An Online Nursing Education Doctoral Degree from Renowned Faculty

The Nursing Education Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree is a post-master's program designed to prepare scholars for academic settings or health care organizations. You will develop excellence in teaching the discipline of nursing and engage in a research trajectory specific to nursing education. This doctoral program extends content acquired at the baccalaureate or master’s levels to emphasize knowledge development, education strategies, leadership and research.

In this program, you will draw upon the educational expertise of the university at large by utilizing curricular and research resources of other disciplines as well as those of nursing. The program requirements are distributed across three major focus areas:

  • Research (generate new knowledge to advanced nursing science)
  • Leadership (advance the professional discipline of nursing)
  • Education (promote innovative and evidence based approaches in education)

This online program, offered by the UNC School of Nursing through Extended Campus, begins each Fall via a competitive admission process.

Preparing Nurse Educators

The Nursing Education PhD program is committed to increasing the number of doctoral-level nurse educators. Graduates of the program are qualified to fill nursing faculty positions in educational institutions and health care agencies.

The fully accredited UNC School of Nursing is widely recognized for preparing excellent nurses and teachers.

Nurse Educators are Critically Needed

According to AACN's Special Survey on Vacant Faculty Positions, as of October 2022 there were more than 2,166 faculty vacancies just among the 909 nursing schools who responded to the survey. This is up from 1,500 vacancies identified in 2016.

Institutions need qualified faculty to meet growing student demand.

Nurse leaning on a wall near a supply room

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Delivered Mostly Online

The Nursing Education PhD is a 66 credit hour post-master's program that can be completed mostly online in as little as four years, though many students choose to spend additional semesters on their dissertation.

  • Program coursework is fully online.
  • You will contribute work toward your dissertation during each semester in the program, and in the fourth year all of your coursework will center on your dissertation.

Short Colorado Visits

  • There is a required 5-day orientation in July the summer before you start the program. You will spend two days in orientation on campus in Greeley and three days at the Nurse Educator Conference in the Rocky Mountains.
  • Some students choose to come to campus for their dissertation proposal hearing, dissertation defense and oral comprehensive exams.

Coursework (66 Credit Hours)

For an example of upcoming courses, visit the Current Students page for this program.

For full program requirement details, see the official program listing in the UNC Graduate Catalog.

Nursing Education PhD students have the option to expand their elective coursework via NEXus (The Nursing Education Xchange).

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