The School of Nursing’s Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing prepares scholars to advance nursing science and practice through rigorous research, evidence-based education, and dynamic leadership. According to the American Association Colleges of Nursing (AACN) statement:

"The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)* represents the highest level of formal education for a career in research and the scholarship of discovery. It prepares scholars for the expression and communication of the knowledge base in the profession. The Ph.D. graduate develops the science, stewards the profession, educates the next generation of nurses, defines its uniqueness, and maintains its professional integrity."

Nurse scholars are found in academic institutions or in health care agencies in research and educational roles.

The online program uses a variety of teaching strategies designed to actively engage students. An orientation session is held on campus prior to the beginning of the first fall semester that the student enters the program to enhance connections among students and with nursing faculty.

Students have part-time or full-time enrollment options.

NEXus Access

The School of Nursing enables doctoral students to take electives through NEXus, an organization that offers nursing courses available at other member institutions. Get more information »

Available Options

  • Nursing Education Track
  • Post-MSN-Nursing Education Accelerated Degree Track
  • Post-D.N.P. to Ph.D. Track

    The Post Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) to Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (Ph.D.) enables professionals who have a D.N.P. and to expand their research skills.

    The School of Nursing accepts 18 units from students’ DNP programs, thereby requiring them to complete 44 credits of core Ph.D. research classes only to earn the degree.

    Ph.D. scholars advance the scientific discipline through research, innovation in the classroom, dynamic leadership, and a passion for transforming the educational experience.

    The online program uses a variety of teaching strategies designed to actively engage students. Two to three day-long orientation sessions are held on campus during the beginning of each fall semester to enhance the connections among students and with the nursing faculty.


For information regarding accreditation at UNLV, please head over to Academic Program Accreditations.

Learning Outcomes

  • Provide leadership in the advancement of nursing as a scientific and practice discipline through the conduct of culturally competent scholarship and identification of implications for policy, the discipline, and the profession.
  • Conduct and communicate original research that generates new knowledge.
  • Develop, implement and evaluate innovative approaches to teaching and learning.

Career Possibilities

The Ph.D. program prepares leaders, scholars/researchers, and educators.


Graduates are expected to function in academia, the health care industry, or government and private organizations focused on health care.


Loading from UNLV Catalog…


Doctor of Philosophy - Nursing

Nursing Education Track

Post-MSN-Nursing Education Accelerated Degree Track

  • Plans of Study
    • NA
    Degree Worksheets
    • NA
    • NA
    Graduate Handbooks
    • NA
    Additional Downloads
    • NA
    Related Links
    • NA

Post-D.N.P. to Ph.D. Track


Graduate Coordinator

Candace W. Burton, Ph.D., RN, AFN-BC, FNAP

Director of Doctoral Education (Ph.D. and DNP); Tenured Associate Professor


School of Nursing

The School of Nursing educates nurses at the undergraduate and graduate levels to meet health care needs in Nevada and beyond. We promote, improve, and sustain human health through evidence-based education and advances in research and practice.