Our research-focused online PhD in Nursing program is designed for nursing professionals committed to shaping the future of healthcare as nurse researchers, educators, or policymakers.

Through multi-disciplinary projects with other doctoral students from various health disciplines, you can develop the skills to lead or collaborate with cross-functional healthcare teams and promote positive change. Choose from five focus areas of study to gain the advanced expertise required for a career in nursing research and scholarship that meets your interests.

Our online PhD in Nursing program is designed to help advance your career and support continuous improvements in nursing science, education, and practice. Whether you want to advance scientific knowledge in the field, educate the next generation of nursing professionals, or influence policy and practice in our increasingly complex healthcare environment, Walden’s online PhD in Nursing program can prepare you to make a difference in patients’ lives, in communities, and across the globe.

Elements of Walden’s Doctoral Nursing Programs

Walden offers two doctoral degree programs designed to meet your career goals. View the chart to help determine which program is right for you.

In this research-focused online PhD in Nursing program, you can:

  • Gain the advanced scientific expertise and experience to conduct research in hospitals, educational institutions, pharmaceutical companies, and other health-related industries.
  • Engage in interdisciplinary projects that prepare you to lead or collaborate with diverse healthcare teams.
  • Develop the knowledge and leadership skills required to develop healthcare policies, systems, and services for tomorrow’s nursing professionals.
  • Join Phi Nu, Walden’s chartered chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, and connect with nurses around the world to share the latest nursing research and best practices in clinical, scientific, and leadership areas.
  • Attend academic residencies.
  • Reduce your time to completion and total costs if you have already earned a DNP degree.

Graduates of this program will be prepared to:

  1. Utilize current research and theory to develop prevention and intervention strategies that advance the knowledge and practice of nursing.
  2. Demonstrate advanced competency in research design and methodology to address social problems and needs.
  3. Engage in scientific inquiry that advances the knowledge base of research and practice in the profession.
  4. Evaluate the role of research and scholarship in the field of nursing in relation to its role in improving health interventions and advancing the development of related theory.
  5. Synthesize nursing’s philosophical and/or theoretical underpinnings in the practice of research.
  6. Contribute to the science of nursing through social change and social policy initiatives.
  7. Apply ethical decision-making and values to the profession.
  8. Advocate for policies and programs that improve health outcomes among culturally diverse populations.
  9. Lead professional communication that supports the discipline and practice of nursing.
  10. Demonstrate the ability to act as a role model and mentor to others who wish to pursue the profession. (Stewardship)

Career Impact

Walden’s PhD in Nursing program can help you prepare for career advancement and support continuous improvements in nursing science, education, and practice. With a research-focused doctoral degree, you can position yourself for a leadership role in an academic setting, public institution, private foundation, or think tank. Careers* that graduates may pursue include:

  • Nursing faculty
  • Nursing professor or assistant professor
  • Director of public or private research
  • Director of program development in a clinical setting
  • Head of Policy in a public institution or private think tank

*Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

Save Time and Money on Your Degree

The ability to transfer credit at Walden can give you a more seamless, effective, and cost-efficient way to continue your education. Complete your required coursework sooner by transferring applicable required graduate credits into a Walden degree program.


Andrew Gross

Andrew Gross

MSN Graduate / DNP Student
I like the structure of the courses and the professors give feedback that both challenges and improves my skills.
What I learned in the classroom, I immediately applied to my work.
Walden afforded me the ability to work full time and attend school. The Walden staff was helpful, friendly, and walked me through using the computer as a tool to learn.
Jaimee Kastler MSN Graduate / PhD in Nursing Student
Jaimee Kastler
James McDaniel MSN Graduate / DNP Student
James McDaniel
Luzviminda Miguel MSN Graduate / DNP Student
Luzviminda Miguel

Note: Time to completion and cost are not estimates of individual experience and will vary based on individual factors applicable to the student. Factors may be programmatic or academic, such as tuition and fee increases; transfer credits accepted by Walden; program or specialization changes; unsuccessful course completion; credit load per term; part-time vs. full-time enrollment; writing, research, and editing skills; use of external data for the doctoral study/dissertation; and individual progress in the program. Other factors may include personal issues such as the student’s employment obligations, caregiving responsibilities, or health issues; leaves of absence; or other personal circumstances.

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Questions about our PhD in Nursing?
Questions about our PhD in Nursing?
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