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School of Nursing  :  Academic Programs   :  Graduate   :  Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing  :  Course Descriptions

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

Course Descriptions

Doctor of Philosophy: Select course number to jump directly to that PhD-level course:

802, 877, 909, 919, 920, 935, 938, 940, 941, 942, 943, 944, 945, 946, 947, 948, 949, 957, 958, 959, 963, 964, 965, 980, 990, 997, 999

The naturalistic paradigm and various qualitative research approaches such as ethnography, phenomenology/hermeneutics, historiography, grounded theory and/or others are explored. Emphasis is placed on the appropriateness of each approach for description and explanation of phenomena encountered in clinical, organizational, and educational settings. Experience is provided in problem formulation and development of the qualitative research proposal.

PREREQUISITE: NRSG 754 Health Care Research, or admission to the Doctoral Program

Foundations and applications of education and evaluation strategies for teaching and learning in academic, clinical, research, and organizational settings are explored. Scholarly evidence from a variety of sources is used to develop educational processes, products, and evaluation strategies. Students acquire knowledge to support professional development and employ research skills as educators in diverse teaching environments with diverse learners.

PREREQUISITE: NRSG 870 Designing a Student Learning Environment, or Admission to the Doctoral Program, or consent of instructor

NRSG 909 NEXus Topics (1-9)
This course is used for enrollment in the Nursing Education Xchange Program (NEXus).  NEXus is a collaboration of doctoral programs in nursing that offer distance-accessible graduate courses.  KU School of Nursing is an academic collaborator in NEXus.  Students in Nexus schools may enroll in online doctoral courses offered by other NEXus academic collaborators.  The student’s transcript will reflect the course title, under the home school course number.  Students select appropriate NEXus courses to fit with their plans of study.  Courses are selected by the student in consultation with his/her academic adviser.  PREREQUISITE(S):  Admission to a doctoral program in nursing and completion of course-specific prerequisites.

NRSG 919 Theoretical Foundations for Leading & Communicating in Organizations (3)
Theoretical foundations in organizational decision making and communication will enhance students’  development of expertise in assessing organizations, identifying systems issues, and facilitating organization- and system-wide improvements in healthcare.Traditional approaches to organizing and communicating are contrasted with emerging approaches that promote sensitivity to diverse organizational cultures and populations.Through examination of theoretical perspectives, the student will develop an ability to integrate the contributions of different points of view and ways of thinking crucial to accurately assess, design and lead high performing healthcare organizations in a dynamic world. Prerequisite(S): Admission to a doctoral program in Nursing, HP&M, or related field, or consent of instructor.

NRSG 920 Microsystems In Healthcare Operations (3)
Competencies necessary for studying clinical microsystems and examining their influence on patient safety, satisfaction, and other clinical outcomes are developed in this course. Microsystems will be determined, deconstructed, analyzed for best practice, and re-constituted for the purpose of improved organizational performance.  The roots of quality improvement are traced and quality improvement application within a microsystem environment is explored. Key topics include: assessment tools and models, continuous quality improvement theory, evidence-based practice, performance improvement methods (measurement, statistics, problem identification and analysis, control charts) and the development of team-based problem solving and resolution.  Students examine productivity and cost indicators, strategic and operational planning, healthcare finance, relationship-building, collaboration techniques, and leadership principles.  PREREQUISITE(S):  Completion of graduate program in organizational leadership or nursing administration, or consent of instructor

Building a foundation for advanced study is explored in the context of professionalism and scholarship. Strategies for promoting professional development while preparing for future roles as nurse scholars and nurse scientists are examined. Students are introduced to a model of scholarship that includes discovery, integration, application, and teaching. Issues associated with scientific integrity in academics, research and service are identified and examined.

PREREQUISITE: Admission to Doctoral Program

The field of nursing informatics and the role of the nurse to support research and evidenced-based practice inquiry in a variety of organizational settings is introduced. The current state of the science in naming nursing phenomena and how these phenomena are represented in information systems is explored. The use of technology as an adjunct to doctoral-level inquiry and how it supports clinical and professional decision-making is explained and demonstrated.

COREQUISITE: NRSG 935, Professionalism and Scholarship Workshop, or consent of instructor

NRSG 940: Knowledge and Theory DEVELOPMENT in Nursing Science (3)
The philosophical, ethical, socio-cultural, economic, and political forces that shaped the historical course of nursing science are examined. Philosophical and scientific foundations of knowledge development in nursing science are explored. Conceptual and grand theoretical development and analysis strategies are practiced. Integration of theory, research, and practice knowledge development in nursing science is emphasized.

