Doctor of Philosophy

PhD in Nursing


Two Entry Points

Policies and guidelines for this program are located in the Nursing PhD Handbook.

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Program Description

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program in nursing is designed to prepare students for positions as nursing faculty members, leaders in the application of innovative technologies to nursing education and clinical care, executive leaders in healthcare systems, and scientists who contribute to the body of nursing knowledge through their research. 

The doctoral program in nursing prepares nurse scholars to possess a body of knowledge about theory, processes and methods of inquiry in the discipline of nursing. The program allows students to contribute to disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge in nursing and healthcare from the basis of sound conceptual, methodological, and ethical decision-making. 

Student research must align with faculty research areas.

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Program Objectives

At the completion of the PhD in nursing program, graduates will be able to:

  • Conduct research to generate a body of knowledge and test theories that advance nursing science
  • Develop a program of scholarship that integrates research, teaching, leadership, and service to the profession
  • Contribute to interdisciplinary solutions that advance healthcare in a global society

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Please note: Online programs may not meet immigration requirements for students holding an F1 or J1 Visa to maintain status. If you have questions, please contact the International Services Center at intl.ucf.edu or call 407-823-2337. 

Program Director

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Donna F. Neff, PhD, RN, FNAP
donna.neff@ucf.edu
p: 407-823-5489
f: 407-823-5675

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Specifics:

  • BSN to PhD:
    Apply by March 1
    (Summer start)
  • MSN to PhD:
    Apply by March 1
    (Summer start)
  • PhD classes online with two intensives per year
Carol Lawrence: Protector of mothers throughout childbirth
“Our efforts to decrease maternal morbidity is making a difference in our community, but our commitment and work will continue until we reach a rate of zero.” Meet Carol Lawrence, ’12PhD alumna and protector of mothers throughout childbirth
 

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Knights in Nursing: Carol Lawrence

Protector of mothers throughout childbirth

“Our efforts to decrease maternal morbidity is making a difference in our community, but our commitment and work will continue until we reach a rate of zero.

Recently we were honored for our efforts to reduce complications in OB patients with the John Curran Quality Improvement Award from the Florida Perinatal Quality Collaborative. This award has been a career highlight for me, especially considering all of the great perinatal work being done.

Supporting mothers, from labor to mother-infant bonding, has been my passion since the beginning of my career when I worked as an OB nurse. I saw better outcomes when mothers and babies were allowed to stay together. This inspired my research and the creation of a reliable, validated instrument to measure mother-infant togetherness.

This journey has been personal because even my family has benefited from my evidence-based practice efforts. Last year I became a grandma and my grandson was able to experience undisturbed mother-infant togetherness in my hospital system. Knowing that I had a part in his care is especially gratifying. But my higher calling is that I want every family that delivers in our system, and across the nation, to have this same experience.

As nurses, our service to our patients is how we give to our respective communities. As a nurse researcher, I am able to give back to an even larger community by adding to the body of science. It is what motivated me to seek my PhD from UCF, which gave me a strong foundation in research methodology. For it is through evidence-based practice that we deliver excellent care, and our patients deserve nothing less from us.


Carol Lawrence, ’12PhD, MS, BSN, RNC-OB
Supervisor, Perinatal Practice, Education, Research and Lactation, Lee Health

Carol Lawrence: Protector of mothers throughout childbirth
“Our efforts to decrease maternal morbidity is making a difference in our community, but our commitment and work will continue until we reach a rate of zero.” Meet Carol Lawrence, ’12PhD alumna and protector of mothers throughout childbirth
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UCF is listed among the best nursing schools for earning a MSN and DNP, and is also listed as a best online graduate nursing program, according to U.S. News & World Report.