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College of Nursing > Doctoral Degree and Certificate Options > Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing Science > Program Information: Master's - PhD in Nursing Science
About Rush University
Master's - PhD Deadline Dates
Term Begins
Application Deadlines Decision Dates
(September 2016)
February 1, 2016 April 2016
Admissions contact:
Jennifer Thorndyke

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in nursing science graduate is prepared as a clinical researcher. Based on the integration of knowledge from biological, behavioral and clinical sciences, students learn clinical research skills that will contribute to the scientific basis of care provided to individuals across the lifespan and in any setting where care is provided. Graduates will also have leadership skills necessary to serve as senior academicians and influence health care systems and policy.

 Important Program Information


The PhD in Nursing Science Program has an accelerated plan of study in which students:

  • Can complete all degree requirements in three years
  • Receive funds to cover three years of full-time tuition and a living stipend 

Admission to the accelerated program is competitive, and students must indicate their interest by directly emailing the program director, Barbara Swanson, PhD, RN, FAAN, ACN, at when making application.

Program Highlights and Opportunities

Non-nurses who hold a graduate degree in a health-related field will be considered for admission.

  • The PhD program prepares health care professionals to conduct clinical research to advance the nursing care of individuals and populations. Graduates will receive the knowledge and experiences to launch and sustain externally-funded programs of research and to assume the role of a clinical scholar.
  • The program is delivered in an entirely online format.
  • Students benefit from innovative teaching and mentoring strategies, multiple methods of curriculum delivery matched to course objective.
  • The faculty are committed to working closely with students to prepare graduates for a career in clinical research; faculty help students develop and submit manuscripts for publication throughout the program.

Commitment to Full-Time Study

It is recommended that the applicant commit to pursuing full-time study to enable timely completion of the program, as well as continuity in the development of his/her research. Completion of the program within four years will be possible for many students. A part-time program of study requires an additional year of study.

Opportunity to Pursue Pre-Doctoral Research Support

Although personal assets and financial aid can provide partial support for full-time study, pre-doctoral training fellowships, as well as research and educational assistantships, are important to almost every student. Though not required, students can work with an advisor to prepare a pre-doctoral fellowship application that can provide support for tuition and living costs during the second year of study. 

Learn more about the "Learn & LEAP" Tuition Scholarship

On-Campus and Online Information Sessions available! It is highly recommended to attend one of these sessions if you would like to learn more about the program from faculty and staff.

Meet Rush PhD Student Ben Inventor

Contact for PhD in Nursing Science Program:

Barbara Swanson, PhD, RN
Director, PhD program
Phone: (312) 942-8977

Apply Now

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