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First Ph.D. in Nursing Students Set to Graduate

First Endicott College Ph.D. graduates.
The original cohort features five soon-to-be graduates, all with exciting and important dissertations.

A new program will be well-represented at the Van Loan School at Endicott College Commencement Connection 2018.

The original five students in the Ph.D. in Nursing program are set to graduate in May, culminating a four-year journey that prepared them to take their next steps in their professional research careers, whether in academics or clinical practice.

“The flexibility with this program is that people come in with different nursing specialty backgrounds, so they can conduct their research in the area of their interest and become an expert," said Endicott Nursing Dean Kelly Fisher. “During the program we keep the ideas open and flowing and narrow them down so they do get to a dissertation topic that’s reasonable to research.”

In addition to the flexibility of research topics, the Ph.D. students enjoy the adult-learner focused program, which is presented in a flexible and affordable hybrid format. The classes can be finished in as little as three years, with an additional year for the dissertation.

“I feel students like a balance,” said Fisher. “They like to be in a classroom with other doctoral students who are learning the same material along with an expert faculty member as well as, participate in asynchronous course work to fit in with their personal lives. This program format allows for them to continue to work full time and still work on their doctorate degree.”

Here is what the soon-to-be first graduates of the Van Loan School at Endicott College Ph.D. in Nursing program are saying about their experiences.

Sharon Lee Milne
Dissertation: Understanding Moral Distress Among Psychiatric Nurses

“One of the best parts of the program was that it was hybrid. It allows full-time workers or people who have children to get their Ph.D. within a timely manner. You meet 3-4 times a semester, and then you have online discussion posts and things like that. I found that to be one of the most beneficial parts of the program.”

Cynthia Mitsakis
Dissertation: The Correlation of Resilience Factors with Job Satisfaction in Emergency Room Nurses

“All of the professors had an area of expertise and were appropriately placed for the courses they taught. They were all experts in what they did, so I learned a lot.”

Bethany Nasser
Dissertation: A Qualitative Descriptive Study of Novice and Advanced Beginner Nurse's Experiences of Caring for Patients and their Families at the End-of-Life

“I was the one who went through a million and one different scenarios. I think the biggest part that I liked was the variety of people brought in as our teachers. It wasn’t just all nursing. Different disciplines teaching us, giving us a different perspective.”

Katie McManus / “Double Gull” (Master of Science in Nursing Education)
Dissertation: Compassion Fatigue Among Emergency Room Nurses

“I started my master's with one free class, then I stayed and finished it. I liked the feel of it and definitely the support from faculty and peers. Before I finished my Master of Science in Nursing Education, Dean Fisher said Endicott was starting a Ph.D. in Nursing program. I told her that I wasn't Ph.D. material, but she said, ‘You are, you just don't know it.’ She made me feel supported and heard. She also has the ability to develop a relationship and gain knowledge about her students – how they operate, what works better, etc. That's why I am a ‘Double Gull.’ I honestly I don't think I would've been here today without Dean Fisher by my side.”

Endicott College's Heather Johnson. Heather Palmer / “Double Gull” (Master of Science in Nursing Education)
Dissertation: Nurse's Self Efficacy for Caring for Patients Using an Insulin Pump During an Acute Care Hospitalization

“I loved the fact that the master's program was hybrid and the classes were staggered, so I was able to pay for each course one by one and did not have to take out any student loans. I stayed at Endicott because I fell in love with the faculty I worked with during the master's program, and I felt sticking with them would be a great environment to begin my crazy, amazing Ph.D. journey!”

Forward-thinking, patient-centered education and research is the backbone of the college’s nursing programs, starting with Thesis I and II during undergraduate studies, research course and projects at the master’s level and the fully researched-based Ph.D. in Nursing. 

Learn more about the Van Loan School at Endicott College’s Ph.D. in Nursing program and its admission requirements.