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PhD Degree Nursing Program College of Nursing and Health Sciences Florida International University

  • Miami, FL
  • Private
  • Urban
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Graduate Programs in Nursing at Florida International University

In addition to the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Nursing degree program, the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences (NWCNHS) at Florida International University offers Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) degree programs. These graduate nursing programs all meet the highest educational standards in the field and have achieved accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs, and approval from the Florida State Board of Nursing.

Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) degree programs to prepare students to become advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs) are completed in 2 years and include online and on campus classes, as well as 630-770 clinical practice hours depending on the specialty. Upon graduation students qualify for national certification examinations in their specializations, either "Adult-Gero," "Child," "Family," or "Psych/Mental Health." Students are also prepared for Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) licensure.

Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) degree programs to prepare students to become Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs), are completed in approximately 3 years and include online and on campus classes, as well as over 3,000 clinical practice hours within the specialty. Upon graduation students qualify for national certification examinations to become licensed as CRNAs.

Doctoral level nursing programs include the Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) degree program, which is a clinical doctoral program for advanced practice nurses (ARNP, CRNA, CNS, etc.), and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Nursing degree program for those interested in teaching and research in higher education. Both programs prepare students to become leaders in their nursing fields or specialty areas.

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Degree Program

Students in the Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (Ph.D.) degree program gain the knowledge and skills to conduct advanced healthcare research and facilitate application of evidence-based healthcare findings. The program's purpose is to develop individuals who will be leaders and educators in generating and applying the science needed to guide nursing practice. The curricula consist of 88 credits for students in the B.S.N. to Ph.D. degree program and 61 credits for those in the M.S.N. to Ph.D. degree program.

The M.S.N. to Ph.D. degree program is designed for master's in nursing prepared students who wish to become researchers, faculty members, and/or leaders in the application of research in their fields of expertise.

The B.S.N. to Ph.D. degree program was established specifically for students who demonstrate outstanding academic accomplishment in their undergraduate courses. This comprehensive advanced education track builds on student's nursing knowledge and skills at the baccalaureate level, includes master's level courses to prepare students for advanced practice roles, and provides the foundation for students to engage in a program of intellectual inquiry at the doctoral level.

In both tracks, students will be guided and supported by Ph.D. faculty members who will assist the student in completion of a rigorous program of research based on advanced knowledge in their specialty areas.

FIU's doctoral nursing programs (Ph.D. and B.S.N.-to-Ph.D. degree) are designed to prepare its graduates for leadership roles and research careers in academia, the health care industry, and government and private organizations focused on health care. The program purpose is to develop individuals who will be leaders in generating and applying the science needed to guide nursing practice, and who have the knowledge and skills to direct and guide application of other evidence-based health care findings to improve the health of people from diverse cultures. Students in the program will pursue individualized courses of study under the mentorship of research active faculty members. A major program emphasis is the preparation of Ph.D.-educated minority nursing leaders and focused research on health issues for minority and under-served populations.

Each doctoral nursing program has the following 6 components:

- Program of Study

- Candidacy Examination

- Dissertation Proposal and Defense

- Dissertation Research

- Dissertation Writing

- Dissertation Defense

Excellence in Clinical Practice

The College of Nursing and Health Sciences has strong partnerships with a number of highly regarded medical facilities. This diversity of settings coupled with collaboration with and supervision from experienced physicians and advanced practice nurse preceptors ensure that M.S.N. degree program students acquire advanced clinical education.

The Simulation Teaching and Research (Star) Center

The Simulation Teaching and Research (STAR) Center in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences provides "simulation teaching" and research resources for students in healthcare programs.

Its Simulation Center includes 8 patient rooms, a 15-bed critical care unit, and Laerdal SimMan patient simulators that provide students with hands-on experience such as performing laparoscopies and taking patient vitals.

Its Rehabilitation Center complements the acute-care emphasis by providing realistic clinical settings that facilitate teaching and research regarding other components of patient care, therapies, and treatments.

The STAR Center is currently participating in a landmark study on the use of Simulation in Nursing Education. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) chose CNHS as one of only 10 sites which will help to determine the optimal use of, and time spent in, simulation education scenarios by pre-licensure nursing education programs.

Financial Assistance for Graduate Nursing Students

For eligible graduate students, FIU offers assistantships, fellowships, loans, scholarships or some combination of these resources. FIU Financial Aid Office offers assistance to graduate students who are interested in obtaining this help. More information is available at

Employment Opportunities

Graduates of advanced practice and Ph.D. nursing degree programs are prepared to excel in advanced clinical practice, leadership, research, or education positions in the field of nursing. As a result, they have a competitive advantage in a growing healthcare industry that offers many opportunities for professional advancement.

Experienced Nursing Faculty Members

Nursing faculty members are dedicated teachers, practitioners, and scholars who are experts in their specialty practices and academic areas.

For example, Professor Vicente Gonzalez is also the clinical coordinator for the Nurse Anesthetist program. He has been a practicing CRNA since 1998. He also developed and implemented a teaching module for ultrasound guided regional anesthesia.

Research at FIU Advances Nursing Education and Practice

Research is a vital component of the teaching, learning, and clinical practices at FIU. Students complete research projects that help them strengthen their knowledge about nursing theory and practice.

Faculty members conduct cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research that increases scientific knowledge and improves evidence-based practice in the field.

Two leading nurse researchers, FIU nursing professors Dr. JoAnne M. Youngblut and Dr. Dorothy Brooten, are fielding a unique R01 class study on this subject titled, "Death in the PICU/NICU: Parent and Family Functioning." Backed by a $2.15 million grant from the National Institute of Health's (NIH) National Institute of Nursing Research, the 5-year study focuses on how families function and relate with one another (i.e., mother-to-father, parents-to-surviving children) after the death of a child in a pediatric or neonatal intensive care unit (PICU/NICU).

In fall 2010, Dr. Youngblut and Dr. Brooten received a second NIH R01 award for $2.5 million for their study titled, "Children's Responses to Sibling Death in NICU/PICU in 3 Racial/Ethnic Groups." Building from the parent study, they seek to understand the impact of the loss of a sibling among living sibling who have lost a playmate, friend, peer and confidante

They often focus on topics concerning the needs of minority and underserved populations, such as HIV prevention and care, depression among older adults, and health problems affecting at-risk women and children.

A current list of the CNHS faculty member funded research projects is found at

Additional Programs in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences

In addition to master's and doctoral programs in nursing, CNHS offers Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) and Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Health Services Administration degree programs.

The college also offers Master of Science (M.S.) degree programs in athletic training, occupational therapy, and speech language pathology, as well as a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program.

Florida International University

Established in 1965, Florida International University is a public research institution of higher learning located in Miami, Florida, in the southeastern region of the United States. It provides a vibrant community that facilitates academic, personal, and professional excellence amongst its diverse student population that includes more than 45,000 students.

FIU's location in beautiful Miami -- a mecca of financial, commercial, entertainment, and cultural activity -- enhances students' learning experiences.

Every neighborhood provides an opportunity to learn new things, explore new cultures, and participate in the community.

Location & Contact

PhD Degree Nursing Program

College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Florida International University

Miami, FL




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