UAH and UA introduce state’s first joint Nursing Science Ph.D. program

College of Nursing Building

Enrollment in a joint Nursing Science Ph.D. program offered by UAH and UA will begin in the summer of 2019.

Michael Mercier | UAH

The College of Nursing at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) and the Capstone College of Nursing at the University of Alabama (UA) are pleased to announce a brand-new joint Nursing Science Ph.D. program. Once it is implemented in the summer of 2019, it will be the first online Nursing Science Ph.D. program as well as the first joint Nursing Science Ph.D. program in the state of Alabama.

"The UAH College of Nursing is very excited to be partnering with the UA Capstone College of Nursing to deliver a much-needed, high-quality online nursing science Ph.D. program," says Dr. Marsha Howell Adams, dean of the UAH College of Nursing, which was recently named a Center of Excellence by the National League for Nursing. "Only 23 percent of the 125 nursing Ph.D. programs in the U.S. are fully online. This program will meet the preferences and needs of a target population focused on an asynchronous delivery model."

UAH college of Nursing logo

The program’s primary goal is to prepare nurse scholars who advance nursing science by generating new knowledge through interprofessional research initiatives and to improve the health of rural and medically underserved populations. It will have the support and resources of UAH and UA, both of which have high research activity Carnegie classifications and are characterized by outstanding teaching, high-quality scholarship, and distinctive curricular and co-curricular programming. In return, the program will not only increase both institutions’ productivity and innovation in research and scholarship, but also enhance their graduate-level programming and increase enrollment.

Students will be dually enrolled using the cohort model, and faculty and staff resources will be shared to deliver a high-quality research-based program. The instructional delivery method for the program will primarily be online coursework through the Blackboard (UA) and Canvas (UAH) platforms combined with a five-day on-site summer intensive alternating between each university’s campus. This flexible delivery modality will attract students from across the country, who will be prepared upon graduation to engage in nursing science and generate new nursing knowledge through interprofessional research initiatives that target rural populations and medically underserved areas. Graduates will also enjoy an employment advantage as the nation’s complex healthcare environment demands that nurses in specialty positions have the highest possible level of education, practice expertise, and scientific knowledge.

Alabama College of Nursing logo

The program’s courses will include Informatics for Healthcare Teams, Ethical Conduct and Legal Issues in Research, Healthcare Policy for Rural and Medically Underserved Populations, and Epidemiology in Rural and Medically Underserved Populations, as well as three categories of cognates: nursing education, nursing technology, and omics/microbiome.

Admission to the program will be based on an overall evaluation of the applicant’s ability to undertake doctoral study and conduct research that will contribute to the advancement of nursing science, with an emphasis on improving patient outcomes and decreasing health disparities. Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended will be reviewed for coursework undertaken. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a four-point scale on all higher-education courses attempted or from the last 60 hours of coursework attempted. A total score of 300 and a score of 3.0 on the analytical writing portion on the GRE or a minimum of 410 on the MAT is required. Applicants must have an unencumbered registered nurse license.

"Most nurses who return to graduate school carry a challenging load of responsibilities, including working as a nurse, caring for their families, and going to school. It is not surprising that online programs are the preferred method of continuing education for many graduate-level nursing students," says Dr. Suzanne Prevost, dean of the UA Capstone College of Nursing. "This joint online program will provide a very flexible and student-friendly option for nurses who want to move into teaching, research, or senior administrative positions. We look forward to providing a great program that will respond to the needs of our students and our communities."