PHD NURSING PROGRAM INFORMATION

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1 PHD NURSING PROGRAM INFORMATION INTRODUCTION The PhD Program is designed for MSN or BSN graduates who are interested in earning a doctoral degree in nursing. The primary focus of the PhD Program is scientific inquiry and theory development. The PhD Program in Nursing at UT Knoxville prepares nursing scholars capable of integrating research, theory, and practice into their roles as researchers, educators, and/or administrators. The faculty value quality, community, innovation, and accessibility. Students have the option of coordinating their doctoral research with faculty or pursuing their own interests. Also, a new manuscript dissertation option has been added to the curriculum. There are three options to complete the program: 1. An option for nurse educators that includes a minor in education (full-time or part-time). 2. A curriculum for students desiring cognates other than education (full-time or part-time). 3. A BSN-to-PhD curriculum for students who do not have an MSN degree. The PhD program is delivered by a combination of on-line learning and periodic block scheduling of on-campus orientation and instructional activities. The PhD program admits a new class of students each summer. Students are required to be on campus once early in the semester and once near the end. On-campus time is for professional development, face to face meetings, classes, presentations, examinations, seminars, discussion and mentoring. On-campus schedules may vary slightly from term to term. CURRICULUM The primary focus of the PhD in Nursing curriculum is scientific inquiry and theory development in the discipline of nursing, with the objective of producing nursing research scientists and scholars. The curriculum includes a series of courses in the nursing major that will help the student evaluate existing knowledge critically and engage in the creation and use of new nursing knowledge. Readings in philosophy of science create awareness of philosophical perspectives through history, with emphasis on the philosophers who have influenced research traditions in nursing and theoretical formulations of nurse scholars. Philosophical discourse cultivates intuition, reflection, and dialogue three necessary tools for basic knowledge development (Meleis, 1987). The philosophy of science component of the curriculum stimulates healthy interaction among students and faculty, thereby facilitating the ability to articulate and defend ideas within the scientific community. Most importantly, it promotes critical thinking skills and cultivates the insightful processes required to study nursing phenomena (DiBartolo, 1998). The theory component of the curriculum involves concept development, acquisition of tools and processes for rigorous analysis of constructs and frameworks, and initiation of new theory development. Special emphasis is placed on middle-range theories from nursing and related disciplines as guides for research. The research and statistics courses provide students with firm grounding in both quantitative and qualitative research designs, research methodology, and data analysis strategies. The required two-course sequence in statistics is considered a minimum. Some students will need to take extra courses (e.g., structural equation modeling) to prepare for their dissertation data analysis. Equal emphasis is placed on basic and applied studies addressing questions of significance to the nursing discipline. All students will acquire research skills through a carefully-planned sequence of activities beginning with involvement in the ongoing investigations of P age1 of 5

2 faculty mentors, progressing to the student's own independent projects, and culminating in the doctoral dissertation. Students have options such as involvement in an interdisciplinary phenomenology research group, participation in narrative and discourse analysis, and working in a collaborative team with faculty in nursing and other disciplines. Participation in conferences and publications are tracked by faculty through portfolio review. Complementing the theory and research courses are explorations of health policy issues, ethical issues, care delivery issues, and issues pertinent to the scientific management of complex clinical and educational systems. The content of these courses is especially crucial, given the current climate of drastic, unprecedented changes in American healthcare delivery systems and their financing mechanisms. Additionally, the College of Nursing at UTK is committed to preparing graduates who are ready to assume faculty roles. There is a serious shortage of doctorally prepared nursing faculty across the nation, which prompted us to place greater emphasis on preparation for academic careers. Cognate courses complement the program of study in the nursing major and are selected in collaboration with the student's advisor. Possible cognate areas are anthropology, child and family studies, education, gerontology, management, medical ethics, philosophy, psychology public health, social work, and statistics. In the Graduate Catalog, cognate fields are defined as a minimum of 6 semester hours of graduate course work in a given area outside the student s major. It should be emphasized, however, that 6 hours is indeed a minimum. Students often elect to register for additional credit hours in their cognate and/or to tie their preceptorship experiences to the cognate area. PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS The following courses are required for all students: 601 Philosophy and Theory for Nursing Science Nursing Research and Inquiry Middle-Range Formulations for Nursing Science Development Nursing Research Seminar Qualitative Nursing Research Quantitative Nursing Research Research Practicum - 1 hr of 609 must be taken for 2 semesters Nursing Science Seminar Health and Nursing Policy/Planning Nursing Leadership in Complex Systems 3 Inferential Statistics 3 Multivariate Statistics 3 Cognates 6 Elective Dissertation 24 TOTAL 67 P age2 of 5

