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PhD Program Overview

Fall 2024 Application Period Open Until March 15, 2024

The values of the PhD program are rooted in the Florida Atlantic University College of Nursing philosophy, mission, and vision in which health and well-being are transformed locally, nationally, and globally through nursing grounded in caring. The over-arching and grounding framework of the PhD program is the science of caring.

Faculty members engage with PhD students to create a learning environment that is accessible as well as supportive. We see you as our colleagues, and we strive to support your development as emerging nurse scholars and future leaders. At the same time, you challenge us to consider our ideas, shaping our ongoing growth as more senior scholars in the discipline of Nursing. As a graduate of this PhD program, you will be an expert in the Caring science that underpins our discipline; you will carry the thread of Caring science into your own research; and, you will have command of foundational research knowledge with experience essential for beginning on your path as an accomplished nurse scientist. We look forward to working with you.

If you are interested in our PhD Program, please know that you can be a full or part-time student, that there is financial support for full time students, our core courses are most often on weekends (once a month during each semester with cyberspace interaction between face-to-face classes) and we are here to help you. The Office for Nursing Research, Scholarship, and PhD studies is located in Suite 215 at the College of Nursing. Please stop by to see us!

Research Focus Areas

We have four research areas:

Focus area definitions with examples of active research:

Healthy aging - understanding and optimizing human health development across the lifespan

  • Improving quality of life and quality of care for aging Americans
  • Patterns of stress in memory center enrollees and their family members
  • Pharmacological pain management associated with polypharmacy among ethically diverse older adults
  • Allostatic load and ethnicity as predictors of abnormal glucose metabolism in postmenopausal women
  • Fall prevention program for community dwelling elders

Health equity - clarifying and eliminating health disparities associated with human uniqueness, such as ethnicity, socioeconomics, gender, and age

  • Substance use prevention in Native American Indian adolescents
  • Measuring caregiver strain for people living with stigma
  • Pregnancy prevention: Promoting adolescent planning for future success
  • Safe choices to prevent HIV/AIDS in Afro-Caribbean American youth

Holistic health - exploring and testing integrative approaches to health promotion and healing

  • Effect of garden walking and reflective journaling on persons in support groups
  • Promoting peace through dramatic performance based on the stories of Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima survivors
  • Understanding healing self and other from the perspective of holistic nurses
  • Exploring the power of social engagement resources to sustain health

Transforming Healthcare Environments - describing and shaping workforce and organizational factors that impact quality care in healthcare settings

  • Evaluating emerging nurse leader development, best practices in mentoring and succession planning strategies
  • Evaluating the contribution of educational podcasts to preceptor perception of support
  • Embracing, creating and sustaining a positive work culture
  • Communication and collaboration between medical and nursing students
  • Cultural perspectives of nurses related to ethical situations
  • Integrating caring science into simulation

Dissertation Topics of Recent Graduates

Keys to Success in the PhD program

Program Outcomes of the PhD in Nursing Program

Graduates of the Doctoral Program will be able to:

  • Develop self as a researcher with a foundation in caring science
  • Evaluate theory-guided approaches to synthesize an evidence-base that informs the development of caring knowledge and practice
  • Create research designs that honor the calls in nursing situations and integrate understanding gleaned from complex patterns of knowing
  • Demonstrate accountability as an ethical nurse researcher
  • Integrate cultural humility into research methods, including study design, sample selection and data collection plans
  • Lead systematic inquiry that enhances nursing practice, improves healthcare delivery, and contributes to nursing science
  • Analyze available technology and information systems for use in collaborative research
  • Construct the foundation for a research program intended to promote well-being for a particular population within the context of lifespan development
  • Engage with colleagues living values expressive of caring in all endeavors, including ones where communities or research scholars convene
  • Design research that reflects valuing for human dignity and understanding of complex local, national, and global policies that affect the lives of populations of interest
  • Establish a foundation for transforming complex healthcare systems through intra and inter disciplinary research informed by caring science
  • Become an example of responsible stewardship by advancing the discipline through well-designed research; honoring the profession through engagement in meaningful nursing leadership activities; preserving resources and respecting the environment through everyday actions

Financing the PhD in Nursing Degree

There are a limited number of assistantships and fee waivers available for full-time students.  In addition, there are limited scholarship funds available for students who meet the criteria.  Interested students should obtain information on financial assistance from the Director and/or Coordinator of the PhD Program.

Nurse Faculty Loan Program

The Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP) provides funds to advanced education nursing programs that prepare graduates to serve as future faculty in a school of nursing. Students enrolled in FAU’s PhD in Nursing program who plan to work as nursing faculty are eligible to apply for funds from the NFLP.  Up to 85% of the NFLP loan can be cancelled when loan recipients work as full-time nurse faculty at a school of nursing for a period of four (4) consecutive years. Visit the College of Nursing’s Financial Aid and Scholarships section of the website for more information.

Cost to Attend FAU

Florida Atlantic University offers a quality education experience at a reasonable rate. FAU’s graduate tuition and fees are slightly below the average cost for other Florida public universities.

Estimated Tuition Per Credit Hour Breakdown

Graduate Student

Florida Resident         $369.82 per credit hour

Non-Florida Resident  $1,024.81 per credit hour

Information & Advising for the PhD in Nursing Program

PhD Advisor Director, PhD in Nursing Program

 Gerardo Guzman

 Howard Butcher

777 Glades Rd.

Boca Raton, FL  33431

777 Glades Rd

Boca Raton, FL 33431

Phone: 561-297-0006

Phone: 561-297-2659

Fax: 561-297-1074

 Fax: 561-297-1074