PhD in Nursing

Applying to the PhD Program 

To learn more about degree requirements, the applications process and deadlines, visit PhD in Nursing application process

About the PhD Program

The goal of the PhD Program, which is ranked among the top eight programs in the U.S. by the National Research Council, is to prepare students to conduct clinical research that generates new knowledge applicable to nursing practice. A foundation of research and scholarship gained at the bachelor’s, master's, or DNP level is further enhanced at the PhD level. Our students are prepared to assume roles in a variety of research settings, from private industry and hospitals to top research-intensive nursing schools affiliated with major academic health centers. 

The PhD program has a hybrid delivery model.  Applicants to the program have the option to participate either in-person on campus (traditional format) or remotely via zoom (on-line format). Individuals select one format upon admission, but they are free to change formats each semester.  Students enrolled in the on-line format will participate in synchronous course offerings via zoom with the in-person students.

You can work with faculty who have a wide variety of research interests.  Invaluable mentoring by faculty members and collegial interactions among doctoral students support the development of nurse researchers. Click each researchers' name at the bottom of this page for a video from them about their research program.  Doctoral students have the opportunity to participate in faculty members' research programs, such as psychosocial and biobehavioral interventions for prevention and treatment of cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases, promoting self-management of chronic illnesses, mental health, rural health, genomics, peri-operative nursing, substance abuse, health services research, tobacco policy and smoking cessation, occupational health and safety, health disparities, health risks in pregnant women, and more.  

There are two entry points to the PhD Program:

Post-BSN and Post-MSN Option: for those who wish to build on their BSN degree to become active nurse researchers and contribute to the development of science that improves health outcomes. This option also includes those with an earned master's degree who desire to develop research skills that contribute to science, scholarship and improved health outcomes. 

Post-DNP Option: Curriculum plans are customized for each individual based on a faculty review of completed DNP coursework as comparable to courses in the PhD Program.

All entry options also have part-time plans. Deadline for fall admission is Feb. 15. Admission decisions are made on a competitive basis. Applications received after Feb. 15 will be considered on a space-available basis.

Click the researchers' name below to see a video from them about their research.  These researchers are your potential mentors in the PhD program.

Adebola Adegboyega

Kristin Ashford and Perinatal Research and Wellness Center

Ty Borders

Amanda Fallin-Bennett 

Ellen Hahn - BREATHE

Ellen Hahn - UK-CARES

Ana Maria Linares

Zim Okoli

Lovoria Williams

Jia-Rong Wu

Click here for more information on the College's research initiatives.

With research as a central component of the College's mission, College faculty and students currently boast more than $40 million in its research portfolio as they produce groundbreaking knowledge in cardiovascular disease, tobacco control policy, diabetes, cancer, health disparities, maternal-child health, chronic pain, and mental health.