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PhD Course Descriptions

GPNG 900 Theory Development (3 cr) - (Spring)

Prerequisite: GPNG 920 History and Philosophy of Science
This course focuses on philosophical and theoretical issues involved in the discovery and verification of theory in various disciplines. Students are asked to examine various patterns of knowing and to investigate the implications of the words “I know”. Levels of certainty gained through various processes and various theories of truth are explored. The process of questioning what one knows and from whom or from where one has gained the knowledge will be explored. This includes the idea of questioning authority and the dangers in blind obedience. Using the method delineated by Walker and Avant, the various methods of theory development are analyzed. Differences in theories developed from abductive, inductive, and deductive methods are compared. The contextual relevance of theory to practice is discussed. Students get the opportunity to do a comprehensive critique of a theory and, in this way, to integrate the various content discussed in the course. The course begins the process of looking at various theories as they relate to advance practice. This will be further developed in the next course.

GPNG 902 Quantitative Methods (3 cr) - (Spring)

Prerequisite: GPNG 927 Structure of Nursing Knowledge
A critical analysis of quantitative research designs and methods and scientific inquiry from the viewpoint of the positivistic paradigm. Focus is placed on descriptive, correlational, experimental and quasi-experimental designs as applied to nursing problems. Emphasis will be placed on multi-dimensional methods designed to explore complex health care and nursing problems.

GPNG 903 Measurement Issues (3 cr) - (Summer)

Prerequisites: GPNG 902 Qualitative Methods and GPNG 904 Quantitative Methods
This course focuses on the application of measurement theory and psychometric techniques to the development, use, and evaluation of measurement instruments for nursing and health care research. The operationalization of concepts, assessment of reliability and validity, and appropriate and ethical use of measurement instruments is explored.

GPNG 904 Qualitative Methods (3 cr) - (Fall)

Prerequisite: GPNG 927 Structure of Nursing Knowledge
This course focuses on the analysis of research traditions that guide the collection and analysis of qualitative data in the development of nursing science. Included are naturalistic, conceptual, interpretive and analytical research methods such as phenomenology, grounded theory, case study, ethnography, hermeneutics and historical approaches. The course is designed to provide half the menu of research methods available to nurse researchers. As such, it complements the Quantitative Methods course and can be taken before, after, or concurrently with Quantitative Methods.

GPNG 906 Introduction to the Nurse Scientist Role (1 cr) - (Summer)

Introduction to expectations for the nurse scientist role and to approaches which foster strong scholarly work. This course will include an on-site intense week coupled with an on-line seminar.

GPNG 910 Health Policy - 3 credits  (Spring)

This course will explore contemporary issues in health care financing and delivery, including the assessment of major public programs and their relationship to access and cost, demand for health care services, fee for services, and prepaid systems. The political issues underpinning public policy and decisions related to specific health services issues, as well as consequences of historical decisions are examined. The societal and organizational context of the delivery of nursing services across various settings are explored through cases and current trends.

GPNG 920 History and Philosophy of Science (3 cr) - (Fall)

The course will examine the scientific philosophies of Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn, with emphasis on the former’s notion of the "falsifiability criterion of demarcation" and the latter’s concepts of "paradigm" and "paradigm shift." This examination will occur against the background of the history and philosophy of science provided by F. S. C. Northrop. The students will be able to relate this to the practice of nursing.

GPNG 927 Structure of Nursing Knowledge (3 cr) - (Summer)

This course builds on the theory development course. In this course greater emphasis is placed on epistemology, the study of how knowledge is acquired. Further, the course examines how knowledge builds. Students are led through this process by looking at the work of Michael Polyani and, to a lesser extent, Benner’’s Novice to Expert. Since theorizing is an ethical endeavor and choices made may have ethical consequences in practice, this theme permeates the course. The testing of theory, refinement and modification of theory, and the use of theory in practice are brought together to explore and project the future direction of theory-based practice for advanced practice nurses and other health care professionals.

GPNG 928 Social Justice and Vulnerable Populations (3 cr) - (Spring)

Vulnerability is examined through the lens of social justice theory, Catholic social justice teachings, and culture. Responses to vulnerability are framed by: characteristics and determinants of vulnerability, direct and indirect actions to limit or reduce vulnerability, and structural and policy level interventions to address the variables that perpetuate vulnerability within persons, across generations and throughout the world.

GPNG 929 Research Emphasis (3 cr) - (Summer)

This course explores the current state of the art of nursing research and the major research trends in nursing and health care. Emphasis is placed on developing a program of study and research, identifying pre-doctoral funding sources, and understanding ethical issues related to research. Emphasis will also be placed on preparing a fundable grant application including the budget. The importance of multidisciplinary research to build science will be discussed.

GPNG 931 Applied Qualitative Practicum (3 cr) - (Spring)

The focus of this course is to promote a broader understanding of the student’s phenomena of interest through the process of qualitative inquiry, immersion and Field Work.  Students are expected to choose a particular area of clinical research interest and keep field notes, observations and insights.  Students will then analyze their field notes using a chosen process of analysis with a data manager.  In moving from stranger to friend the perspective researcher should be aware of emerging research questions in relation to the domain of inquiry, regardless of the chosen methodology.  The student will arrive at research questions grounded in the clinical area or area of inquiry with support from the literature and the prospect of moving to the next phase of inquiry.  Students will have ample opportunity to work with data and use a data manager to assist with data analysis.

* Students in the TCN post masters program must be involved with phenomena related to culture.

GPNG 930 Applied Quantitative Methods (3 cr) - (Fall)

This course extends the students’ theoretical understanding of quantitative designs related to research in health care and provides the opportunity for applied practice in quantitative methods. Topics to be covered include (but are not necessarily limited to) review of foundation statistical knowledge (as covered in prerequisite coursework), analysis of variance, repeated measures ANOVA, and regression analysis. Data management will also be examined. Students will gain competence in using common statistical tests and SPSS (statistical software package) to be able to conduct and report quantitative research from an applied perspective.

Cognates -12 credits  (Fall/Spring/Summer)

This series of courses, which may be taken either in nursing or related disciplines, support the dissertation.

GPNG 915 Dissertation -15 credits  (Fall/Spring/Summer)

Duquesne University uses an Electronic Theses and Dissertations submission process. For more information, visit the ETD homepage.

Revisions to courses and curricula are ongoing.