CU Anschutz provides one of the nation’s top online PhD in Nursing programs, thanks to our innovative programming, exceptional faculty, and unique resources available at the Anschutz Medical Campus. In three to four years, you can complete a PhD in Nursing as a culmination of your nursing education. This is a degree that opens the doors of academia and research to you so that you can become a teaching professor, a clinical researcher or a healthcare policy analyst, among other career options.
Students who come to our program are highly motivated and eager to work with our excellent faculty mentors. Our professors are invested in student success and research excellence. Combined, our student/faculty dynamic is community-focused and results-driven.
Unlike fully online programs, the PhD in Nursing is offered as a blended program. Most of your coursework is completed via asynchronous online classes, but we also require students to attend short intensives throughout the academic year that foster community and relationships while also helping to develop your research skills.
These on-campus experiences are at the heart of our program because they take the online coursework to the next level while maintaining the flexibility you need to complete your PhD if you are also working full-time as a nursing professional or administrator.
Our blended program provides each student with three different research tracks. You may choose the research track that matches your professional and research goals. As a newly admitted student, you will be paired with a faculty advisor from your chosen area who will help you acclimate to the PhD environment, accomplish each requirement of the degree and develop the research question that will be the foundation of your dissertation.
Once per semester (fall, spring and summer), you will come to the CU Anschutz Medical Campus for a week-long intensive. This will provide you with rich opportunities to get to know your colleagues and faculty and benefit from the collective knowledge you all bring to in-person conversations.
Our three tracks include:
Healthcare Systems Research
This track provides you with the foundation you need to research healthcare systems. For example, we have had students research health outcomes related to hospital staffing best practices and how to optimize the management skills of head nurses. This track is particularly unique to CU Anschutz. We are the only university in the West providing this kind of focus, and one of only four programs like this in the entire nation.
In the Caring Science track, you will research how the complexities of healthcare careers impact nurses and health professionals. The principles of caring science are founded on the idea that being a professional caregiver requires paying attention to the self, not just the patient. A holistic approach to nursing can improve patient outcomes and provider mental health.
When studying biobehavioral sciences, you seek to understand the connections between patients’ physical health and things like lifestyle, behavior, environment, and genetics. Biobehavioral scientists seek to improve patient care by understanding these connections and effectively educating patients on the ways their actions and decisions can impact their health.