The Ph.D. in Nursing Science, a hybrid program relying on a combination of face-to-face and online instruction, was designed to educate nurse scientists who will use research-based knowledge, theories, and interventions in their roles as researchers, educators, and administrators. Applicants admitted to the Ph.D. program are admitted to the College of Graduate Health Sciences (CGHS). Although nursing faculty teach most courses included within the program schema, students have the opportunity to learn and network with CGHS students from other disciplines while enrolled in biostatistics, health policy, and medical ethics courses. Students work closely throughout their program of study with a faculty advisor or mentor with whom they share a common research interest. The two main areas of faculty research focus are bio-behavioral interactions and interventions, and improving patient outcomes. The mission of the Ph.D. in Nursing Sciences is to prepare nurse scientists to generate and apply knowledge locally and globally. This is achieved through an educational program that emphasizes (1) application, testing, and generation of theory that contributes to new knowledge in nursing; (2) innovative, rigorous, and ethical research that advances knowledge in nursing and the health sciences; (3) analysis, synthesis, dissemination, and translation of research and scholarly work; (4) research and scholarship that is guided by diversity, equity, and inclusion principles; and (5) the integration of nursing knowledge and the translation of evidence from research into practice and policy.
Admission and Selection
The matriculation for new students is in the fall term (mid-August). Most students apply before December in the year prior to matriculation. The final application deadline is February 1. Applications are reviewed as received. The admission requirements are:
- Have earned a minimum of a baccalaureate degree from college or university accredited by one of the following accreditors:
- Higher Learning Commission
- Middle States Commission on Higher Education
- New England Commission of Higher Education
- Northwest Commission on College and Universities
- Southern Association of Colleges and School, Commission on Colleges
- WASC Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
- WASC Senior Colleges and University Commission
If the baccalaureate degree is in Nursing, it must be from a program accredited by a national level body responsible for nursing accreditation. If the baccalaureate degree is not in nursing, the applicant must have completed a master’s degree in Nursing.
- A minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in the latest degree-earning academic program.
- It is recommended that the applicant has completed at least an undergraduate statistics and research course.
- Any applicant to the graduate program whose first language is not English and who has earned neither a bachelor’s nor a master’s degree from a college or university in an English-speaking country must have achieved a TOEFL score of at least 213/79 on the computer-based/Internet- based exam or an IELTS score of 6.5 (earned within 2 years prior to application). Any applicant whose first language is not English but who has earned a baccalaureate or advanced degree from a college or university in an English-speaking country where instruction was in English may be exempted from the requirement for the TOEFL or IELTS examination.
- Three letters of recommendation.
- Transcripts from any non-US institution must be verified and certified to generate a grade point average (GPA) based on a 4.0 scale. Verification must be completed before February 1.
- Hold or be eligible for an unrestricted RN license in Tennessee
Technical Standards and Accommodations
The minimum abilities for eligibility to participate successfully in educational programs and activities by students enrolled in the College of Graduate Health Sciences are listed below. All persons who wish to enter one of the programs in the College should be aware of the minimum abilities required for success. Admission decisions for the College programs do not take disabilities into consideration; students may disclose their disabilities after admission.
Minimum abilities are as follows:
- To make proper assessments and ethical judgments regarding research and professional decisions.
- To communicate effectively with colleagues and professional staff.
- To acquire necessary information developed through classroom instruction, laboratory experience, independent learning, and consultation.
- To search and evaluate articles in the scientific literature.
- To obtain, interpret, and accurately document research data.
- To complete computer-based assignments and use computers.
- To understand and carry out safety rules and precautions in the laboratory.
- To handle emergencies in the laboratory, including fire, exposure to dangerous agents, and explosions.
These abilities may be accomplished through direct student response, use of prosthetic devices, or personal assistance (e.g., readers, signers, and note takers). Upon admission, students are invited to disclose any disabilities (with certification) to the Student Academic Support Services and Inclusion (SASSI). The college will provide reasonable accommodations, as required by the student’s documented disabilities with SASSI, and at the student’s written request to the Dean, College of Graduate Health Sciences. Purchase of prosthetic devices to aid the student in meeting these requirements is the responsibility of the student. On a case-by-case basis and upon written request of the student, the College may assist in providing attending services.