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    Feb 05, 2023  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing Education and Administration, Ph.D.

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Program Overview for Ph.D. in Nursing Education and Administration

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Nursing Education and Administration program is a terminal degree designed to prepare nurse scholars as nurse educators and/or administrators. Graduates will be prepared for the educator role including the ability to use sound educational concepts, principles, and knowledge in order to develop undergraduate and graduate nursing students who will be able to contribute to the health and well-being of diverse populations across the lifespan. These graduates will also be able to rise through the administrative ranks to become administrators of nursing programs. Graduates will also be able to assume leadership and upper level management roles in healthcare organizations in order to assure accountable clinical nursing practice.

Graduate Outcomes for Ph.D. in Nursing Education and Administration

The following graduate competencies were adapted from the NLN educator core competencies (NLN, 2005) AACN Essentials for Master’s Education for Advanced Practice Nursing, 2011.

The graduate will:

  1. Utilize concepts, knowledge, and skills to create an environment that facilitates classroom and clinical learning in the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains.
  2. Facilitate students’ development as professional nurses.
  3. Utilize sound principles to develop strategies to assess academic achievement in the classroom and clinical settings and in the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains.
  4. Design, implement, evaluate, and revise nursing curricula and program outcomes that reflect the academic institution’s mission and goals, reflect current trends and evidence-based practice, and prepare graduates to function as professional nurses.
  5. Function as a change agent in order to promote the profession of nursing.
  6. Develop and articulate a vision for the professional nursing practice within the healthcare delivery system.
  7. Employ sound management, decision-making, problem-solving, and communication skills to establish collaborative partnerships, resolve conflict, and effectively utilize resources.
  8. Utilize information and communication technology effective in the global environment of nursing and healthcare.
  9. Establish relationships with the community of interest.
  10. Demonstrate proficiency in scholarly writing.
  11. Utilize Christian principles as a nurse administrator.

Admissions Requirements for the Ph.D. in Nursing Education and Administration Program

To be admitted as a regular student, the applicant will:

  • Submit a completed application to William Carey University and the graduate school.
  • Pay the application fee.
  • Submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
  • Submit a scholarly narrative of 1-2 pages of personal philosophy of nursing education and goals.
  • Submit current curriculum vita.
  • Submit three letters of references: two from individuals who can attest to research and scholarship and one personal reference.
  • Submit the completed and notarized criminal background check affadavit.
  • Have earned an M.S.N. from an accredited school of nursing
  • Have earned a GPA of >3.0 on M.S.N. courses.
  • Have an active, unencumbered Registered Nurse license with no pending legal or state board action.
  • Be eligible to re-enter any previously attended college or university in good standing. If previously enrolled in a Ph.D. program, the applicant must provide a letter of good standing from that program.
  • Demonstrate computer literacy involving proficiency in word processing, email correspondence, and the internet.

Admission Status

An applicant for the Ph.D. program in nursing is admitted to regular or nondegree graduate status as follows:

Regular—Regular graduate status will be granted to those students who meet all requirements for admission to the program and are actively pursuing a degree.

Nondegree—Nondegree status may be assigned to those students who meet the requirements for admission, but do not wish to become a candidate for a degree. No more than nine hours of credit earned in a nondegree status may apply toward a degree.

Incomplete admission status may be granted for one term for a student who appears to be eligible for admission but is unable to supply certain required records prior to registration.


Students must use Castlebranch to document and maintain required records such as licensure, criminal background check, and health requirements by the end of the first term in the program. All requirements in Castlbranch must be complete before any preceptorship hours can begin. Refer to the School of Nursing Graduate Student Handbook for more information. Castlebranch fees and record updates are the student’s responsibility.

Health Requirements

All students enrolled in the program are required to complete the School of Nursing health requirements listed below by the end of the first term in the program. Failure to comply with all health requirements will result in the inability to attend the clinical portion of a course and failure of the course. All health requirements must remain current as long as the student is enrolled, and documentation must be submitted to Castlebranch.

