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Nursing faculty at Kent State

Nursing - Ph.D.

Become a Leader in Nursing Research with Kent State's Ph.D. Program. The Nursing Ph.D. program provides you with the opportunity to contribute to the field of nursing through research, scholarship and teaching. Read more...

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More About This Program

A Ph.D. in Nursing will prepare you to fulfill your purpose. Whether you have always wanted to conduct cutting-edge research, educate and mentor future nurses, lead large health organizations, or any combination of these and more, earning a research doctorate in nursing from Kent State University can open doors of opportunity. With a Ph.D. in Nursing, you can join the highest echelons in the nursing profession throughout the world.

Located in northeast Ohio, Kent State is a leading academic choice for nurses, not only in Ohio and across the region, but throughout the nation and internationally. Because Kent State is a top public R1 research university, you will have access to a wide variety of facilities and support services to fulfill your research ambitions.

Our doctoral nursing program is rigorous and is specifically designed to produce the next generation of nurse scientists and scholars. Our expert faculty created a state-of-the-science, streamlined curriculum, which will provide you with knowledge and skills to contribute meaningfully to nursing science.

Program Information

Program Description

Full Description

The Ph.D. degree in Nursing prepares nurse scientists to develop methods to advance health, health care and the nursing profession. Graduates are expected to lead and promote interprofessional innovative scholarly endeavors and to assume leadership roles in the profession.

Admissions

For more information about graduate admissions, visit the graduate admission website. For more information on international admissions, visit the international admission website.

Admission Requirements

  • Active, unrestricted U.S. registered nurse license (international students need to show proof of legal ability to practice as a registered nurse in country of origin)
  • Bachelor's or master's degree in nursing or related field, or a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, from an accredited program1
  • Minimum overall 3.000 graduate GPA on a 4.000-point scale
  • Official transcript(s)
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae
  • Essay (two pages, single-spaced) addressing the following questions:
    • Why do you want to pursue a Ph.D. in nursing?
    • What are your professional goals?
    • How have you been involved in research, publications and professional presentations?
    • How have you been involved in professional organizations?
    • What are your research interests?
    • Why are you interested in these research areas?
    • How could research—and specifically your research—in these areas advance science?
  • Three letters of reference from health care professionals or academic faculty members who can speak to the applicant's professional and academic abilities (two of the three references from doctoral-prepared individuals are preferred)
  • Interview
  • English language proficiency - all international students must provide proof of English language proficiency (unless they meet specific exceptions) by earning one of the following:2
    • Minimum 560 TOEFL PBT score
    • Minimum 83 TOEFL IBT score
    • Minimum78 MELAB score
    • Minimum 6.5 IELTS score
    • Minimum 55 PTE score
    • Minimum 110 Duolingo English score
1

A bachelor's degree in a closely related health field may be considered if the applicant has a master's degree in nursing or a D.N.P. degree from an accredited program. A master's degree in a closely related field may be considered if the applicant has a bachelor's degree in nursing from an accredited program.

2

International applicants who do not meet the above test scores may be considered for conditional admission.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall Semester
    • Priority deadline: March 1
  • Spring Semester
    • Priority deadline: November 1
  • Summer Term
    • Priority deadline: March 1

Applications submitted by these deadlines will receive the strongest consideration for admission.

Learning Outcomes

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Generate new knowledge that contributes to the advancement of health, healthcare and nursing science.
  2. Disseminate advances in scientific knowledge.
  3. Use collaborative, interdisciplinary and innovative approaches to advance nursing science.
  4. Assume leadership roles in healthcare and education as researchers, educators and advanced clinicians.
  5. Serve as stewards of the diversity within the body of knowledge for the discipline of nursing.
Coursework

