May 20, 2024  
2023-2024 Nursing Student Handbook 
2023-2024 Nursing Student Handbook

Nursing PHD Overview, Goals, and Outcomes


This Handbook will provide you with information about the programs of study and the policies and procedures specific to our School of Nursing. It should be used as a supplement to the Widener University Bulletin, Widener University Student Handbook, and other University Publications. As such, the policies, procedures, regulations, requirements, standard of conduct and other information contained in such other publications are not reprinted herein, but are incorporated by reference herein as if all of the foregoing were set forth at length. All students are obliged to be familiar with and to comply with all of the policies, procedures, regulations, requirements, standards of conduct and other information set forth in such other publications.

The contents of this Handbook provide for the continuing integrity of the programs of study in the School of Nursing, thereby preparing you, the student, for professional roles. The University and the School of Nursing reserve the right and authority at any time to alter any of all of the statements contained herein, to modify the requirements for admission and graduation, to change or discontinue programs of study, to amend any regulation or policy affecting the student body, to increase tuition and fees, to deny admission, to revoke an offer of admissions, and to dismiss from the University any student at any time, if it is deemed by the University or the School of Nursing to be in the best interest of the University, the School of Nursing, the university community, or the student to do so. The provisions of this publication are subject to change without notice, and nothing in this publication may be considered as setting forth terms of a contract between a student or prospective student and Widener University.

Professional Nursing Law

The following statement is taken from the “The Professional Nursing Law” as enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Professional Nursing Law can be found at PA Code for Registered Nurse.  

 “The ‘Practice of Professional Nursing’ means diagnosing and treating human responses to actual or potential health problems through such services as case finding, health teaching, health counseling, and provision of care supportive to or restorative of life and well-being, and executing medical regimens as prescribed by a licensed physician or dentist. The foregoing shall not be deemed to include acts of medical diagnosis or prescription of medical therapeutic or corrective measures, except as performed by a certified registered nurse practitioner acting in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the Board”. For additional information, click on the PA Professional Code for Nurses.

Professional Code for Nurses

The Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements (ANA 2015) was developed as a guide for carrying out nursing responsibilities in a manner consistent with quality in nursing care and the ethical obligations of the profession. Students at Widener University are responsible for understanding and adhering to the Code of Ethics.  Additional information on the Code can be found at Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements. 

Diversity Statement

Widener University School of Nursing is committed to fostering a culture of inclusivity and equity throughout our programs, our nursing practice, and in our workplace. The School of Nursing’s unique, powerhouse programs serve the needs of diverse students at all stages of their careers. We’re All Widener. That’s not just a saying here; it’s a way of life. It represents the culture of our university - a powerful call for respect, mutual understanding, and unity. Here you’ll be embraced and supported by a welcoming and inclusive community regardless of your race, ethnicity, national origin, gender and sexual identity, socioeconomic status, ability, religion, political affiliation, among other things. You’ll join a community of students and scholars who hail from across the country and around the world. Our community is woven together by diverse backgrounds, life experiences, and perspectives, and our classrooms, residence halls, and social spaces are enriched by this variety. You’ll interact with people and engage in the kinds of transformational moments that broaden your own worldview and prepare you for the world and workforce you’re about to enter. For more information about Diversity and Inclusivity, please click here.

Doctor of Philosophy PhD Program Goals

The Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing program prepares nurse scientists and is based on the belief that nursing is a professional discipline with its unique role and body of knowledge. The primary goal of the Doctor of Philosophy program of the Widener University School of Nursing is the preparation of nurse scientists, scholars, and leaders in nursing education. Graduates will create and disseminate to the public new knowledge gained from disciplined inquiry related to nursing and nursing education.

Reviewed annually Revised 9/08, 2/12, 1/19 Approved full faculty 2.24.12, 2.25.19 PhD PROGRAM

Expected Student and Program Outcomes

Doctor of Philosophy program graduates will be able to:

  • Synthesize knowledge of the theoretical and empirical foundations of nursing education and related fields within the context of higher education.
  • Integrate acquired knowledge into a philosophical and intellectual frame of reference that can be applied to nursing education. 
  • Apply rigorous methods of disciplined scientific inquiry to generate new knowledge.
  • Independently conduct and communicate research that advances and extends nursing knowledge and scholarship. 
  • Evaluate curricular designs and outcomes based on internal and external contextual analysis.
  • Demonstrate leadership by addressing social, economic, political, and institutional forces in nursing, higher education, and health care practice. 
  • Engage in scholarly discourse with colleagues, nurse scholars, and leaders from within and outside the discipline of nursing. 
  • Disseminate new knowledge gained from disciplined inquiry of concern to nursing and nursing education.

Reviewed annually Edits Revised 9/08, 2/12, 1/19 Approved full faculty 2.24.12; 11.4.13, 2.25.19