Jan 30, 2023  
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin 
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing (Leadership) PhD

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The purpose of the online Doctor of Philosophy degree in Nursing is to prepare scholars, with expertise in selected, substantive areas, who will contribute to the science and practice of nursing through systematic inquiry and theory development. Graduates will be prepared to meet state, regional, and national needs for doctorally prepared faculty in schools of nursing and other leadership positions in health-related organizations.

The Ph.D. program offers two tracks both 100% online: Post-Masters and BSN to Ph.D. The Post-Masters track requires 48 hours credits during a minimum of 24-30 months of full-time study. The BSN to Ph.D. track requires 60 hours credit during a minimum of 36-42 months of full-time study. Both full-time and part-time is available.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the online Ph.D. program depends upon sufficient enrollment, university resources, and qualifications of applicants. In addition to the criteria mentioned in Admission Requirements and Procedures , a select number of students will be admitted to the program based on the following criteria as required by the School of Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice:

  1. Graduate from a baccalaureate or master’s program accredited by the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
  2. Minimum 3.0 GPA for the most recent nursing degree.
  3. Completion of the Graduate Record Examination (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing sections).
  4. A current unencumbered registered nurse (RN) license.
  5. Curriculum vitae or professional resumé.
  6. Submission of three (3) letters of reference from individuals (doctoral level nursing individuals preferred ) familiar with the applicant’s academic/professional background and experience in nursing practice, specifying in detail the applicant’s capability for doctoral study.
  7. Cover letter of introduction and a personal statement of research interests submitted with the application.
  8. Supplemental Nursing Application.
  9. An interview (online or telephone).
  10. Proof of recent health examination to include (a) proof of immunization against the Hepatitis B virus, (b) current tuberculosis (TB) skin test or quantiFERON G test, (c) current Tdap immunization, (d) Evidence of immunity to varicella, and (e) current MMR immunization.
  11. Submit proof of a current cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certificate.
  12. Completion of a criminal background check and drug screen.

Exceptions to the above criteria must be approved by the School Director, the Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Professions, and the Dean of the Graduate School.

Program Requirements and Academic Policies

The program of study includes 48-60 hours of required coursework, including 12 dissertation hours. A comprehensive exam and a dissertation are required to graduate.

A student must maintain a 3.0-grade point average each semester and may not earn more than 6 hours with a grade of C in the program of study. Failure to meet this requirement will result in denial of progression in the graduate nursing program.

If a student has a felony conviction, the student may not be able to complete the degree because the student may not be able to perform the required clinical experience.

Academic Progression

A sequence of courses, examinations, and a dissertation mark the students’ progression in the Ph.D. program.

  1. A comprehensive examination administered after all major coursework has been completed.
  2. Selection of a dissertation committee which will oversee the student’s work toward the degree.
  3. A final online oral examination (dissertation defense) which covers the dissertation research and related fields administered at the completion of the dissertation - students should consult the Human Subjects Committee (IRB).
  4. Fulfillment of the virtual residency requirement, which may be met by continuous online enrollment of 1) 6 semester hours for each of 4 consecutive semesters, or 2) 9 semester hours for each of 3 consecutive semesters, or 3) 12 semester hours for each of 2 consecutive semesters.
  5. Fulfillment of Research Tool(s) requirements.
  6. A 3.0 GPA is required for graduation.

Course Requirements (48-60 hours)

Core II— 12 hours

Additional Southern Miss requirements for BSN to Ph.D. track.


Required for BSN to Ph.D. and Post-Master’s tracks. A total of 12 semester online hours is required for dissertation research (NUR 898 ).

Research Tools Requirement

Required for BSN to Ph.D. and Post-Master’s tracks

The following courses meet the research tools requirements for the School of Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice:

These courses will be taken in a prescribed order not reflected here. Courses will also be taken during the summer semester.

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