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PhD Program Overview

Fall 2024 Application Period Open Until March 15, 2024

The Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing offers a Doctor of Philosophy with Major in Nursing (PhD) degree program and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program. The doctoral programs are grounded in the philosophy of caring and focus on the integration and application of advanced nursing research for improved nursing practice and betterment of humankind.

The graduate of the Doctor of Philosophy with Major in Nursing (PhD) degree program is expected to expand nursing knowledge and theory and directly impact the health of clients and communities. The focus of the PhD program is to prepare nurses as scholars in conducting nursing research about practice problems and creating innovative responses to practice issues.


Research Focus Areas

We have four research areas:

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


Meet our Students

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


Information Session


Information & Advising for the PhD in Nursing Program

Gerardo Guzman

Gerardo Guzman

PhD Advisor

Phone: 561-297-2757

Fax: 561-297-1074

Howard Butcher

Dr. Howard Butcher

Director, PhD in Nursing Program

Phone: 561-297-2659