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Curriculum Overview

Areas of Study

PhD students may pursue an individualized plan of study or a concentration in Health Policy. Students wishing to have a PhD in Nursing with a concentration in Health Policy must be formally accepted into the concentration at the time of admission to the PhD program or subsequent to admission to the PhD program through submission of required materials by the deadline. All students take the same 24 credits of core courses and prescribed research methods courses. The substantive area coursework will vary, depending on the student's plan of study (individualized vs. Health Policy). The student's advisor and Committee on Studies will guide the student in selecting coursework that will help meet personal, professional, and scholarship needs.

Curriculum Plan

Students admitted under the BSN entry option should consult the PhD Program Director for any requirements that are in addition to those listed in this section. The PhD curriculum consists of a core of PhD courses on philosophy of science, theory, statistics, and research design. Students additionally choose from a selection of research methods courses, substantive area courses, and electives.

Required Core Courses - 24 credits

All students are required to take the following core courses:

N600            Philosophy of Science in Nursing

N601            Theory 1: Nursing Knowledge Development

N602            Theory II: Substantive Nursing Knowledge

N606            Quantitative Methods in Nursing Research

N607            Qualitative Methods in Nursing Research

N620            Advanced Health Care Statistics I

N621            Advanced Health Care Statistics II

N690            PhD Seminar

Methods Courses - 6 credits

All students are required to select at least two of the following methods courses:

N612            Clinical Nursing Therapeutics and Outcomes

N613            Mixed Methods Research

N614            Instrumentation

N615            Critical Ethnography and CBPR in Health Care Research

N624            Behavioral Observation Methods

N627            Qualitative Data Analysis

Substantive Area Courses - 9 credits for individualized plan of study; 3 credits for Health Policy concentration

Students following an individualized plan of study are required to select at least three of the four substantive area courses listed below. RWJF Nursing Fellows and other students in the Health Policy concentration take one course chosen from NURS 608,

NURS 609, or NURS 611.

N608            Environments of Human Health

N609            Family Nursing: Concepts, Issues, and Outcomes

N610            Nursing Education: Pedagogy and Roles

N611            Rural and Cultural Health

Health Policy Courses - 13 credits (required for RWJF Nursing Fellows and other Health Policy students; may serve as electives for students pursuing an individualized plan of study)

N640            Evidence, Health Policy, and Politics

N641            Health Disparities and Policy

N642            Applied Health Economics

N648            Introduction to Health Policy Field Placement

N649            Health Policy Field Placement

Electives - 12 credits

Students following an individualized plan of study will take at least four elective courses

(12 credits) in the student's area of interest approved in advance by the student's Committee on Studies. RWJF Nursing Fellows and other Health Policy students take two elective courses (6 credits) related to health policy, approved in advance by the student's Committee on Studies. For all students, subject to the approval of the

Committee on Studies, up to 6 credits of electives may be taken as independent study as part of the program of studies; however, no more than 3 credits of independent study in Nursing may be applied to the degree requirements.

Dissertation - 18 credits

Students must complete 18 credits of NURS 699 Dissertation. Once enrollment in

NURS 699 begins (may be counted no earlier than the term in which the student passes the PhD comprehensive exam), the student must enroll in at least 6 credits of NURS 699 each term until completion of the PhD degree. Students may include the NURS 699 credits in their Application for Candidacy during the term in which they pass the PhD comprehensive examination, and subsequent terms. During completion of the dissertation it is possible that students will have enrolled in more than 18 credits of

NURS 699; however, no more than 18 credits of NURS 699 will be counted in the Application for Candidacy for degree requirements. Note: During the term of the comprehensive examination a student may enroll in 3 credits of NURS 699.


Credit Breakdown

Total Credits

Individualized Plan of Study

51 credits of coursework + 18 credits of dissertation

69 Credits

Health Policy Concentration

52 credits of coursework + 18 credits of dissertation

70 Credits