Skip navigation

Online Nursing Leadership Ph.D. Applications Due March 1

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 15:23pm | By: Tara Burcham

The University of Southern Mississippi's first-of-its-kind fully online Nursing Leadership Ph.D. program has extended the application for fall 2019 admission to March 1. The program, which is designed to bring nurses into leadership roles, offers students a unique way to complete their Ph.D. from the comforts of their home.

Dr. Janie Butts, professor and program coordinator, says the distinctive program offers virtual residency. “That means students do not have to travel to campus to complete their residency requirement,” said Butts.

While other programs require students to come to campus, Butts says Southern Miss did not want to financially burden their students. “When they have to travel to campus, they miss work and have to come up with the funds to travel to campus. We don't do that to them. We know they are working and have family obligations so we worked it out where they can do their residency from home.”

The online nursing leadership doctoral program offers students options within their program for varying career paths. According to Butts, the program focuses on original research, which leads to opportunities in teaching, research organizations, and leadership roles in healthcare as well as college and universities.

Dr. Tom Hutchinson, director of the Office of Online Learning at Southern Miss, says faculty worked hard to create a program that values the knowledge hard-working nurses already have. “For students who already have a master's degree, the degree can be earned in as little as 48 credit hours,” says Hutchinson. “We even have an option for students seeking the degree who have their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. We can guide them from BSN to PhD in only 60 credit hours.”

Butts says the program is an important one. “Across the country there is a shortage of nursing instructors and this program is designed to fill that gap,” says Butts. “We at The University of Southern Mississippi are proud to be contributing to meeting the needs in our state and elsewhere for leaders in quality nursing education.”

The deadline to apply for the fall program is March 1, 2019. According to Butts, students who are interested in the program can visit