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PhD Focus Areas

The Doctor of Philosophy program at Duquesne University School of Nursing focuses on the development of expertise in research that supports students in enhancing the distinct body of knowledge that advances nursing practice. Major focus areas for research include, but are not limited to, vulnerable populations, cultural competence, forensics, social justice and health promotion.

PhD students have focused on a wide variety of specializations, such as transcultural, forensics, and oncology. They work closely with a faculty mentor who has similar research goals to develop their plan of research. We would encourage any prospective student to contact a member of our PhD faculty to discuss their specific interests.

The following represent a few of the possibilities for specialization here at Duquesne University.

Transcultural Nursing

The PhD with a specialization in Transcultural Nursing offers opportunities for students to pursue research in transcultural nursing and cultural care phenomena.  Students can focus on cultural phenomena specific to a particular culture or subculture.

Courses in our program that focus on this specialization include:

  • Transcultural and Global Health Perspectives
  • Transcultural Nursing and Health Care
  • Transcultural International Health Practicum
  • Transcultural Nursing Research
  • Population Based Health Promotion

Forensic Nursing

Doctoral work in forensic nursing focuses on the unique roles nurses can play in preventing violence and designing interventions that effectively mitigate the short- and long-term consequences of violence. This can include working with victims, perpetrators, families, communities, or at a policy level.

Programs of research of students and faculty members working in this area include the effect of student assistance programs on suicide attempts in college students, disaster preparedness training, health care needs of women recently released from jail, sexual assault on college campuses, and the effect of a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner programs on conviction rates, among others.

Courses in our program that focus on this specialization include:

  • Introduction to Forensic Nursing
  • Advanced Practice Forensic Nursing
  • Forensic Science, the Legal System, and Civil Law
  • Theories of Violence
  • Criminal Law and Trial Preparation

Social Justice and Vulnerable Populations

Doctoral education in social justice and vulnerable populations seeks to promote health and optimal development of individuals and families who, as a result of a lack of resources, experience an increased exposure to risk and significant health disparities.

Courses in our program that focus on this specialization include:

  • Social Justice and Vulnerable Populations
  • Theories of Violence
  • Independent Study with experts in the field

We welcome students to our program from all areas of the country and the world. We offer a rigorous online program that produces outstanding scholars who contribute to the advancement of nursing as they move forward in their professional practice. These unique opportunities to focus your doctoral work—which may include coursework, mentoring, and practical research experience—capitalize on the expertise of our faculty and the mission of Duquesne University and the School of Nursing.