College of Nursing - PhD Program
The mission of the PhD in Nursing program is to prepare nurse scientists who will conduct research in nursing and engage in scholarship that will improve health care and health care delivery systems.
- Outstanding and relevant curriculum
- Talented faculty who mentor and supports our student
- Nationally known for nurse managed centers
- Inter-professional learning experiences
- Research aimed at improving and promoting health services and systems
Sample Course Sequence
Fall Semester I
- Philosophy of Nursing Science
- Interprofessional Approaches to Bioethical Issues
- Statistical Methods for Nursing Research I
Spring Semester II
- Qualitative Methods in Nursing Research
- Concept Development in Nursing Science
- Statistical Methods for Nursing Research II
Summer Semester III
- Advanced Qualitative Data Analysis in Nursing Research
- Theoretical Foundations of Nursing Science
- Measurement in Nursing Science
Fall Semester IV
- Grant Writing in Nursing Research
- Quantitative Methods in Nursing Research
- Health Policy Leadership
Spring Semester V
- Advanced Quantitative Design and Data Analysis in Nursing Research
- Cognate I
- Cognate II
Summer Semester VI
- Dissertation Seminar
- Cognate III
- Readings and Research
Fall Semester VII
- Doctoral Dissertation (hours vary per semester)
The PhD of Nursing degree program is designed to produce leaders in nursing and healthcare education and research. Specific objectives for the program are to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and values to:
- Evaluate specialized knowledge, theories, and research from nursing science and related
disciplines for application to nursing practice;
- Collaborate with communities and other disciplines in research, practice, and service;
- Assume leadership roles as nurse researchers, advanced clinicians, nurse educators,
- Use applied research to evaluate outcomes of health promotion strategies among diverse
cultures to improve the health of a community;
- Contribute to nursing science and nursing practice through the research process; and
- Initiate change in health care delivery systems, health policy, and the nursing profession.
The following progression policy applies to all PhD students who were admitted Fall 2018 semester and later.
1. Students in graduate nursing programs must meet the requirements of the School of Graduate Studies to remain in good standing. An overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (B) or better must be maintained.
2. In addition, a nursing student must achieve a “B” (3.0) or better in every required course in the graduate nursing program. Policies of the School of Graduate Studies for progression will apply.
3. If a student’s cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0, she/he will be placed on academic probation the following semester. If the student does not achieve a 3.0 cumulative grade point average at the conclusion of one probationary semester, the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and the Associate Dean for Academic Programs in the College of Nursing will determine if the student should be dismissed from graduate study or continued on academic probation. No student will be allowed more than two probationary semesters, whether consecutive or cumulative. At the end of a second probationary semester, a student whose cumulative grade point average is still below 3.0 will be dismissed from graduate study.
4. Students whose performance results in a GPA so far below 3.0 as to make it mathematically impossible to attain an overall GPA of 3.0 after one semester may be subject to dismissal without a probationary term.
5. An incomplete grade (“I”) indicates that the student was passing the course at the end of the semester, but due to circumstances beyond the student’s control, was unable to complete the course work for which the “I” is assigned. The “I” grade cannot be used to allow a student to do additional work to raise a deficient grade or to repeat a course. An “I” grade must be removed no later than one calendar year from the time the grade is awarded. Time extension requests for removal of an “I” grade must be submitted to and approved by the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies before the allotted time expires. An “I” grade not removed under the guidelines in the Graduate Catalog will be converted to an “F.”
6. Students who wish to change from part-time to full-time status must submit a written request to the College of Nursing’s Office of Student Services. Request will be approved on an individual basis, taking into consideration the student’s academic performance and available clinical slots.
Applicants seeking admission to the Ph.D. degree program at East Tennessee State University must fulfill all the requirements for admission to both the School of Graduate Studies and the College of Nursing. The School of Graduate Studies requires that all students submit the following materials:
The School of Graduate Studies requires:
- Completed ETSU application form with payment of non-refundable application fee
- Official transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate coursework
- Written essay.
The College of Nursing additionally requires:
BSN or higher degree from a nationally-accredited nursing program.
Cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 point scale.
Unencumbered licensure in the United States as a registered nurse and eligibility for licensure in Tennessee or compact state*
Three (3) letters of recommendation, one (1) from the applicant’s current (or most recent) supervisor, one (1) from a faculty member who worked directly with the applicant during previous graduate study, and one (1) from an individual selected by the applicant.
Completion of an interview with the Admissions Committee.
Completion of a writing sample on a selected topic at the time of interview.
