PhD in Nursing

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The Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD) is a research-based program designed to prepare scholars for a lifetime of systematic inquiry and knowledge development. The curriculum integrates a wide body of knowledge in the area of wellness promotion and health maintenance, and incorporates two main areas of research: health of the family and community and international health. Additional nursing education content incorporates educational theories into the larger context of health education and academic preparation.

Graduates of this program are nurse scholars, educators, and researchers who are prepared to pursue systematic research inquiry to improve the health of society and prepare the future generation of nurse clinicians and academicians.

The main outcome objectives of the program are to prepare graduates:

  • In the development, testing, and utilization of theoretical knowledge that will advance nursing science and improve health outcomes.
  • For a lifetime of systematic, intellectual, and scholarly inquiry relevant to the discipline of nursing and health care.
  • For careers in the academy, government, and health care to further the growth of nursing knowledge and teach the next generation of nurse practitioners, researchers, and educators.
  • To develop ethical, social, cultural, and health policy for the advancement of nursing education, research, and the health of those whom nursing serves.

Learn more about the program and our faculty.

As a CNS in gerontology, I see the need for well-trained nurses. With my love for nursing and teaching, pursuing a PhD and becoming a professor seemed natural. After studying at two other institutions, neither one compared to APU’s unique approach. The team effort between the faculty, students, and staff produces a calming effect that makes learning powerful and meaningful rather than competitive.

Patti Shakhshir, PhD
CNS Coordinator for Pain Management, Upland, CA

School of Nursing Accreditation

Azusa Pacific University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). The Doctor of Nursing Practice at Azusa Pacific University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

University Reputation

U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges 2023 edition named Azusa Pacific to its list of top national universities and several other significant lists, including First-Year Experiences and Top Performers on Social Mobility. The Princeton Review designated APU as 1 of 126 institutions in the “Best Western Colleges” section of its 2023 Best Colleges guide. APU’s School of Nursing was named a top nursing school in California for 2023 by College Factual and Niche. APU was included as a top-100 degree producer by Diverse: Issues In Higher Education and is a designated Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI). Azusa Pacific is also a Military Friendly School and Yellow Ribbon University, serving more than 500 military-connected students and families, and is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as an R2 Doctoral Research University.

Note: This information is current for the 2023-24 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.