Nursing, Ph.D.

Saint Louis University's Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing program prepares nurses as scholars and beginning nurse scientists who will contribute to the continued knowledge development of the discipline and profession of nursing.

The program, offered at the Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing, takes place in both a traditional classroom format and distance learning with live, real-time digital teleconferencing. 

The Valentine School of Nursing is renowned for excellence in nursing education. In 2021, Niche ranked Saint Louis University’s Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing as the No. 8 best college in the country for nursing. Additionally, U.S. News and World Report consistently ranks our MSN-NP program as a top 50 program in their Best Graduate Schools survey.

Program Highlights

SLU's Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing features:

  • Full- and part-time curriculum plans
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) and Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) entry options
  • Responsive faculty who are nationally recognized for teaching excellence, nursing leadership, scholarly research and student mentorship
  • Faculty advisers who are individually assigned to mentor each student throughout the program
  • Access to an online library
  • An online writing center
  • State-of-the-art teaching facilities

Curriculum Overview

Students can enter SLU's Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing through one of two programs: the post-baccalaureate to Ph.D. track (B.S.N to Ph.D.), or the post-master's to Ph.D. track (M.S.N to Ph.D.).

Both options offer the choice of taking classes on campus or at a distance. Distance students interact live with students on campus through online conferencing software.

Most doctoral-level nursing classes are offered on Friday mornings and afternoons during fall and spring semesters. The scheduled time for the class takes into consideration students in different time zones. The academic year also includes two shorter, intensive courses, taken over the summer on Fridays.

The Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing requires 51 credits of doctoral coursework (plus a maximum of 18 credits accepted from a master's program) and 12 credits of dissertation research.

Careers

Graduates with a Ph.D. in nursing are prepared for careers as nurse scientists, nurse researchers and nurse educators.

Admission Requirements

The Saint Louis University Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing adheres to the principles of a holistic admission process in which selection criteria are broad-based and linked to our University’s and school’s mission and goals. While we do consider academic metrics we also look at applicant experiences, attributes, potential for success, and how applicants may contribute to the school’s learning environment and to the profession.

Ph.D. admissions faculty at the Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing evaluate all applications and may request interviews with applicants who meet the following criteria:

  • Post-M.S.N. to Ph.D. - Master's degree in nursing from a program accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency
  • Post-B.S.N. to Ph.D. - Baccalaureate degree in nursing from a program accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency.
  • Cumulative grade point average of 3.25 on a 4.0 system
  • Current, unencumbered registered professional nurse licensure in the state/country of residence/employment or eligibility for licensure in the State of Missouri
  • Evidence of high potential for scholarship and leadership in nursing

Application Requirements

  • Application form and fee
  • Transcript(s)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Résumé
  • Interview
  • Professional goal statement

Requirements for International Students

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Proof of financial support must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Application Deadlines

U.S. students should apply for the fall semester by June 1 and the spring semester by Nov. 1. International students should apply by Feb. 1 for the summer and fall semesters, and by Sept. 1 for the spring semester.  If the application deadline has passed for your semester of interest, please contact slunurse@slu.edu to determine if the application deadline has been extended.

Review Process

Applicants are considered on a rolling basis. An application answer may be expected after two weeks. There is a deadline to accept an offer of admission.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Financing for this program may be available through grants, scholarships, loans (federal and private) and institutional financing plans. 

The Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing at Saint Louis University offers scholarship and graduate research assistantship opportunities to eligible graduate students. Additionally, most nursing students will participate in a tuition assistance program provided through their employer.

For more information, visit the student financial services office online at https://www.slu.edu/financial-aid.

Accreditation

The Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing is fully approved by the Missouri State Board of Nursing.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice at the Valentine School of Nursing are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and approved by the Missouri State Board of Nursing. To achieve its educational objectives, the school uses the hospitals within SSM Health and many health care organizations of greater St. Louis.

  1. Graduates will be able to articulate multiple perspectives on knowledge development and a broad understanding of research methods.

  2. Graduates will be able to critique and synthesize nursing and interdisciplinary knowledge in a substantive area of inquiry.

  3. Graduates will be able to generate and disseminate nursing knowledge through research that is innovative, rigorously conducted, ethically sound and culturally sensitive.