  • Measles, Mumps, & Rubella (MMR): Submit documentation of one of the following: 2 vaccinations or positive antibody titer. Varicella (Chicken Pox): Submit documentation of one of the following:2 vaccinations or positive antibody titer.

  • Hepatitis B: Submit documentation of one of the following: 3 vaccinations or positive antibody titer (lab report required)

  • TB (Tuberculosis): Submit documentation of one of the following: A negative two-step Mantoux tuberculin administered and read by a licensed medical/nursing person certified in the techniques of tuberculin testing (skin tests placed 7-19 days apart or 10-12 months apart) or a negative IGRA (blood test) from the last 12 months. Acceptable IRGA tests are QuantiFERON®-TB Gold In-Tube test (QFT-GIT) or T-SPOT® TB test (T-Spot)

  • Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis (Tdap): Submit documentation of the Tdap vaccine from within the past 10 years. Tetanus vaccine not acceptable to meet this requirement.
  • Physical Examination: Submit the WCU SON History and Physical form signed by your health care provider and performed during the past 1 year. A status form must be submitted January 1 of each year.

  • Influenza: Submit documentation of an annual flu vaccine administered between September 1st and November 1st.

  • 10-Panel Urine Drug Screen: Submit documentation of a negative 10-panel urine drug test that has been performed within the past 12 months. No renewal is required, but a random drug screen may be required by the School of Nursing.

Basic Life Support

All students must complete (re)certification of Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers by the American Heart Association. Certification must remain current throughout the program. Documentation of certification must be submitted in Castlebranch. Failure to maintain compliance will result in the inability to attend the clinical portion of a course and failure of the course.

CITI Training:

All students must complete the following CITI Training Modules: HIPAA, FERPA, Information Security, OSHA Personal Protective Equipment Training, and OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens. The student is required to submit certificates of completion in Castlebranch. 

Criminal Background Check

All students enrolled in nursing must have clearance of criminal background checks by the end of the first term in the program. This is a mandatory requirement  pursuant to Section 43-11-13 of the Mississippi Code of 1972 as amended, Mississippi State Department of Health, Division of Licensure and Certification in accordance with R.S. 37:921, or the state in which the student resides or practices. The criminal background check must be fingerprinted and completed through the Mississippi Department of Health including a notarized letter of clearance or through the WCU Castlebranch criminal background check packages through fingerprinting. The criminal background check expires two years after the date of fingerprinting. The criminal background check must remain current throughout the program. All costs associated with the criminal background check are the responsibility of the student. Documentation of the criminal background check must be submitted to Castlebranch.

Below is the list of disqualifying offenses which would prevent students from performing patient care in the clinical facilities. These offenses are those listed in Article 43-11-13 of the Mississippi Code of 1972:

Felony conviction, guilty plea, or plea of no contest to a felony, for any of the following:

  • Possession or sale of drugs.
  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Armed Robbery
  • Rape
  • Sexual Battery
  • Sex Offenses Listed in Section 45-33-23(f)
  • Child Abuse
  • Arson
  • Grand Larceny
  • Burglary
  • Gratification of Lust
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Felonious Abuse and/or Battery of a Vulnerable Adult

After initial enrollment, any subsequent disciplinary action, arrest, charge, addiction, or impairment shall also be reported immediately to the dean of nursing. Failure to report any and all subsequent disciplinary actions, arrests, or impairment will constitute falsification of records and may result in loss of licensure as a registered nurse and may halt progression in the program. Any violations may halt progression in the program. 

Drug Testing

All students are required to have a clear 10-panel drug screen within the last year. This requirement must be met prior to the end of the first term. All costs associated with the 10-panel drug screen are the student’s responsibility. ..

