Nursing (PhD)

Cupola atop a building on the Molloy University campus

Nursing - Doctor of Philosophy Program (PhD)

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing program at Molloy University prepares nurses for leadership roles in a variety of organizations, health related agencies, and educational institutions. A PhD education fosters the highest level of scholarly inquiry to promote self-transformation, enabling graduates to demonstrate excellence in leadership, education, and service. Through scholarly inquiry and intellectual engagement, the graduate will generate new knowledge by designing and conducting original research to advance the science of nursing.

The underlying beliefs of the Barbara H. Hagan School Nursing and Health Sciences at Molloy University are rooted in its humanistic framework. The program emphasizes the dignity of the individual, scholarly inquiry, self-enrichment, and high personal and professional standards. Humanistic nursing behavior, grounded in the principles of stewardship and caring, is a goal of the PhD program. A curriculum enriched by the study of the humanities assists in achieving that goal.

PhD in Nursing Program Information

  • Program Goals

    Goals of the program are to prepare future nursing scientists and leaders with the knowledge and skill to develop policies and practices that respond to the inequities of our healthcare and social systems; and improve outcomes and quality of life for all individuals, families, and communities in society. The recipients of the Molloy University PhD in Nursing are prepared to:

    1. Serve as leaders in advancing the practice of nursing through research, education, administration, and health policy.
    2. Participate fully in multidisciplinary contributions to the creation of nursing knowledge.
    3. Generate, test, and extend knowledge through research and theory development and to disseminate the findings.
    4. Influence health policy to advance nursing and health care in a global society.
    5. Integrate theory and practice through advanced ethical analysis.
    6. Appreciate and extend the aesthetic values of nursing.
    7. Value the inherent dignity of all humans and protect them from dehumanization of health care.
    8. Treasure the ideals of nursing through the stewardship of caring. 


  • Curriculum Overview

    The Molloy University PhD in Nursing program curriculum is congruent with the elements identified for the research-focused doctorate by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.  Within the 51 required credits, there are prescribed credits, elective (cognate) credits, and following coursework and a comprehensive examination, dissertation seminar and progression credits. 

    • Theory CoreThe theory cluster of courses address the theoretical and conceptual bases for nursing practice, and the underpinnings of professional leadership. Hallmarks of Scholarly Inquiry introduces the doctoral student to the scholarly process of dissertation research preparation. Ethics: The Foundation of Leadership explores traditional and contemporary ethical principles and core nursing values in order to develop students’ complex analytical skills. Nursing Concept Analysis Through the Humanities allows students to investigate phenomena important to nursing through the lens of the humanities. Students also develop theoretical connections and philosophical reflections as bases for future theory construction. Students gain exposure to the United States health care system and the organizational, public and corporate policies that shape and influence it as a background for nursing leadership in the Scholarship of Health Care Organizations and Policy. In Philosophical Evolution of Nursing Knowledge, elements of philosophy of science are used as a guide to explore the evolution of nursing science. Nursing theory construction is examined as a foundation for research.  
    • Research Core: The research cluster, students acquire the tools to build their research skills. A strong foundation in both qualitative and quantitative methods is offered in Qualitative Research Methods, Quantitative Research Methods, and a choice of either Advanced Quantitative or Advanced Qualitative Analysis. Research Residency affords students learning opportunities encompassing all aspects of the research process. In Hallmarks of Scholarly Design and Implications, students have a particular emphasis on dissertation proposal development as well as implications for the nursing profession. 
    • Leadership and Education Core: Leadership themes are threaded throughout the curriculum assuring preparation for leadership in health policy and organizations. Leadership Innovations and Interventions allows students to examine the complex interaction of forces shaping organizations and national and global policy. Nursing Education: Principles, Dynamics, and Innovations provides students with experience and knowledge necessary for doctoral graduates of the future. 
    • Cognates: This component allows students to pursue an individualized plan of study that builds a specialized area of competence and supports their research interests and career goals. Cognate courses contribute to the development of nursing knowledge through theoretical and/or methodological approaches. These courses may be taken at Molloy or other academic institutions. The choice of cognates must be approved by the advisor and Director of the PhD Program. 
    • Dissertation Seminar & Dissertation Progression: The dissertation is the culmination of doctoral study. Dissertation Seminar is taken after the completion of all required coursework and successful pass on the comprehensive exam. This course provides the opportunity for the student to develop and refine the dissertation. Following the Dissertation Seminar, the student registers for continuous Dissertation Progression until completion of successful oral defense. 


  • Program of Study

    Theory Core - 15 credits

    NUR 6000

    Hallmarks of Scholarly Inquiry

    3 credits

    NUR 6010

    Ethics: The Foundation of Leadership

    3 credits

    NUR 6020

    Nursing Concept Analysis through the Humanities

    3 credits

    NUR 6030

    Scholarship of Health Care Policy and Organizations

    3 credits

    NUR 6040

    Philosophical Evolution of Nursing Knowledge

    3 credits


    Research Core - 18 Credits

    NUR 6050

    Qualitative Research Methods

    3 credits

    NUR 6060

    Quantitative Research Methods

    3 credits

    NUR 6070

    Advanced Quantitative Analysis

    3 credits

    NUR 6080

    Advanced Qualitative Analysis

    3 credits

    NUR 6090

    Analysis Primer: Foundational Statistics

    1 credit

    NUR 6092/3/4

    Research Residency

    2 credits

    NUR 6100

    Hallmarks of Scholarly Design and Implications 

    3 credits


    Leadership and Education Core – 6 Credits

    NUR 6400

    Leadership Innovations and Interventions

    3 credits

    NUR 6500

    Nursing Education: Principles, Dynamics, and Innovations

    3 credits




    Cognates - 3 Credits

    Cognates are offered in nursing leadership, education, and research. Courses in other disciplines that are related to dissertation research needs may be approved