3 COURSE DESCRIPTIONS* 600 Doctoral Research and Dissertation (3-15). 601 Philosophy and Theory for Nursing Science (3). Philosophical and historical context of knowledge for nursing science; in-depth analysis of health-related theories as frameworks for knowledge building; concept development in theory building Nursing Research and Inquiry (3). The philosophical, theoretical and methodological bases for nursing inquiry. 605 Middle-Range Theoretical Formulations for Nursing Science Development (3). Examination of extant and emerging middle range theories instrumental in nursing science development. 606 Nursing Research Seminar (3). Selected topics pertaining to dissertation proposal process, research experience, and defense. 607 Qualitative Nursing Research (3). Critique and application of qualitative nursing research methods. 608 Quantitative Nursing Research (3). Critique and application of quantitative nursing research methods. 609 Research Practicum (1-3). Supervised individual or group research experience under guidance of faculty. Prereq: consent of instructor. Must be taken for 2 semesters. Maximum 12 hours. 610 Nursing Science Seminar (2). Critical analysis and synthesis of literature in selected focus area within nursing science. 612 Health and Health Care Policy/Planning (3). Examination of policies affecting health and health care; policymaking process; interactions between health professionals, consumer groups, various forms of media, and government in policy development. 613 Nursing Leadership in Complex Systems (3). Analysis and evaluation of nursing leadership/management in complex professional, academic and health care systems. 614 Nursing Preceptorship (1-3, may be repeated, maximum 6). Individually-designed practicum, field, or internship experiences in variety of administrative, educational, research, or clinical practice settings. NOTE: Nursing preceptorship is optional unless the graduate certificate in health policy or global disaster nursing is desired. * all PhD courses incur a Clinical Course Fee ($200 flat rate). INDIVIDUALIZATION OF PROGRAM OF STUDY The faculty believes that the purpose of doctoral education is to facilitate the students' own professional and scholarly interests and goals. Therefore, the over-arching philosophy of the program is one of individualized education. Identification of the student's area of focus begins at the time of the admission interview; and upon entry into the program, students receive individual guidance from their advisors to plan their course of study, cognate area and selection of cognate courses to support their development in that area. An advantage of a small doctoral program is the close working relationship with faculty. Research groups led by faculty members provide opportunities for students to participate in on-going faculty projects, to apply the didactic material from the research method courses, and to develop their research skills. ADDITIONAL ACADEMIC OPTIONS 1. Some students may wish to pursue a concomitant minor or M.S. Degree in Statistics or a minor in Epidemiology. 2. Doctoral students in nursing are also eligible to earn a graduate certificate. These options to pursue an education certificate, a health policy certificate, or a certificate in global disaster nursing can be discussed with faculty advisors. HEALTH POLICY CERTIFICATE The College of Nursing and Department of Public Health-College of Education, Health and Human Sciences jointly offer a graduate certificate in health policy to prepare nursing and public health leaders, researchers, and educators to be active in all aspects of policymaking relative to health. Course P age3 of 5