  4. Graduates will be able to steward the discipline by serving as leaders in health care and academic settings.

Post-Bachelor of Science in Nursing Requirements

Required Courses
HCE 5500Ethics in Nursing& Health Care2
NURS 5140Health Promotion3
NURS 5170Advanced Pathophysiology3
NURS 5200Gen Research Methods3
NURS 6805Introduction to Applied Statistics for Healthcare Research3
NURS 6800Theory Development in Nursing3
NURS 6801Research Issues in Health Promotion, Disease Prevention, and Reduction of Health Disparities3
NURS 6802Measurement of Nursing Variables3
NURS 6803Nursing Issues and Leadership Strategies2
NURS 6804Research Issues in Care of Acute and Chronically Ill Populations3
NURS 6809Quantitative Methods in Nursing Research3
NURS 6810Qualitative Methods in Nursing Research3
NURS 6812Issues in Scientific Integrity in Nursing and Health Research1
NURS 6813Knowledge Development in Nursing3
NURS 6806Applied Statistics for Research I3
Research-methods elective3
Concentration Electives
NURS 6xxx Area of concentration enhancing the dissertation research or the nurse faculty role option9
Dissertation Research
NURS 6999Dissertation Research (taken over multiples semesters)12
Total Credits65

Post-Master of Science in Nursing Requirements

Required Courses
NURS 6800Theory Development in Nursing3
NURS 6801Research Issues in Health Promotion, Disease Prevention, and Reduction of Health Disparities3
NURS 6802Measurement of Nursing Variables3
NURS 6803Nursing Issues and Leadership Strategies2
NURS 6804Research Issues in Care of Acute and Chronically Ill Populations3
NURS 6809Quantitative Methods in Nursing Research3
NURS 6810Qualitative Methods in Nursing Research3
NURS 6812Issues in Scientific Integrity in Nursing and Health Research1
NURS 6813Knowledge Development in Nursing3
NURS 6806Applied Statistics for Research I3
Research-methods elective3
NURS 6805Introduction to Applied Statistics for Healthcare Research3
NURS 6959Special Study for Examinations0
Dissertation Research
NURS 6999Dissertation Research (taken over multiple semesters)12
Total Credits45

Continuation Standards

Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 in all graduate/professional courses.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester.  Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
Participation in Orientation on campus in August  
NURS 6800 Theory Development in Nursing 3
NURS 6813 Knowledge Development in Nursing 1 3
INTO course (if needed, depends on English scores) 2 3
INTO course (if needed, depends on English scores) 2 3
 Credits12
Spring
Participation in Midwest Nursing Research Society Conference  
NURS 6809 Quantitative Methods in Nursing Research 3
NURS 6810 Qualitative Methods in Nursing Research 3
INTO course (if needed, depends on English scores) 2 3
INTO course (if needed, depends on English scores) 2 3
 Credits12
Summer
NURS 6812 Issues in Scientific Integrity in Nursing and Health Research 1
Optional ELECT: Area of Concentration (AOC) course (need 9 AOC credits total) 3
 Credits4
Year Two
Fall
NURS 6801 Research Issues in Health Promotion, Disease Prevention, and Reduction of Health Disparities 3
NURS 6805 Introduction to Applied Statistics for Healthcare Research 3 3
If univariate stats was completed before starting the program, or ELECT: Area of Concentration course (need 9 AOC credits total) 3
 Credits9
Spring
Participation in Midwest Nursing Research Society Annual Conference (or approved research conference)  
NURS 6804 Research Issues in Care of Acute and Chronically Ill Populations 3
NURS 6806 Applied Statistics for Research I 3
 Credits6
Summer
NURS 6803 Nursing Issues and Leadership Strategies 2
Optional ELECT: Area of Concentration course (need 9 AOC credits total) 3
 Credits5
Year Three
Fall
ELECT: Area of Concentration course (need 9 credits) 3
ELECT: Methods elective (need 3 Methods credits total) 3
 Credits6
Spring
Participation in Midwest Nursing Research Society Annual Conference (or approved research conference)  
NURS 6802 Measurement of Nursing Variables 3
AOC: Area of Concentration course (need AOC credits total) 3
 Credits6
Summer
Optional ELECT: Area of Concentration course (need 9 AOC credits total) 3
 Credits3
Year Four
Fall
NURS 6959 Special Study for Examinations (written and oral) 0
 Credits0
Spring
Participation in Midwest Nursing Research Society Annual Conference (or approved research conference)  
NURS 6999 Dissertation Research 3
 Credits3
Summer
NURS 6999 Dissertation Research 3
 Credits3
Year Five
Fall
NURS 6999 Dissertation Research 3
 Credits3
Spring
Participation in Midwest Nursing Research Society Annual Conference (or approved research conference)  
NURS 6999 Dissertation Research 3
 Credits3
 Total Credits75
1

International students should take NURS 6805 Introduction to Applied Statistics for Healthcare Research (3 cr)

2

International students

3

If not completed prior to beginning of program. International students should take NURS 6813 Knowledge Development in Nursing (3 cr)


Apply for Admission

For additional admission questions please contact:
Scott Ragsdale
Recruitment Specialist
SLU Valentine School of Nursing
314-977-8995
slunurse@slu.edu