    Dissertation – 9 Credits

    NUR 7000

    Dissertation Seminar

    3 credits

    NUR 7010

    Dissertation Progression

    6 credits total

    NUR 7020

    Dissertation Continuation

    1 cr. each until completion



    51 credits

  • Course Modality

    The Molloy PhD in Nursing program is designed with you in mind. Engaging seminar-style classes meet virtually in the comfort of your own space on Thursday evenings with one meeting a month held on campus for events that foster connectedness and networking among fellow students, alumni, and faculty.

  • Doctoral Student Development Series

    To enhance the current PhD program curriculum, the Doctoral Student Development Series is a planned series of events including workshops, seminars, and conference activities that take place throughout the academic year to expose students to a wide range of experiences, meet health care leaders, and discuss contemporary health issues.

  • Lunch and Learn Research Series

    Lunch and Learn Research Series take place throughout the academic year for the purpose of sharing nursing knowledge. Knowledge that is generated through nursing research and essential to the development of guidelines that lead practice, education, and policy to improve care and our profession. The presenters are comprised of external researchers, faculty researchers, and newly minted doctoral researchers. Seminars are presented via zoom, participation is free, and continuing nursing education hours are awarded. Research series archives are available for viewing.

  • Research and Academic Support for Students

    Molloy doctoral faculty are engaged in research and are always willing to work with students. We have experts in quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods designs. Our Research Residency program pairs doctoral students with faculty conducting research so that students gain firsthand experience, mentorship, and essential research skill development. “Meet & Greets” and "Academic Matching” are fun informal ways for new doctoral students and doctoral candidates to connect with faculty, learn about the research faculty are conducting, and solicit committee members.  

     The college has generously made available a designated librarian, statistician, and editor for faculty and students in our doctoral programs at no extra cost.

    • Our librarian teaches students how to access the electronic databases, use advanced search strategies, execute interlibrary loans, and use citation managers to store articles and create references.
    • Our statistical consultant works individually with doctoral students and faculty in all aspects of statistical planning, data analysis, and interpretation.
    • Our writing center is available to all students via face to face or remote modalities for all writing needs. 

  • Paying for School

    • Veronica Feeg, Sigma Theta Tau-Epsilon Kappa Chapter, PhD in Nursing Research, Leadership, and Policy Award was created in 2022 by the Molloy PhD alumni and students, and Sigma Theta Tau-Epsilon Kappa Chapter, in honor of Dr. Veronica Feeg. It will be awarded annually to a PhD graduate who serves as a steward of the profession and exemplifies a commitment to advancing nursing science through research.
    • Jonas Philanthropies offers competitive awards for nurse scholars to engaged in vital research. The Molloy University PhD in Nursing Program boasts seven Jonas Scholars.  
    • Sen. Patricia McGee Nursing Faculty Scholarship Program is a competitive grant offered through New York State Higher Education Services Corporation to increase the number of nursing faculty.
    • HRSA Nurse Faculty Loan Program aims to increase the number of qualified nursing faculty by offering loans to students enrolled in advanced education nursing degree programs who are committed to becoming nurse faculty. In exchange for full-time post-graduation employment as nurse faculty, the program authorizes the cancelation of up to 85% of any such loan. Contact the Doctoral Program Office for information. 
    • Graduate Assistantships are offered through the Molloy University Office of Graduate Academic Affairs. Teaching and Research Assistants receive a 3-credit voucher and a $500.00 stipend per semester.

  • Admission Requirements

    Doctoral students are advanced adult scholars, and their educational experience should be characterized by active and engaging learning. In keeping with Molloy University strengths characterized by small classes with personal student-faculty engagement, we seek to enroll a small cohort of highly qualified candidates. We welcome you to become a part of our community of scholars.

    Molloy University employs a "whole person" philosophy to evaluate candidates for admission to the doctoral program. A multi-faceted assessment of the applicant's potential for success includes the following:

    1. A master's degree from an accredited program. A higher degree in nursing (baccalaureate and/or master's). Degrees outside of nursing need to be relevant to nursing and health.
    2. Minimum Grade Point Average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale from applicant's master's program.
    3. Original official transcripts from all college programs and courses.
    4. Current license to practice as a registered nurse in the United States.
    5. A written statement of career goals and research interests.
    6. Three letters of reference from professionals in the field that speak to the potential of the applicant as a scholar, to include at least one from a former faculty and at least one from a recent employer.
    7. A current curriculum vitae.
    8. A copy of a recent academic or scholarly paper, research report, or publication.
    9. An interview with the Director of the PhD Program and faculty of the Doctoral Program with concurrent completion of a brief writing sample evaluated by a designated PhD admission committee.
    10. International students must follow the regular admissions procedure including submission of college transcripts. See the catalog for English evaluations of transcripts. The TOEFL examination for those whom English is not the native language is required with a minimum score of 500.


    Students are admitted as a Fall semester cohort. All materials for admission must be submitted to the Admissions Office of Molloy University by April 1 for the Fall semester. Submission after that time will be considered on an individual basis.

  • Catalog Course Description

    For more information visit our PhD Course Catalog page.


    PhD Course Catalog