Cover letter expressing the applicant’s personal goals for doctoral study (unless clearly articulated in the written essay requested by the university).
Resume or curriculum vitae, as appropriate.
Completion of a writing sample at the time of application addressing the following topic: Based on your nursing experience, discuss a possible researchable nursing problem, including implications for nursing practice. Essay should be typewritten, double-spaced, and at least 2 pages but not more than 4 pages in length.
*Or equivalency for international applicants.
The College of Nursing addtionally requires:
The completed application form and fee, official transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate work, essay, documentation of nursing licensure in the United States, letters of recommendation and resume or vita must be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies. International students must also forward the additionally required documentation to the School.
The personal interview will be scheduled by the College of Nursing’s PhD Admissions Committee. Factors given consideration in the admission decision include: previous grade point average (GPA), clarity of the applicant’s selected problem as stated in the writing sample and during the interview, writing ability, professional work experience and achievements, professional honors and awards, interest in rural and underserved population groups, and quality of references/recommendations. The PhD Admissions Committee may recommend admission of a promising applicant who has not met all the admission standards on a conditional basis.
PhD in Nursing Admissions Process
Once your application is received in the College of Nursing, it will be reviewed by the PhD program’s Admissions Committee. The Admissions Committee is comprised of PhD program faculty. The members review each application carefully and thoughtfully. Each applicant who meets the admissions criteria will have an individual interview with a group of three committee members. Following the interview, the Admissions Committee meets to make final decisions. Students may be admitted fully or conditionally. All applicants will be notified of the decision of the committee by the PhD program coordinator.
Factors considered by the Admissions Committee in the review and selection process:
- Previous grade point average.
- Clarity of goals for doctoral study as stated in writing and during the interview.
- Writing ability.
- Professional work experience and achievements including honors and awards.
- Interest in rural and underserved population groups.
- Quality of recommendations.
- This program admits for fall only. Target date for applications and all materials to be received by the School of Graduate Studies is March 1.
To receive full consideration, students must be admitted to East Tennessee State University by the nursing application deadline dates. Since admission to the university can take several weeks, students are encouraged to apply well in advance of the nursing deadlines. Consideration for the nursing major cannot be guaranteed if full admission to the university has not been obtained.
Program Director, Associate Professor and Associate Dean Research
School of Graduate Studies
American Association of Colleges of Nursing
Scholarship and loan opportunities for Graduate and Post-Graduate nursing students. Eligibility requirements vary. Please visit https://www.aacnnursing.org/Students for more information.
Nurses Educational Funds (NEF)
Nurses Education Funds, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization which seeks and distributes funds to baccalaureate-prepared registered nurses who are in need of scholarship assistance for graduate study. Eligibility requirements vary. Please visit www.n-e-f.org for more information.
College of Nursing
Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP) Grants
These grants increase the number of qualified nurse faculty by creating a student loan program within individual schools of nursing and supporting individual students. Recipients must agree to teach at a school of nursing in exchange for cancellation of up to 85% of their educational loans, plus interest, over a four-year period. Applications for our NFLP funds can be obtained from Ms. Regina Rose, College of Nursing Graduate Programs.
Full-time PhD students can apply through the School of Graduate Studies for a 10 or 20 hour a week position assisting a faculty member with research, teaching or other projects. Positions are available each year in the College of Nursing and other departments on campus. Some assistantships require regular presence on campus; others, depending upon the duties, may be possible to accomplish from a distance. In addition to a modest salary and the waiver of out-of-state tuition (when applicable), full maintenance fee is waived for a 20 hour position, and half maintenance fee is waived for a 10 hour position.
Link to SGS site: https://www.etsu.edu/gradschool/funding/gats.php
Full-time PhD students can apply through the School of Graduate Studies for a Tuition Scholarship which requires a time commitment of eight hours each week. Similar to an Assistantship, the student assists a faculty member with research or other projects. Tuition Scholarships are available in the College of Nursing and other departments on campus. There is no salary provided, but full maintenance fee and out-of-state tuition (when applicable) is waived.
College of Nursing Scholarships
Various scholarships offered by the College of Nursing to graduate nursing students. Eligibility requirements vary. For specific information, please visit https://www.etsu.edu/nursing/scholarships.php .
School of Graduate Studies
PhD students can apply for specific scholarships and awards through the School of Graduate Studies. For a complete listing, please visit https://www.etsu.edu/gradschool/funding/paying.php
Intensive Week Schedules
2021-2022 Doctoral Intensive Week Schedules (for DNP and PhD Students) dates are:
Semester Regular Deadline
PhD Student Dissertations