Program Requirements

Major Requirements

Major Requirements (min B grade in all courses)
NURS 70710HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF NURSING SCIENCE 2
NURS 70711SCIENTIFIC WRITING 2
NURS 70712RESEARCH DESIGN FUNDAMENTALS 2
NURS 70713ADVANCED STATISTICS I 2
NURS 70714LEADERSHIP FOR NURSING SCIENCE 3
NURS 70715THEORY CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT IN NURSING 3
NURS 70740ADVANCED STATISTICS II 3
NURS 70741ADVANCED STATISTICS III 3
NURS 70742ADVANCED QUALITATIVE METHODS FOR HEALTH SCIENCES 4
NURS 70743ADVANCED QUANTITATIVE METHODS FOR HEALTH SCIENCES 4
NURS 70744PROPOSAL DEVELOPMENT 3
NURS 70753DATA SCIENCE AND NURSING 3
NURS 70798RESEARCH IN NURSING (taken twice) 23-5
Post-Baccalaureate Requirements
NURS 70716INNOVATION AND INTERVENTION RESEARCH 3
NURS 70718ROLES AND EVALUATION 3
NURS 70739RESEARCH IN HEALTH DISPARITIES 3
Nursing Science Electives, choose from the following: 26-12
BSCI 70195
SPECIAL TOPICS IN BIOLOGY
BSCI 80145
MEDICAL GENOMICS
BST 73011
MULTIVARIATE ANALYSIS IN PUBLIC HEALTH
BST 83013
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGNS IN PUBLIC HEALTH RESEARCH
BST 83014
APPLIED REGRESSION ANALYSIS OF PUBLIC HEALTH DATA
CI 77001
FUNDAMENTALS OF CURRICULUM
COMM 75040
QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS IN COMMUNICATION
CULT 89595
SPECIAL TOPICS IN CULTURAL FOUNDATIONS
EPI 83018
OBSERVATIONAL DESIGNS FOR CLINICAL RESEARCH
EPSY 75524
LEARNING THEORIES
HED 81550
APPLIED THEORY IN HEALTH EDUCATION RESEARCH AND PRACTICE
HED 84050
HEALTH BEHAVIOR
HPM 72015
EMERGING ISSUES IN PUBLIC HEALTH POLICY AND MANAGEMENT
PSYC 70326
CLINICAL ASPECTS OF HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY
PSYC 71307
PSYCHOBIOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY
PSYC 80391
SEMINAR IN CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY
RMS 75522
BASICS OF QUALITATIVE INTERVIEWING
RMS 75533
INTRODUCTION TO NARRATIVE INQUIRY AND ANALYSIS
RMS 78715
SURVEY DESIGN AND APPLIED RESEARCH IN EDUCATION
RMS 78735
STRUCTURAL EQUATION MODELING
RMS 78745
HIERARCHICAL LINEAR MODELING
RMS 85520
MIXED METHODS RESEARCH
RMS 85540
GROUNDED THEORY AND PHENOMENOLOGICAL RESEARCH
RMS 85550
ETHNOGRAPHY AND CASE STUDY RESEARCH
SBS 73018
THEORIES OF PREVENTION SCIENCE
SBS 73019
METHODS OF PREVENTION SCIENCE
SBS 80030
CODING FOR QUALITATIVE RESEARCH
SBS 80040
TRANSCRIBING INDIVIDUAL AND GROUP INTERVIEWS FOR QUALITATIVE RESEARCH
SBS 80100
EMERGING ISSUES IN PREVENTION SCIENCE
SBS 83010
QUALITATIVE METHODS FOR PUBLIC HEALTH RESEARCH
SBS 83011
QUALITATIVE DATA ANALYSIS
SOC 72219
QUALITATIVE METHODS IN SOCIOLOGY
SOC 72221
ADVANCED QUALITATIVE METHODS IN SOCIOLOGY
Culminating Requirement
NURS 80199DISSERTATION I 130
Minimum Total Credit Hours for Post-Baccalaureate Students90
Minimum Total Credit Hours for Post-Master's Students73
1

Each doctoral candidate, upon admission to candidacy, must register for NURS 80199 for a total of 30 credit hours. It is expected that a doctoral candidate will continuously register for Dissertation I, and thereafter NURS 80299, each semester, until all requirements for the degree have been met.