4 experiences will foster the examination and applications of current policy research and the development of skills related to policy analysis, research, program evaluation, and advocacy. NURSING EDUCATION CERTIFICATE The certificate in Nursing Education consists of 12 hours: 6 hours in nursing and 6 in education. Required courses in the College of Nursing are 566 and 565. In consultation with the Nursing Education Minor Coordinator, students select 6 hours of coursework from the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences. Practicum experiences are individually designed to assist students to pursue future career goals. For example, a novice educator may need to shadow a master teacher, whereas an experienced educator may intern with an associate dean or a dean. GLOBAL DISASTER NURSING CERTIFICATE Funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the College of Nursing offers a certificate in Global Disaster Nursing. To earn the certificate, additional coursework and field placement experiences are required. Dr. Susan Speraw serves as coordinator for the Global Disaster Nursing Program. 3. BSN to PhD students may wish to pursue a concurrent Master s degree. The Graduate Council approved a policy that allows enrollment in a concurrent Master s degree program for PhD students within the same major. The concurrent master s degree program is only available for students who are maintaining enrollment in the PhD program with the same major as the concurrent master s degree. ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS Criteria for admission as follows: 1. Meet all requirements for admission to the Graduate School. 2. Official previous university transcripts. a. Have a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for previous college work. b. Hold a Bachelor s or a Master's degree in nursing from a regionally accredited program. Applicants from international programs will be reviewed on an individual basis. 3. Essay describing academic goals with UT CON and identifying potential dissertation research interest. 4. Sample of scholarly writing. 5. Copy of RN/APN licenses. PhD students must be eligible to practice nursing as a registered nurse (i.e., licensed in Tennessee, one of the interstate compact states, or in their state of residence). 6. Have achieved a competitive score on the writing portion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). 7. Have TOEFL scores of at least 550 on the paper test, 213 on the computer-based test, or 80 on the internetbased test if native language is not English Professional Rating/Recommendation Forms submitted to the College of Nursing from individual recommender, directly. Raters should be college level instructors and/or nurses and administrators who have supervised applicant s professional work. 9. Interview by CON PhD Admissions Committee. 10. BSN-to-PhD students who have not taken a graduate level statistics course, a graduate nursing theory course, or a graduate nursing research course, must either take these prior to admission or prior to enrollment in doctoral level courses. Page4 of 5

5 ACCEPTANCE AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS Applicants who are accepted to the PhD program must confirm their placement by completing the following admission requirements: Before registering for classes, each student must submit a seat fee ($250), successfully complete a criminal background check, drug screening, and meet all College of Nursing health status/immunization record requirements. Cost of using third-party background check agency is the responsibility of the student. Each student must hold professional liability insurance (an automatic UT Bursar s bill of $25/per year) and personal health insurance. Entering students must attend the mandatory New PhD Student Orientation, held in May, before the summer term starts. In addition, all students must be familiar with the University of Tennessee Graduate School student policy, forms, and deadlines. One year of full-time enrollment (i.e., enrollment in 9 credit hours for 2 consecutive semesters) is required to fulfill the residency requirement. This requirement can be met at any time during the program Comprehensive examinations must be taken within 5 years, and all requirements must be completed within 8 years, from the time of a student's first enrollment in a doctoral degree program. It is anticipated that for the academic year, a preliminary/qualifying exam will be used to formally evaluate student success after the first year of studies. Continued progression through the program will be contingent upon successfully passing Prelim. Doctoral students in nursing are required to maintain a 3.0 GPA for continuation in the program. A minimum grade of B is required in all courses in the nursing major. A grade lower than B in a core course results in termination from the PhD program. Courses from other universities cannot be transferred, although a course (such as a statistics pre-requisite) may be taken at another university with prior approval of the PhD program director. Any other course must be approved by the Chair of the PhD program. Although such courses are used as part of the requirements toward the degree and are listed on the admission to candidacy, they are not officially transfer courses and are not placed on the student's university transcript. Course 600 is reserved for doctoral research and dissertation hours. Initial registration for 600 is determined by the College and generally corresponds to the time at which a student begins work actively on dissertation research. From this time on, students are required to register continuously for at least 3 hours of 600 each semester, including summer term. A student who will not be using faculty services and/or university facilities for a period of time may request leaves of absence from dissertation research up to a maximum of six terms (including summer terms); however, student may be required to formally re-apply and submit a non-refundable $30.00 Graduate School Readmission application fee. PhD students are required to be familiar with all policies listed in the UTK Graduate Student Handbook, found on the web at QUESTIONS: Please feel free to contact the CON Student Services Office or the CON Graduate Program Office: UT College of Nursing Graduate Program Office 1200 Volunteer Blvd., Knoxville, TN (865) / (865) fax Revised: MLHammett (September 2013) P age5 of 5

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