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PhD in Nursing

A PhD in nursing is an essential for influencing improvements in patient care and our health care system.  GW Nursing offers an executive format, low-residency PhD in nursing taught by expert faculty conducting clinical, educational, health services, and health policy research.  Student research interests are matched with those of a research faculty member who will serve as advisor.  A full list of faculty research areas can be found under the Faculty Research Areas tab below.

Graduate assistantships, which include full-time tuition remission and a stipend, are available for well-qualified students during the first two years of study.

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Flexible Format

The curriculum is delivered in a flexible, low residency, executive style format, which includes on-campus residencies twice a semester during didactic courses.

Online Learning

Online Learning

Synchronous online sessions are delivered most weeks of the semester to maximize student engagement with faculty, classmates, and the program.

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Exceptional Faculty

Our faculty are nationally recognized leaders with focus areas in clinical, educational and health services research. Faculty research areas will accommodate student matching for PhD study .


Begin your application! 

Program Information

Upon completion of the PhD in Nursing, our graduates will be positioned to:

  • Implement theoretical and methodological approaches required to implement discovery science
  • Assume a tenure-track research or teaching faculty position at a university
  • Apply for post-doctoral research fellowships at research intensive universities or government agencies
  • Influence nursing-related policy, education, and scientific discovery


Requirements (all applicants):
  1. Application
  2. GRE scores (within five years of test date)
  3. Current RN License
  4. Master's degree in nursing or related field (health)
  5. Resume/CV
  6. 3 letters of recommendation
  7. Statement of purpose (addressing research and potential GW research mentors)
  8. Writing sample (published article or graded academic paper)
  9. Score > 100 TOEFL (international applicants)

Other Considerations:
  • 3.0 (on 4.0 scale) preferred GPA
  • Interview if selected as a top candidate
  • Graduate statistics class taken within the past five years with a grade of B or better


  • Palliative/end of life care in chronic disease
  • Symptom management in cancer
  • Maternal health/post-partum outcomes
  • Clinical trials performance
  • Health care workforce
  • HIV and health disparities
  • Transgender care
  • Educational interventions
  • Alzheimer's disease/measurement of cognition
  • Autism/neurocognitive development in children
  • Geriatric feeding interventions
  • HPV prevention/cancer screening and minority health
  • Health services research/vaccine policy/drug safety
  • Sleep, fatigue and occupational safety
  • 2-day orientation on GW campus the summer before year 1
  • 2 ½ days on GW campus twice a semester, during weeks 5 and 10 of years 1 and 2


Our proximity to federal agencies, legislators and policymakers offers nurses a unique learning experience to hone their research skills in the nation's capital.

Pamela R. Jeffries, PhD, RN, FAAN, ANEF

Dean and Professor
The George Washington University School of Nursing