PREREQUISITES: NRSG 938 Informatics and Technology Applications, or consent of instructor

Skills in leading, managing, and following as the doctoral graduate assumes critical roles within academia, the healthcare system, or other business entities are developed and strengthened. Through developmental exercises, theoretical and practical explorations of organizational structures and settings, and career trajectory planning, the student is poised to optimize the doctoral experience to influence social change.

PREREQUISITE: NRSG 938 Informatics and Technology Applications, or consent of instructor

The development of middle-range theoretical structures and processes in nursing science is examined. Historical foundations of middle-range theory are traced to current trends and future possibilities in theory development, application, testing, and evaluation. Examples from nursing science and related health and social sciences are used to illustrate middle-range theory development, application, testing, and evaluation. Strategies for using existing theoretical knowledge to guide practice in diverse settings and to foster ongoing development of new knowledge are explored.

PREREQUISITES: NRSG 940 Knowledge and Theory Development in Nursing Science, or consent of instructor

Quantitative research methods are studied as they relate to investigation of phenomena in nursing and health care. Focus is on understanding the issues involved in generating research questions and hypotheses, designing and implementing studies to answer specific questions or test hypotheses, the logic and application of statistical inference, and the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to quantitative methods.

PREREQUISITE / COREQUISITE: NRSG 946 Measurement Principles and Practice, PRE 905 Multivariate Analysis, or consent of instructor

This Practicum provides a research application experience in quantitative methods and seminar discussions of quantitative research issues such as scientific integrity, research implementation and management, interpretations of statistical analyses.  Students identify a research problem/question/hypothesis that may be analyzed using existing data, plan and execute appropriate analyses to answer the question or test the hypothesis, and write a formal report including a description of what was done, why it was done, and an interpretation of the findings.

PREREQUISITES: NRSG 943 Methods for Quantitative Research, or consent of instructor

Leadership development and technologic applications are integrated with theoretical, statistical, and research methods. Doctoral leadership skills are refined and tested through case study simulations of theory and research applications in diverse practice settings. A qualifying examination concludes the Workshop consisting of a written and oral case study simulation.

PREREQUISITES: NRSG 942 Theory Application in Nursing Science, PRE 905 Multivariate Analysis, or consent of instructor, NRSG 946 Measurement Principles and Practice, NRSG 941 Preparing for Doctoral Leadership.

PREREQUISITE/COREQUISITE: NRSG 877 Foundations in Education and Learning.  

Classical measurement theory and related measurement concepts are the focus of this course. Various approaches to instrumentation are examined. Students use existing data to evaluate selected measures, with emphasis on reliability and validity. They also critically analyze published reports of instrumentation for research. Basic knowledge of concept analysis is expected prior to enrollment .

PREREQUISITE: NRSG 940 Knowledge and Theory Development in Nursing Science, or consent of instructor.

Students conduct fieldwork to implement a qualitative research proposal. Emphasis is placed on advanced application of various qualitative methods. Extended experience in qualitative data collection and analysis is provided.

PREREQUISITE: NRSG 802 Methods for Qualitative Research, NRSG 940 Knowledge and Theory Development in Nursing Science, or consent of instructor

The roles of nursing leaders in the design, measurement, and evaluation of the discipline within a variety of organizational settings are analyzed. The nuances of measurement and statistics are compared and related to the quality science paradigm, applying incremental measurement techniques to foster continuous improvement. Process design, standards development and adaptation, regulatory requirements, and consumer expectations for quality are integrated into a quality plan that aligns with the student's career trajectory.

PEREQUISITE: NRSG 944 Quantitative Research Application, NRSG 947 Qualitative Research Application, or consent of instructor

Content from the full range of doctoral courses including theory, research, statistics and professional development is integrated and synthesized. Strategies for using these content areas to meet program objectives and students' professional objectives are explored. A qualifying examination, consisting of a written and oral case study simulation, concludes the Workshop.

PREREQUISITE: Completion of all doctoral coursework, may be co-requisite with NRSG 948 Advancing Organizational and Clinical Quality, or consent of instructor.

NRSG 957 Health Informatics, Human Factors, and Ergonomics as Applied to Patient Safety (3) (2 credit hour lecture and 1 credit hour practicum)
The use of information systems including medical devices is paramount in achieving patient safety.  Students will attain an inclusive understanding of how human factors and ergonomics principles can be used to improve patient safety in the design, implementation, and evaluation of information systems and medical devices.  Additionally, health care professionals will acquire skills to appropriately apply error reduction strategies developed in high reliability organizations.  PREREQUISITE(S):  NRSG 857, or Admission to a doctoral program or consent of instructor.