2

Elective courses support the student's research interest and are selected with the approval of the student's academic advisor. Two 3-credit hour doctoral-level courses will supplement the student's program of study in a substantive area of research or specific method of research, including advanced statistical approaches, or assist the student with career goals following graduation.

Candidacy Examination

At the conclusion of coursework, students sit for the candidacy examination. The examination provides the basis for evaluation of the student’s readiness for completing the dissertation. Students must successfully pass candidacy and a proposal defense before beginning dissertation work.

Progression Requirements

  • Students who do not earn a minimum B grade in a course must repeat it and cannot take other courses that require that course as a prerequisite until the course is successfully retaken. Students who do not earn a minimum B grade in the second attempt may be dismissed from the Ph.D. degree.

Graduation Requirements

  • Minimum B grade required in all courses to earn the Ph.D. degree.
  • Passage of the candidacy examination
  • Submission and successful defense of a dissertation

Students with a D.N.P. degree may receive permission to have coursework waived if supported by the appropriate and recent coursework; however, maximum 12 credit hours may transfer to the Ph.D.. The waiver of each specific course will be determined by the relevant academic department. These students may graduate with less than 72 credit hours but no fewer than 60 total credit hours.

Roadmap

Roadmap

This roadmap is a recommended semester-by-semester plan of study for this major. However, courses designated as critical (!) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation.

Plan of Study Grid
Semester OneCredits
NURS 70710 HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF NURSING SCIENCE 2
NURS 70711 SCIENTIFIC WRITING 2
NURS 70712 RESEARCH DESIGN FUNDAMENTALS 2
NURS 70713 ADVANCED STATISTICS I 2
 Credit Hours8
Semester Two
NURS 70715 THEORY CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT IN NURSING 3
NURS 70740 ADVANCED STATISTICS II 3
NURS 70742 ADVANCED QUALITATIVE METHODS FOR HEALTH SCIENCES 4
NURS 70798 RESEARCH IN NURSING 2
 Credit Hours12
First Summer Term
NURS 70714 LEADERSHIP FOR NURSING SCIENCE 3
NURS 70716 INNOVATION AND INTERVENTION RESEARCH 3
 Credit Hours6
Semester Three
NURS 70741 ADVANCED STATISTICS III 3
NURS 70798 RESEARCH IN NURSING 3
Nursing Science Elective 3
 Credit Hours9
Semester Four
NURS 70718 ROLES AND EVALUATION 3
NURS 70739 RESEARCH IN HEALTH DISPARITIES 3
NURS 70753 DATA SCIENCE AND NURSING 3
Nursing Science Elective 3
 Credit Hours12
Second Summer Term
Nursing Science Elective 3
 Credit Hours3
Semester Five
NURS 70743 ADVANCED QUANTITATIVE METHODS FOR HEALTH SCIENCES 4
Nursing Science Elective 3
 Credit Hours7
Semester Six
NURS 70744 PROPOSAL DEVELOPMENT 3
 Credit Hours3
Semester Seven
NURS 80199 DISSERTATION I 15
 Credit Hours15
Semester Eight
NURS 80199 DISSERTATION I 15
 Credit Hours15
 Minimum Total Credit Hours:90
Program Delivery
  • Delivery:
    • In person
  • Location:
    • Kent Campus
Why Kent State?
  • Flexibility. The program can be completed either full-time or part-time. In fact, the majority of our nursing Ph.D. students – including full-time students – continue to work while completing coursework and dissertation research.
  • Personalized faculty guidance. Students receive mentorship and advising from experienced researchers and teachers. In addition to their research expertise, faculty members in the Ph.D. in Nursing program bring strong mentorship skills to assist you to reach your goals.
  • Convenience. Kent State is the only public research university in northern Ohio that offers a Ph.D. in Nursing. Located just 40 miles from Cleveland, Ohio, and 100 miles from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Kent State University is centrally located and is easy to access from major highways.
  • Credibility. Kent State’s nursing programs are recognized throughout the region and the world for their excellence. Graduates of this program hold positions in leading universities and healthcare systems.
  • Community. Before classes even start, students attend an orientation where they are immersed in a cross-university community that only a large research institution with a culture of inclusiveness can provide. Professional development workshops, networking events, and weekend dissertation bootcamps are only a few of the opportunities that are offered to help students become socialized to the role of a research scientist.
Find a Faculty Mentor

