TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama’s Capstone College of Nursing and The University of Alabama in Huntsville’s College of Nursing will collaborate to provide the first online Nursing Science Ph.D. program in the state of Alabama.
The program will have the support and resources of UA and UAH, which both have outstanding nursing education programs, high-impact research and comprehensive student support services. Both nursing colleges have been named Centers of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League for Nursing during the past year.
The joint program will increase both institutions’ graduate-level programming and enrollment, while contributing to healthcare delivery and research productivity for the state and nation.
“This joint online program will provide a very flexible and student-friendly option for nurses who want to move into teaching, research or senior administrative positions,” said Dr. Suzanne Prevost, dean of UA’s Capstone College of Nursing. “Most nurses who return to graduate school carry a challenging load of responsibilities, including working as a nurse, caring for their families and going to school. It’s not surprising that online programs are the preferred method for many graduate-level nursing students.”
The flexibility of online learning will appeal to nurses throughout the country, who will be prepared upon graduation to educate the next generation of nurses and conduct research that targets rural and medically underserved populations. Graduates will also have an employment advantage in the midst of the national shortage of nursing faculty and nurse researchers.
“When people read about the current nursing shortage, they often wonder why nursing schools can’t just accept more students,” said Dr. Michele Montgomery, the UA College’s assistant dean of graduate programs. “Unfortunately, there is also a shortage of Ph.D.-prepared nurses who can assume faculty roles. The implementation of this program will increase the number of those who can fill these vacant faculty positions, enabling us to accept more students into our programs and graduate a larger number of highly-qualified nurses.”
In addition to nursing research and theory courses, the program will cover a range of topics, such as ethical and legal issues; healthcare policy; epidemiology; statistics; genomics; teaching strategies; informatics; and healthcare technology.
“The UAH College of Nursing is very excited to be partnering with the UA Capstone College of Nursing to deliver a much-needed, high-quality online nursing science Ph.D. program,” said Dr. Marsha Howell Adams, dean of the UAH College of Nursing. “Only 23 percent of the 125 nursing Ph.D. programs in the U.S. are fully online. This program will meet the preferences and needs of a target population focused on an asynchronous delivery model.”
The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.