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Nursing (Leadership) - Doctorate

Availability: Online Options

Why a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD)?

The Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing degree prepares scholars with a leadership focus to contribute to the science, practice, and profession of nursing through systematic research, inquiry, and theory development. We embrace an online approach and use the technologies to facilitate scholarly engagement and dialogue among students and faculty. Faculty mentors guide and oversee the student’s progress from admission to completion of the degree requirements.

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48 semester hours for MSN-PhD track
60semester hours for BSN-PhD track
61faculty areas of research focus


As a graduate of our PhD program, you will learn how to do the following:

  • Assume a leadership role in the generation and implications of solutions for reduction of health disparities and improvement of health outcomes.
  • Evaluate, critique, and synthesize nursing and related fields to identify issues and gaps in nursing knowledge.
  • Produce significant contributions to nursing knowledge through the independent or interdisciplinary conduct of basic nursing.
  • Appraise and apply leadership frameworks and philosophies applicable to healthcare systems and academic organizations.

Southern Miss Nursing is affiliated with hundreds of hospitals, community-health centers, health departments, mental-health facilities, private-practice clinics, community clinics, and schools, offering students extensive opportunity for interdisciplinary collaboration in clinical practice and research.

  1. Graduated from an accredited baccalaureate or master's program.
  2. Minimum 3.0 GPA for latest nursing degree.
  3. Completion of the Graduate Record Examination (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing sections).
  4. An unencumbered registered nurse license.
  5. Curriculum vitae or professional resumé.
  6. Submission of three letters of reference from individuals (doctoral level nursing individuals preferred) familiar with the applicant's academic/professional background and experience in nursing practice, specifying in detail the applicant's capability for doctoral study.
  7. Cover letter of introduction and a personal statement of research interests submitted with application.
  8. An interview (face-to-face or via telephone).
  1. A comprehensive examination administered after all major coursework has been completed.
  2. A final oral examination (dissertation defense) which covers the dissertation research and related fields administered at the completion of the dissertation - students should consult the Human Subjects Committee.
  3. Fulfillment of the residency requirement, which may be met by continuous enrollment of 6 semester hours for each of 4 consecutive semesters, or 9 semester hours for each of 3 consecutive semesters, or 12 semester hours for each of 2 consecutive semesters.
  4. Fulfillment of Research Tool(s) requirements.
  5. 3.0 GPA is required for graduation.

Nurse Faculty Loan Program

The US Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has granted continuous support of approximately $300,000 annually since 2005 for the Nurse Faculty Loan Scholarship Program. The scholarship money will help support our doctoral students as they seek a career in nursing education.

Our Expert Faculty

We have an excellent PhD program with all students participating in research. Our faculty are in the vanguard of their research. Faculty always make time for students and often work side-by-side with them on their research projects. Work on research frequently begins during class coursework and continues through dissertation.



Contact Us

School of Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Asbury Hall (AH), Room 317
3215 Montague Boulevard
Hattiesburg, MS 39401

Hattiesburg Campus

Campus Map


  • Academic Leadership
  • Outcomes research
  • Original research
  • Nursing Faculty
  • Health and public policy
  • Louanne Friend, PhD, RN
    Assistant Professor, University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences
  • Carl H. Mangum II, PhD, RN, 2010
    Associate Professor of Nursing, University of Mississippi School of Nursing
  • Wendy Williams-Gilbert, PhD, RN; 2015
    RN-BSN Program Director, Washington State University College of Nursing