When choosing a doctoral program, it is important to find a faculty advisor and mentor who is an expert in the research area that you are interested in. Kent State College of Nursing provides research support through our own Center for Nursing Research

Kent State has many innovative research institutes and initiatives that provide opportunities for cross-discipline research in areas such as brain health, environmental design, global understanding, and healthy communities. These collaborative opportunities are invaluable, as they help doctoral students gain insights from leading experts outside the discipline of nursing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I continue to work while attending the program?

Yes. In fact, according to a recent survey of Ph.D. in Nursing students at Kent State, the majority continue to work full-time while enrolled in the program.

What is the difference between the Ph.D. and the DNP?

At the most basic level, the Ph.D. is a research-focused doctorate, while the DNP is a practice-focused doctorate.

Which doctoral degree you choose depends on your area of interest (nursing science or advanced clinical practice), your overall career goals (practice, education, research) and your prior nursing experience. 

See the Ph.D. or DNP: What Nursing Doctorate is Right for You? page to compare and contrast these two degrees.

By earning a Ph.D., would I be limiting my career options to being a professor?

No! While the Ph.D. will prepare you to work as a researcher and professor in academia, there are numerous opportunities for doctoral-prepared nurses throughout the workforce.

For example, many Ph.D. nurses are employed as researchers for hospitals and health systems. Many also hold top leadership positions within these organizations. 

Additional opportunities include independent consulting and leading nursing and healthcare associations.

Do you offer graduate assistantships?

As the majority of students in this program work full- or part-time as practicing nurses or nurse educators and have some or all of their tuition costs covered by their employer, we do not offer graduate assistantships.

The university does offer a number of awards and fellowships for graduate students. Additionally, the federal government provides generous loan forgiveness programs for nurse educators and nurses who work in public service.

Is this program online?

The majority of courses are delivered face-to-face at the Kent campus. A few courses (i.e., not more than one each semester) may be offered online. A few courses may be offered face-to-face using an intensive formatting.

Where is Kent, Ohio?

Map of Ohio with locations of major cities and Kent State University

Kent, Ohio, is a small city located in the northeast Ohio region, near Cleveland, Akron, Canton, and Youngstown. Known for its density of trees, black squirrels, and scenic sites along the Cuyahoga River, Kent is a destination for nature lovers and is home to over a dozen parks and nature preserves.

The city's proximity to multiple Interstate highways allows for easy navigation to and from major cities across the region, including Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Youngstown, and Akron.

Many adult students are deciding to plant roots in Kent, drawn to its growing diverse population, family-friendly atmosphere, highly-ranked public schools, and central location.

Discover Kent & Kent State University

Examples of Possible Careers and Salaries

Nursing instructors and teachers, postsecondary

17.6%

much faster than the average

72,900

number of jobs

$75,470

potential earnings

Notice:

* Source of occupation titles and labor data comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook. Data comprises projected percent change in employment over the next 10 years; nation-wide employment numbers; and the yearly median wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less.

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Testimonial

Testimonial

Quotes

I feel very fortunate to represent Kent State University as a graduate of the Ph.D. program in the College of Nursing. As an advanced practice nurse, I sought an institution that would help me bring all my personal and professional experiences together in developing a program of research that I could be proud in contributing to the science. The College of Nursing is defined by dedicated professors who play a major role in expanding and evolving nursing science. They do so not only by conducting research, but also mentoring future leaders of the nursing profession."

 
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Photo of Juan Del Valle, PhD, CRNA
Juan Del Valle, PhD, CRNA
2020 Ph.D. Graduate