Ph.D. in Nursing
Preparing nurse scientists.
The Ph.D. in Nursing program at the University of North Dakota will educate you to synthesize in-depth knowledge of rural health and underserved populations, integrate philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of science to guide research, conduct ethical and rigorous research, and contribute to a global community of scholars.
Applications open January 2024 and are due June 1, 2024.
Students get the opportunity to collaborate with the Center for Rural Health, the federally funded USDA Human Nutrition Research Center, the National Resource Center on Native American Aging, and the Mountain Plains Addiction Technology Transfer Center (MPATTC), and Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MPMHTTC), both located within the College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines, and funded by SAMHSA to serve Region 8 in the U.S.
You’ll receive the convenience of online learning with the personal contact and connection of being with classmates through online tools to communicate across distances, allowing you to connect to others and their ideas and present information.
Program At a Glance
Join a highly collaborative environment at the University of North Dakota with unique resources to study rural health in behavioral and environmental contexts.
You will gain skills in:
- Rural health, rural and underserved populations, and rural programs and policies
- Conduct original research as a nurse scientist, which includes rural and underserved populations
- Disseminating new knowledge through publications and presentations
- Obtaining grant funding to support your research
Engage in an annual face-to-face intensive that supplements your online learning and immerses you in a community of scholars.
Before graduation, you’ll be required to develop and submit a nationally competitive grant to support your doctoral research, submit an article for publication to a refereed journal, and present dissertation progress or results to a regional or national audience.
Ph.D. in Nursing Online Research Opportunities
UND has a variety of research opportunities for our online Nursing Ph.D. students. You'll get the opportunity to collaborate on active research with the:
- Center for Rural Health
- USDA Human Nutrition Research Center (federally funded)
- National Resource Center on Native American Aging
- Mountain Plains Addiction Technology Transfer Center (MPATTC)
- Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MPMHTTC)
The MPATTC and MPMHTTC are both located within UND's College of Nursing & Professional Disciplines and funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) to serve Region 8 in the U.S.
Nursing Ph.D. Program Outcomes
Upon completion of the Ph.D. degree, students will be possess the following abilities:
- Synthesize in-depth knowledge of behavioral and environmental aspects of rural health and underserved populations
- Discuss the need to conduct research with rural and underserved populations
- Translate nursing research to inform healthcare practice and policy
- Integrate philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of science to guide research
- Conduct original research that is ethical and rigorous
- Provide professional and research mentorship to others
- Contribute to a global community of scholars
It was curiosity that led Tanya Trotter to pursue a Ph.D. in Nursing at UND.
Our alumni share why they pursued UND's Ph.D. in Nursing program.
Tim Fuss, a 2019 Ph.D. graduate is employed as an Associate Professor of Nursing at Montgomery College in Silver Spring, MD. Tim’s dissertation research is on the relationship of activity and fatigue in men receiving external beam radiation for prostate cancer. While he was in the program, Tim had the opportunity to participate in several research practicum experiences at the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), under the mentorship of Dr. Leorey Saligan, a scientist who leads the Symptoms Biology Unit at NINR. This allowed Tim to work with and learn from members of an interdisciplinary team, with expertise in nursing, genomics, and neuroscience. During his practicum experiences, Tim was able to interact with patients, collect and analyze data, work in the lab, and present posters at NIH and a national nursing conference. Tim also attended the 2017 NINR Boot Camp, “Precision Health: From ‘Omics’ to Data Science” which focused on application of genomics to nursing practice and the emerging use of “big data.”
In relation to his experience in the Ph.D. Nursing program at UND, Tim stated:
“I chose UND because it was a respected public institution with an online Ph.D. program, supplemented with campus visits. UND is large enough to have ample resources but small enough to receive personal attention from faculty and staff. Living near NIH, UND was the perfect option to combine resources for on-site research with classes and faculty available online. Through the campus visits, face to face interactions with classmates and faculty have allowed me to form relationships and friendships that will last for a lifetime.”
Dr. Melvina “Mel” Brandau is a 2016 graduate of the Ph.D. in Nursing program. Dr. Brandau is employed as an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing at Ohio University, in Athens, OH. Dr. Brandau’s dissertation research was a grounded theory of victims’ experiences with cyberbullying in adolescence, and she continues with this topic as her focus of research.
Dr. Brandau expressed this, about her experience as a Ph.D. student at UND:
“The University of North Dakota’s Ph.D. in nursing program gave me the knowledge and skills I needed to be successful as a nurse scientist. Even more so, I felt encouraged and supported, and that went a long way in building up my confidence. As a tenure-track faculty member, I know now that UND was a great choice and I feel well-prepared to move forward in my career.”
Dr. Laurie Johansen is a 2017 graduate of the Ph.D. in Nursing program at UND. She is currently the Chair/Director of Nursing at Southwest Minnesota State University. Dr. Johansen’s program of research reflects her passion for rural nursing practice and rural populations. Her dissertation was titled “Commuting away: The experiences of R.N.s who live in rural communities and commute away for employment in non-rural communities” and a portion of her study is featured in a book chapter of Winter & Lee’s (2018) Rural Nursing: Concepts, Theory, and Practice (5th ed.). Additional publications from Dr. Johansen’s dissertation are also in progress. Dr. Johansen’s research has important implications for improving the recruitment and retention of nurses in rural communities, and ultimately, improving the health of rural populations by helping to insure their access to a stable nursing workforce.
In reflection of her education at UND, Dr. Johansen stated:
"The online learning environment at the University of North Dakota (UND) provided me with the opportunity to advance my education as a distance learner. Being a graduate of the UND Ph.D. in Nursing Program, I feel prepared as a nurse scientist to pursue my research interests. Broadened understanding of the complexities of rural health and rural nursing is in my future and the future of those I serve, as I eagerly pursue my program of research. What a wonderful opportunity!"
Nursing Ph.D. Faculty
- CNPD/Nursing 349
- CNPD/Nursing 341
- CNPD/Nursing 380H