Increasing access to the Ph.D. in Nursing

at ETSU.

JOHNSON CITY – Graduate students pursuing a doctoral degree in nursing at East Tennessee State University come from all walks of the profession, but one commonality has led the College of Nursing to modify the program to provide flexibility for working adults to juggle higher academic pursuits with the rigors of day-to-day life.


“We have a diverse group of students in our program, ranging from nurse administrators to nurse faculty members to practicing nurses who are interested in research careers, but most of them do have one thing in common,” said Dr. Sadie Hutson, assistant professor and coordinator of the Ph.D. program for the College of Nursing.

“They have day jobs.”

Starting in 2010, candidates for the ETSU Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing degree will be able to complete nearly all of their academic requirements online. The new format will begin with graduate students who enroll in the fall 2010 cohort. The deadline for applications is Feb. 1, 2010.

The online component will be augmented with a few intensive courses on campus that are short in duration, Hutson said. Prospective graduate students from outside Tennessee now have added incentive to consider the College of Nursing’s doctoral program, as the ETSU School of Graduate Studies has declared that out-of-state graduate students may qualify for in-state tuition rates.

“More convenience is a need for working students, and we designed the program around that reality,” Hutson said. “ETSU’s doctoral program has a strong reputation throughout the state, and it’s still the same program with the same high academic standards – we’re just adapting it to meet the needs of our students.

“And in making this change, we also think it will create an enhanced academic experience. In an online learning environment, students are more in control of establishing “class” time that fits into their schedules. They will also have opportunities to come to campus and have face-to-face meetings with the faculty and their peers and to establish a feeling of connectedness and community.”

Hutson said the College of Nursing draws doctoral candidates who are seeking new careers or looking to strengthen existing careers in nursing academia, health care administration or applied clinical research.

“The appeal of the program is that one can specialize in almost any field in nursing, which provides many diverse options,” Hutson said. “Our faculty members are a wonderful example of how a doctoral degree in nursing provides choices. Many of us conduct research, teach, administer programs and see patients clinically…all in the same week.”

For more information on the College of Nursing Ph.D. program, call Hutson at (423) 439-7470.

Comments

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