Online Doctoral Degrees in Nursing

An online doctoral degree in nursing may prepare individuals for leadership nursing roles in hospitals, universities, and community wellness programs. In this three to five-year program, students may learn the skills needed to create healthcare policies and manage multi-bed healthcare facilities. Students may conduct scholarly research in order to provide new and innovative healthcare initiatives. Program coursework may include dissertation courses and major-specific nursing research classes including ethical and legal issues, special topics in nursing, and theories of science.

Upon completion of the program, students may seek entry to upper-level employment. Doctoral-level graduates may seek employment opportunities in universities, hospitals, home health programs, in-patient therapy facilities, and government programs.

Program Overview

  • Prerequisite: Bachelor’s Degree at minimum
  • Program Length: Three to five years to complete
  • Post-Grad Options: Employment
  • Projected Employment Growth: 26% (2010-2020)*

Program Coursework

The curriculum for doctoral-level nursing degree programs may include research-heavy statistical classes alongside core nursing coursework. These classes may teach students how to research and utilize methods in order to advance nursing practices to better serve patients and communities. Core online nursing coursework may include the following:

  • Ethical and Legal Issues in Research
  • Healthcare and Public Policy
  • Theories of Science
  • Knowledge Synthesis in Nursing Science
  • Designing and Testing Clinical Interventions
  • Special Topics in Nursing Science
  • Nature of Health and Behavior

Career Options

Those who successfully complete a doctoral degree in nursing may seek employment in hospitals, universities, outpatient facilities, medical laboratories, and government healthcare programs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities in nursing are projected to increase by 26% from 2010-2020.*

Possible careers include:

  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Director of Nursing
  • Chief Nursing Officer
  • Hospital Administrator
  • Clinical Director

*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

Recommended Schools

Matching School Ads

Wilkes University’s School of Nursing offers CCNE-accredited online degrees and certificate programs ideal for working health care professionals, instructed by experienced, respected faculty dedicated to mentoring and personalized support for every student. Our nursing degrees offer the cutting-edge professional knowledge and skills needed in today’s dynamic, evolving health care industry.


  • DNP - Doctor of Nursing Practice

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.  We offer online programs focused on doctoral and master’s degrees in the schools of business and technology management, education, psychology and marriage and family sciences.



  • Doctor of Education - Nursing Education