Online learning modes have penetrated all professions and nursing is no exception. An Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) who wishes to take a PhD degree in nursing can now do it at the comfort of their own home or office. Online nursing PhD programs enable busy advanced practice nurses to pursue the terminal education level in nursing without having to give-up their jobs.
Starting on an Online Nursing PhD Program
In terms of requirements, online PhD students need to be already advanced practice nurses. The most preferable candidates for online PhD programs are former nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, certified nurse midwives or nurse specialists. This means to enroll for a PhD in nursing program, you must have earned your masters degree.
On the other hand, there are special PhD in nursing programs that take-in students who only have a bachelors degree. These programs take a bit longer to complete as there are additional credits which BSN to PhD students have to take.
Generalized Program Guide for Online PhDs
Students enrolled in this program are expected to do the following to be awarded the following:
Take Online Classes
Online classes are facilitated using advanced online learning tools. The curriculum delivery is made possible using learning modes like live seminars, web conferencing, audio conferencing among others. Students take all their theoretical classes online.
Dissertations are part and parcel of all phd programs including the online ones. Students are expected to research and write their dissertations and continually forward them to the in-charge faculty member for examination. The same should be uploaded online for assessment.
Develop a Clinical Defense
This is usually a prerequisite for completion of a phd in nursing degree. Online students are expected to develop a clinical project and defend it in a panel. Depending on your school, you can either present your clinical defense via a webinar or present it when making the annual end of year campus stay.
Attend a Research Conference
Most online nursing schools will locate and book their online PhD students to research conferences in their state. Attendance of one or two research conferences is usually part of the examination process of the PhD student. The research conference must be chosen and recommended by your respective nursing school to facilitate its recognition.
Attend Your Campus Annually For The Duration of Study
Online PhD programs demand that students make on-campus visits every end of the year. This enables the faculty members to do intensive assessment of concepts learnt during the online sessions. At this point, students can also have on-campus face to face lectures with their professors. For this reason, it is strongly advisable that students intending to take the online PhD program to consider enrolling in schools within their states or the most convenient.
What Does an Online PhD in Nursing Prepare You For?
Earning a PhD in nursing, either online or in a traditional nursing schools opens you to a multitude of opportunities. Firstly, the nursing PhD is the terminal nursing degree on the land, and therefore, it is obvious to expect the best pay for PhD nurses.
In addition to a smarter check, PhD students are able to operate at wider and more lucrative positions in the nursing field. A PhD gives you an excellent opportunity to shape the future nurses by becoming a faculty member and an instructor to students nurses. There are also numerous leadership roles that PhD graduates can assume. They are able to utilize their honed advanced nursing skills to become policy and decision makers in the health care profession.
PhD nursing graduates are able to give more focus in nursing research leading to generation and dissemination of vital research findings into real nursing practice. Such research foci can include reducing the risk of vulnerable groups while promoting health, managing chronic and old age suffering among others.
PhD holders also have the mandate of expanding the scholarly basis of nursing practice via empirical and philosophical basis that lead to a better understanding of nursing by the society.
Duration of Typical Online Nursing PhD Programs
Usually, nursing schools offering online nursing PhD programs require students to take at least 4 years to complete their studies although some may take as much as 5 years to compete. During this time, students are expected to cover 75 to 90 nursing credits depending on the program chosen or nursing school. For MSN to PhD programs, nurses take about 75 credits while the 90 credits are applicable to the BSN to PhD programs.