NRSG 958 Knowledge Representation And Interoperability (3)
The need to exchange clinical information consistently between health care providers, care settings, researchers and others requires syntactic and semantic interoperability.  Requirements and approaches to meet interoperability will be explored.  Standards for messaging, terminology, and knowledge representation will be investigated.  PREREQUISITE(S):  NRSG 857, Admission to a doctoral program in nursing, or consent of instructor.

NRSG 959 Research Experience (2)
This practicum is an intensive research experience with a specific faculty mentor.  It involves working on part of the faculty mentor’s current research or on a subject closely related to the mentor’s work.  The student submits a proposal for this research experience to the faculty mentor.  Once the project is complete, the student presents the research orally in a structured forum and, if appropriate, develops a publishable manuscript. 

PREREQUISITE(S):  Consent of instructor.

NRSG 963 Advanced Leadership Residency (1-9)
The advanced leadership residency is designed to expand the DNP student’s breadth and depth of leadership knowledge and skills in an area of practice at the aggregate/systems/organization level.  Students will have the opportunity to enhance their existing advanced leadership skills in one or more of the following areas: organizational and systems leadership for enhancing healthcare outcomes; quality improvement strategies to support decision-making; prediction and evaluation of practice outcomes; patient safety initiatives; health care policy; creating and sustaining change at organizational and policy levels; ethics related to healthcare systems; information technology; knowledge management; or population health.  PREREQUISITE(S) / CO-REQUISITE(S):  Admission to a doctoral program in Nursing, or consent of instructor.

NRSG 964 Advanced Clinical Residency (1-9)
The advanced clinical residency is designed to expand the DNP student’s breadth and/or depth of clinical knowledge and skills in an area of practice.  The focus can be either on the delivery of sub-specialty care services or full spectrum primary care services. Students will have the opportunity to enhance their existing advanced practice skills in one or more of the following areas : 1) the diagnosis and management of ambulatory patients with complex diagnoses and comorbid conditions in the context of family, community and culture, 2) the diagnosis and management of patients with complex diagnoses and/or comorbid conditions who present with acute changes in health status requiring interventions available only in an acute care setting and 3) the diagnosis and management of patients who are unable to function independently due to age related alteration in mental and physical status, developmental, perceptual and physical disability and chronic, degenerative illness.  Students will synthesize clinical knowledge and use evidence-based decision making to construct symptom-based assessments, advanced differential diagnoses, independent therapeutic interventions, and outcome evaluation of the care of clients. 

PREREQUISITES / CO-REQUISITES:  Post-BSN students NRSG:  818, or NRSG 868, or NRSG 869, or NRSG 849, or NRSG 840, or consent of instructor

NRSG 965 Special Topics (2)
Students participate in advanced study that provides theoretical, methodological, and clinical perspectives to facilitate their pursuit of research interests in an identified specialty area.  Methods include directed readings, discussions, and the interpretation of data-based literature.  Examples of topics are theory and research issues related to health systems, symptom management, or health behavior; topic for any given semester to be announced.  PREREQUISITE(S):  Consent of instructor

NRSG 980 DNP Capstone Project (1-6)
The capstone project is an amalgamation of the student’s field of inquiry in his/her doctoral course of study.  As such, the capstone requires that a practice-focused problem be identified and examined in depth.  For most students the capstone project will include application of an evidence-based intervention suitable to their area of focus (e.g. organizational leadership, clinical practice, education, etc.) that involves the appropriate metric (or sets of metrics) evaluation, and dissemination of the project findings to a targeted audience.  The capstone project must meet capstone guidelines for the DNP program.  PREREQUISITE(S):  NRSG 754, graduate level statistics course, consent of instructor.  CO-REQUISITE(S):  OTMS 835.

NRSG 990 Doctoral Research (1-12)
Original and independent investigation approved by and conducted under the supervision of the student’s advisor or advisory committee and in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the PhD degree.  PREREQUISITE(S):  NRSG 959 and consent of instructor.

NRSG 997 Independent Study in Nursing (1-4)
Having chosen an appropriate mentor, the student selects an area of advanced study.  Specific objectives and credit hours are jointly determined by the student and selected faculty member.  PREREQUISITE(S):  Prior graduate course work in the area of study, and consent of instructor.

NRSG 999 Dissertation (1-12)
Preparation of the dissertation based upon original research and in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the PhD degree.  Credit is given only after the dissertation proposal has been accepted by the student’s dissertation committee.  PREREQUISITE(S) / CO-REQUISITE(S):  NRSG 990 and consent of advisor.

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