Starting my PhD in the Fall! Is anyone else out there a PhD student?


I just got accepted to a Nursing PhD program for the fall! I'm excited and scared to death! There's not much info to peruse out there on the Nursing PhD.... Just wondering if anyone else is doing this journey right now as well.


8 Posts

Specializes in Medical Surgical Care. Has 2 years experience.

Hi, I just applied to a PhD program I hope to start in early 2018. There really is very little information about PhDs in nursing. I am very excited about it though.

Specializes in Nurse Education. Has 13 years experience.

I am currently in a Nursing PhD program! I love it!!! I started out in a DNP program (because it was fully covered by my employer) and it just wasn't the right degree for me. So I decided to enroll in a Nursing PhD program which would cost me ... but I am happy to have made the switch. I am learning so much about myself, nursing, students, people, etc. It truly is an all around rewarding experience.

I started in June 2015. I am finished with course work and am now in the dissertation phase (currently writing my Proposal). It hasn't always been an easy journey. I am enrolled as a full time student. I am also a single mom. And I work full time for a university that expects 40+ hours served on campus weekly. I am hoping ... fingers crossed ... to be done in December!

I understand being scared to death! I felt the same way starting. And I have felt the same way throughout the different transitions of the journey. Now after 2 years and being in dissertation I would have to say that I am not necessarily scared to death anymore ... just keep thinking to myself ... really? Me? I'm doing this? And I'm successful?! I can't believe it.

Best of luck to you! You can do anything you set your mind to. I just takes a lot of mental energy and time dedication.


199 Posts

Has 5 years experience.

Not yet, but I am in the process of applying. Congrats!!!

feelix, RN

340 Posts

I am sitting on the wall. One of the faculty where I teach said. Ask yourself why do you want to do it. Do it only if you have a compelling reason to get a PhD.


20 Posts

Hi Everyone,

I'm in my second year PhD in nursing. I will provide my experience so far, which is really an individual perspective. The PhD is an advanced degree that requires perseverance and determination. It's a long haul emotionally and intellectually. However the personal growth you will achieve is phenomenal. There are philosophy, theory, and lots of qualitative, quantitative, measurement classes. My program has a PhD practicum (which is rare). Some programs require your research area be in line with a faculty member. My program does not. In fact, it supports and promotes individual study trajectories based on your passions in advancing nursing science. There is a tremendous amount of reading and writing. Right from the start you will be critiquing research studies and critically reviewing scale development. That's because the PhD is a Research Doctorate. Early publication is encouraged as it hones your scholarly writing skills. Make sure that you spend some time learning to write well and write every day (something creative, then something scholarly). I was concerned about the IQ needed to complete "The proverbial PhD" but it is really about being honest with yourself about your passions for advancing nursing science and knowledge development. Surprisingly, it's quite a creative endeavor. The sky really is the limit to research activities. If you love learning new things (spending at least 20-30 hours devoted to your work per week), and have dogged determination (there's lots of support for this in good programs), then go for it!! I've heard there are only 2-3% of nurses in the nation with a PhD. We need more! You will change in the first semester. It's like taffy pulling sometimes (you struggling to improve yourself and the way you think and structure concepts, questions, etc). But the personal development is yours to keep forever. It's not for the faint of heart, but you don't need to be an Einstein, so to speak. This is my current assessment...likely to change as I progress.

Specializes in ER, Med Surg, Ob/Gyn, Clinical teaching. Has 10 years experience.

I start this fall too.. next month to be specific. I am looking forward to it. I love research, so I am going in for s research focused PhD.. I am working full time.. but may transition part time because I intend to take full time credit hours at school.. Anyone also transitioning in their job for this?? I hope this is a good decision that I made.. We will see.. :)

Specializes in ER, Med Surg, Ob/Gyn, Clinical teaching. Has 10 years experience.

I had my orientation last week... and I was like "what have I gotten myself into'...I felt like running home and screaming 'mommy!' Lol.... my family have been supportive and encouraging..

Specializes in PhD in mental health nursing.

Hi I am currently working on my PhD. I have published my literature review... was that ever a challenge. The next phase was to have my candidature reviewed by a panel of professors. I had to put forth a case to the panel that my research was valid and the panel then discussed if my research was going to be supported by the university. My candidature was upheld and I am working on my dissertation . I am up to the methodology section and am currently in the recruitment phase. So basically I am looking for research participants. Because I am doing qualitative research, my sample size is small. I have five participants and need to have ten. Its really stressful and I am working full time as an educator at the same time. My workplace does not seem to value the research that I am doing and I am sure that they have zero interest as it does not have a direct impact on their day to day practice. They can't see the big picture and that is what research is all about THE BIG PICTURE. I hope that I haven't rambled on too long about my story but doing a Phd is a lonely effort. If anyone wants to chat about their progress please feel free to contact me. Debi