FAQ – Doctoral Program

Is the PhD program web-based?
What is the GPA requirement for admission?
What do you look for in GRE scores?
How many statistics courses will I need to take?
Are publications required?
How does the BSN to PhD program progress?
Will I earn a MSN degree as part of the BSN to PhD program?
How long does it take to get my PhD degree?
What are costs and funding options?
How will a PhD help me in my nursing career?
Will I earn more money if I get a PhD?
What time commitment is needed to be successful in the PhD program?
"I have children — can I balance PhD studies and family life?

Is the PhD program web-based?
Yes. Courses are delivered via IP video technology. Most classes are offered in synchronous mode, meaning at a specific ‘live’ date and time. We plan to offer more PhD courses in asynchronous, on-demand mode in the future. The College uses the Blackboard Learning System.

What are GPA requirements for admission?

  • Traditional PhD: 3.2 GPA in BSN / MSN programs.
  • Fast Track BSN to PhD: 3.2 undergraduate GPA.

What do you look for in GRE scores?
Strong applications with higher than average Verbal, Quantitative and Writing Analysis scores will be seriously considered.

How many statistics courses will I need to take?
Two courses (6 credit hours) are required if taken through UNMC.

Are publications required?
If you’ve been involved in scholarly writing, we ask that you submit examples of your work. Scholarly publication is desirable, but not required.

How does the BSN to PhD program progress?
You take an accelerated program of studies based on your nursing interests and goals. You complete one year of MSN courses and meet the statistics requirements prior to enrolling in the core PhD program courses in year 2 of the program.

Will I earn a MSN degree as part of the BSN to PhD program?
The program does not include all the clinical hours required for the MSN degree, and that’s partly why it’s a faster pathway to a PhD. The program does include courses in a clinical specialty of your choosing. This prepares you to teach and do research in that area. However, if you wish to earn your MSN while in the BSN-PhD program, please speak with the Director of the PhD Program prior to beginning your coursework for options available.

How long does it take to get my PhD degree?

  • The Fast Track BSN to PhD program is designed to be a 4 to 5-year, full-time program. Approximately 80 credit hours are required.
  • If pursing MSN, approximately 95 credit hours are required.
  • The Traditional MSN to PhD program can take 4-5 years depending on whether you’re a full or part-time student. Approximately 63 credit hour are required.

What are costs and funding options?
See Tuition and Fees and UNMC Financial Aid. The financial aid office is committed to help you find ways to fund your education. There are numerous scholarships, grants and research awards available to doctoral students. There are a limited number of graduate assistant positions that pay a stipend (approximately $1,200 monthly) each semester plus tuition reimbursement for 15 hours work per week. Students outside Nebraska may qualify for a Nonresident Tuition Scholarship that covers a portion of the cost of nonresident tuition. Students must meet the criteria for each scholarship/award.

How will a PhD help me in my nursing career?
A PhD prepares you to become a leader in nursing. Leadership roles include: educator, researcher/scientist, administrator, policy leader and advanced clinical researcher. There are many opportunities for nurse PhDs at the local, national and international level. The nursing shortage is mirrored in a) PhD nursing faculty and b) practitioners, researchers and nurse executives with a doctoral degree.

Will I earn more money if I get a PhD?
PhD nurse educators, for example, earn more than MSN faculty. And there is strong national demand — and competition — for PhD nursing administrators, deans and faculty members.

What time commitment is needed to be successful in the PhD program?
Because people learn at different paces, there is no fixed answer. Here’s a guide: In general, a full-time PhD student should expect to devote 40 hours per week, and a part-time student approximately 5 hours for each credit hour taken (most courses are 3 credits).

I have children — can I balance PhD studies and family life?
First, give yourself credit: you’ve already proven that you’re adept at multiple roles. Fellow PhD students usually form a support network, sharing ways to balance school and family life. Faculty members serve as mentors, including for time management. Web-based course delivery also allows you the flexibility and time savings of ‘class from home’ — or anywhere your laptop connects to the web.

Easy as pie
Thanks, Florence.
Many know Florence Nightingale as the founder of modern nursing. Fewer know that — over 150 years ago — she applied statistical analysis to the field. She insisted that nurses use precise logs and charting in clinical observation — and, in fact, she invented the pie chart. Thus, Florence might also be considered the founder of nursing research and informatics.

"The character of the nurse is a important as the knowledge she possesses."
-W.R. JARVIS 

;