Random drug screening can be performed at the discretion of the School of Nursing. Refusal by a student to submit to testing will result in immediate dismissal from the School of Nursing. Any admitting student who tests positive for illegal drugs must withdraw from nursing courses. The student may reapply for admission in six months and will be admitted based on admission criteria as any new student making application. Any continuing student who tests positive for illegal drugs must meet with the graduate coordinator to determine the course of action. If the action taken is for the student to withdraw from the program, the student may make a written appeal for re-admission in six months to the nursing leadership team


Students must maintain an active, unencumbered Registered Nurse license through the program. Students must report any change in the status of their licensure to the dean of nursing. Changes in licensure may halt progression in the program.

Malpractice  Insurance

All students in nursing courses must have malpractice insurance before entering the clinical setting. This fee is assessed during course registration.

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit is available for any student. A maximum of 15 hours may be transferred from another university. Approval of transfer hours is considered on an individual basis. The student must apply for transfer credit to the program coordinator prior to the first term in the nursing program. Master’s level credit cannot be accepted for doctoral level courses. Transfer credit cannot be received for NUR 753, NUR 801, 802, 803, 804, and 805.

Computer Requirements                        

Technology is an essential and integral aspect of web-enhanced (hybrid) courses. The student must have access to a computer and stable connection to the internet on a regular basis. A high-speed internet connection is preferred. The student will need access to programs such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, as well as the capability of scanning documents to pdf, etc. Students will also need access to audio through speakers and the capability to record video and/or audio for selected web-enhanced assignments.


Students are to attend class meetings and participate in courses and to verify and submit course work on a weekly basis either online or in person as required. Refer to the School of Nursing Graduate Student Handbook and individual course syllabi for specific course requirements.


Successful progression through the program requires the following:

  • Demonstrate competency of scholarly writing prior to taking courses within the program through one of the following options: (1) submission of a GRE Analytical Writing Score of 4.0 or better within the last five years; (2) passing NUR 799 Academic Writing for Doctoral Students, with a grade of B or better prior to taking courses in the program.

  • Demonstrate basic competence in statistics as evidenced by successful completion, with a grade of B or better, in an undergraduate or graduate level statistics course within the past ten years or substantial experience in nursing research projects prior to taking NUR 752.

  • Complete all assignments with a passing grade. All courses must be completed with no grade below a B. The student is allowed to repeat two courses with a C to improve the grade to a B.

  • See Graduate Catalog-Academic Regulations-Academic Standing for grades below a B.

  • Any student who makes an “F “in a Ph.D. course will be dismissed from the program and be ineligible to readmit.

  • Student grades will be reviewed at the end of each term by the administrator of the graduate program and other WCU SON administration to determine status in achieving the GPA necessary to graduate.

  • The student must successfully complete NUR 801 , NUR 802 , NUR 803  and NUR 804  in sequence.

  • The student will be admitted to doctoral candidacy upon successful completion of the comprehensive examination and the dissertation proposal defense.

  • The student must successfully complete comprehensive examination to indicate mastery of program content. The student will have to have completed all but six hours of the curriculum and all other degree requirements. This excludes dissertation hours.

  • The student must successfully complete a dissertation.


Graduation requires:

  • the student to submit a degree application.
  • successful completion of all degree requirements with a GPA of 3.0.
  • the student to be nominated by the dean.
  • The student must submit a degree application to the Registrar’s Office and follow the required guidelines from the Registrar’s Office. 

Curriculum of the Ph.D. in Nursing Education and Administration

The Ph.D. program is designed to be completed in two or three years, including summer terms. Students are allowed to attend on a part-time basis, but the student must complete all required work within a period of six years. The total number of hours required is 60 hours. The program is in a hybrid (web-enhanced) format. Students will meet face-to-face four weekends a year; the rest of the content and student activities will be conducted via Canvas learning management system.

The dissertation process will begin in the fall term and continue for six trimesters. The research courses help the student design the essential components of a dissertation. Each student will have a committee of three Ph.D. program faculty members. There will be a written comprehensive examination to determine mastery of the Ph.D. content. . One (1) theory credit hour equates to 1.25 contact hours. One (1) clinical credit hour equates to 40 contact hours. The faculty reserves the right to make curricular changes to maintain standards consistent with the changing needs of society and of the profession.

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