Academic Calendar 2023-2024

Nursing - Doctor of Philosophy

The Program

The Ph.D. program will normally involve four years of full-time study. The program has one field, Transitions in health and illness. This field is concerned with the nature, impact, outcome, and management of the following types of health and illness related transitions: developmental transitions such as birth, death, and the passage to old age; illness transitions such as the passage to chronic illness or the experience of a health crisis; and transitions through the health care environment.

Graduates of the program will:

  • Have a substantive knowledge base in a selected area of nursing.
  • Advance the discipline of nursing and nursing practice through the rigorous generation of knowledge using a variety of scientific inquiry methods.
  • Have the ability to test, generate, and extend knowledge relevant to nursing science upon which the practice of nursing is based.
  • Be prepared to engage in multidisciplinary research for advancement of health sciences.
  • Demonstrate the potential for leadership in nursing and within interdisciplinary teams through scholarship and collaborative activities.

The program involves:

1. Course Work
A minimum of 6 term length courses is required. Normally, the following courses will be required:

NURS 900  Advanced Statistics and Analytic Techniques
NURS 901  Philosophy of Nursing Science
NURS 902  Qualitative Research Methods in Health Sciences
NURS 903  Advanced Quantitative Measurement, Methods and Design 
NURS 906  Thesis Seminar Course     

Plus, one of the following (see note below): 

NURS 905  Nursing, Health Services and Public Policy in Canada OR
NURS 907  Independent Study OR
NUSR-822  Nursing Research in Women's and Children's Health Issues OR
NURS 832  Nursing Research for Complex Chronic Health Conditions OR
NURS 833  Nursing Research for Persons at Risk for Mental Health Conditions OR
NURS 862  Health Care Management Systems

Note:  Students who completed NURS 805 at Queen’s University within the past 5 years are exempt from completing NURS 905 but must take one other course to comprise the 6 term length courses that are required.  If other courses on the list are not being offered during the current academic year, students should consult with their PhD supervisor and the School of Nursing about their course requirements.

All courses listed are 3.0 credit units.  

In the Graduate Nursing Programs in the School of Nursing, any student who fails to obtain a minimum grade of B- (B minus) in two primary courses shall be required to withdraw.  For further details please see the School of Nursing’s Graduate Handbook.

2. Comprehensive Examination
The purpose of the comprehensive exam is to assess students' ability to critically synthesize knowledge in a substantive area of the discipline and to assess their ability to successfully pursue independent scholarship. Students will be evaluated for in-depth knowledge in theoretical and applied nursing and research methods; and theoretical and applied knowledge in their substantive area. Students will normally begin to work on the Comprehensive Examination after the first-year coursework has been completed. Ph.D. students are expected to successfully complete their comprehensive examination within 18 months of the start of their studies. The Comprehensive Examination will contain a written component only.

3. Thesis Requirement
Independent, original research and the preparation of a thesis are major requirements and make up at least two thirds of the time normally required for the program. Students must be registered in the thesis course NURS 999 throughout their time in the program. Students must have completed their courses and comprehensive exams prior to completing and defending their research thesis.