nursing
Office of Student Affairs
Mail Stop 2029
3901 Rainbow Blvd. 
Kansas City, KS 66160

toll-free: 1-888-588-1619
TTY 711

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