Nursing — Ph.D.
The aim of the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree program in nursing is to prepare nurse scholars for leadership in education, health-care administration, and research. The Ph.D. degree in nursing is a research-oriented degree with emphases on the development of nursing science in the areas of vulnerable populations, health/wellness/wholeness, and health systems research. The nurse-scientist who completes this program should be committed to the generation of knowledge critical to development of nursing science and practice. Graduates join other nursing leaders in furthering the development of nursing science and improving health-care delivery throughout the world. The program is designed for entry with a minimum of a B.S. degree. Advanced standing, of up to 32 units, is given to students with a prior master's degree in nursing. See program requirements for more details. The program completion range is three-to-seven years (projected mean is five years) depending on whether students are full or part time.
Learning outcomes for Doctor of Philosophy
The learning outcomes of the Ph.D. degree program are designed to prepare nurse scientists and scholars with a Christian perspective for leadership in education, health-care administration, and research within a global community. Upon completion of the Ph.D. degree, the graduate should be able to:
- Embrace a holistic perspective on life and demonstrate this by integrating the bio-psycho-social-spiritual dimensions in teaching, scholarship, and service;
- Extend Christ-centered values to nursing scholarship and education;
- Serve as a nurse scholar through the generation and dissemination of knowledge relevant to nursing science, health policy, and the nursing profession;
- Explain complex phenomena clearly in spoken and written English to both professional and lay audiences;
- Demonstrate advanced competency and leadership in the use of technology for the purpose of generating new knowledge in nursing;
- Engage in collaborative discourse, scholarship, and leadership contributing to health care and society;
- Expand the knowledge and science in the provision of nursing-related care to diverse groups.
The Ph.D. degree program is offered using a year-round hybrid/blended format, including both face-to-face on the Loma Linda University campus and distance-learning strategies. The curriculum has six domains: core courses (B.S. to Ph.D.), Ph.D. role courses, concentration/elective courses (to support the dissertation), methods courses (research methods and statistics), religion, and dissertation units. The department has identified approximately 20 courses within the School of Nursing that could be selected to satisfy requirements within the domains as well as a variety of courses in other Loma Linda University schools and the NEXus* consortium that may support the student’s dissertation interest.
The doctoral degree provides an in-depth understanding of knowledge development within the discipline of nursing through philosophical, theoretical, and scientific methods of inquiry. The student is encouraged to select an individually focused area of advanced inquiry that will support their chosen area of expertise in nursing and falls within the broad scope of vulnerable populations, health/wellness/wholeness, or health systems research. The individual area of concentration should fit established research programs of the School of Nursing faculty or other University faculty members as advised.
NEXus is a partnership among select Western Institute of Nursing institutions to facilitate enrollment in doctoral courses not available on the student's home campus. Through NEXus, the institutions have identified courses that are available at a distance and open for enrollments from partner institutions.
The following sequential elements are required for progression in the doctoral program:
- Develop an area of concentration and receive approval of the proposed academic plan by the end of the first year of full-time study;
- Complete all core, concentration, and methods courses;
- Pass oral comprehensive examination;
- Successfully defend research proposal;
- Advance to candidacy;
- Successfully defend dissertation.
Refer to guidelines from the Faculty of Graduate Studies* and the Ph.D. degree student handbook for dissertation format requirements.
The normal time to complete the program is three to seven years—(five  years projected mean) based on less than full-time enrollment.
*The Ph.D. Program Oversight: Faculty of Graduate Studies
In addition to Loma Linda University admission requirements, the applicant to the Doctor of Philosophy degree program in nursing must also complete the following requirements:
- Minimum of a baccalaureate degree in nursing from an accredited program. Applicants with a prior master's degree in nursing are eligible to receive up to 32 units of advanced standing.*
- GPA of 3.3, both cumulative and in nursing courses
- Current RN license before application*
- Three electronic recommendations from recent professors or current work supervisor
- Interview by faculty members in the School of Nursing
- Health Science Reasoning Test
- Evidence of scholarly work as determined by faculty
Applicants seeking graduate admission must have the application process completed by the dates indicated in the followi
- Autumn Quarter—April 1
- Winter Quarter—August 1
- Spring Quarter—November 1
* Non-nurses who have completed health related Master’s degree may be considered for admission on an individual basis.
|NGRD 650||Advanced Role Development and Collaboration 1||4|
|NGRD 651||Theoretical Foundations for Evidence-Based Practice 1||4|
|NGRD 652||Health-Care Systems Leadership 1||4|
|NGRD 653||Health Systems Policy Development and Advocacy 1||4|
|NGRD 657||Intermediate Statistics 2||4|
|NGRD 658||Nursing Research and Translational Science 1||4|
|NGRD 679||Writing for Professional Publication||4|
|NGRD 680||Strategies for Advanced Theory Development in Nursing||4|
|NGRD 681||Philosophical Foundations of Nursing Science||4|
|NGRD 688||Nursing Science Seminar (1) 6||2|
|Focused courses foundational to dissertation and/or the PhD role. 3||20|
|RELR 5__||Graduate-level Relational||3|
|RELE 5__||Graduate-level Ethics||3|
|RELT 5__||Graduate-level Theological||3|
|Research and Statistics|
|NGRD 664||Advanced Statistics||4|
|NGRD 683||Mentored Research (2) 4||4|
|NGRD 684||Quantitative Research Methods||4|
|NGRD 685||Qualitative Research Methods||4|
|NGRD 686||Applied Psychometrics for Health Care (Advanced Methods Course) 5||4|
|or NGRD 695||Advanced Qualitative Research|
|NGRD 697||Dissertation Research (1-8)||20|
Advanced standing given for students with a prior masters degree in nursing.
Advanced standing given for students with a prior masters degree in nursing if the course has been taken within the last five years.
Advanced standing up to 8 units given for students with a prior master's degree in nursing.
NGRD 686 if study design is quantitative; NGRD 695 if study design is qualitative.
Requires multiple registrations
Normal time to complete the program
5.5 years — based on less than full-time enrollment