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Program at a Glance

Online Doctorate
College of Nursing
Credit Hours
US News Badge 2023 Best Online Grad nursing
Most Innovative University 2022

Build a distinctive career at the forefront of the nursing field.

Healthcare is constantly evolving and in need of energetic, diverse leadership among nurses. Your PhD in Nursing will allow you to advance the field as a research scientist. UCF Online provides an avenue through which students contribute to knowledge development in nursing and healthcare on the basis of sound conceptual, methodological and ethical research.

Through UCF Online, you’ll harness your full potential and gain the skills it takes to lead the way as innovative technologies and research shift the field of healthcare. Your classroom studies and dissertation will allow you to choose a specific area of focus, conduct research and apply your knowledge of theory, processes and methods of inquiry to the field of nursing.

The curriculum, along with your dissertation, will prepare you to become a leader who contributes to the body of nursing knowledge through your research. You’ll graduate as a nurse scientist prepared to work in a variety of roles, such as faculty member in a research-focused university, leader for nursing research within a healthcare system, industry, or an executive leader with a research focus. This program can be completed online, although two multiple-day onsite intensives per year are required. Get started today to begin your journey toward a PhD in Nursing.

As a participant in the PhD program, there are two online tracks available:

Program Tracks

Requiring a minimum of 72 credit hours beyond your bachelor’s degree, this program is designed to support students who wish to complete their PhD in a timely manner and attain longer research careers. This track can be completed part-time and is designed for working professionals.

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Requiring a minimum of 63 credit hours beyond your master’s degree, this program is designed to support students who have already obtained their MSN.

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Led by nationally recognized faculty who are experts in their field and actively engaged in innovative research
No GRE Required.

Application Deadlines

March 1

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Course Overview

Theory in Nursing Science

Explore the foundations and application of theory in nursing science.

Identify, discuss, and practice effective scientific writing elements as they apply to nursing and healthcare related disciplines; prepare a scientific manuscript for publication.

Examine quantitative and qualitative approaches to studying nursing and health related phenomena; ethical issues; internal and external validity; comparison of designs.

Skills You'll Learn

  • Gain the knowledge and skills in the areas of clinical research.
  • Develop a program of scholarship that integrates research, teaching, leadership, and service to the profession.
  • Learn how to contribute to interdisciplinary solutions that advance healthcare in a global society.

Career Projections


Annual Job


Job Growth
2019 - 2029

Source: Lightcast™ . 2023

Career Opportunities

  • Director Of Nursing Research
  • Nurse Scientist
  • Nursing Faculty
  • Nursing Professor
  • Research Scientist