Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing
Memorial University's Faculty of Nursing launched its Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing program in September 2013.
The aim of the program is to educate our next generation of nurse researchers and scholars as leaders in nursing practice, education, research, administration, and policy.
The PhD program will influence nursing practice, improve care, and promote positive patient/client outcomes.
The next entry to the PhD program is expected to be September 2021. Applications for admission in September 2021 will be accepted between September 1, 2020 and Jan. 31, 2021.
The degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing is offered in areas reflective of the strength and expertise of current faculty members in the Faculty of Nursing. All students are required to enroll full-time in the PhD program and be on site in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, for the first six semesters (i.e., two academic years). The program's curriculum consists of a minimum of six courses, two internships, graduate seminars, and a dissertation.
List of required courses:
- 7011 Nursing: The Science
- 7012 Nursing: The Profession
- 7100 Nursing Research I: Conceptualizing Research
- 7101 Nursing Research II: Conducting Research
- One of Nursing 7200-7210: Reading Courses in Research Methodology, or equivalent
- One of Nursing 7300-7310: Reading Courses in a Substantive Area for Research, or equivalent
Note: Other courses may be required based on recommendations by the student's supervisory committee.
Applicants must normally hold a Master of Nursing (MN) degree with a minimum GPA of 3.4 and be eligible to register as a registered nurse in Newfoundland and Labrador. See the Admission Requirements for further details.
Applications for admission September, 2019 are due by January 31, 2019.
Applicants must submit all materials required as part of the basic application package (http://www.mun.ca/become/graduate/apply/) In addition, each applicant must also submit:
- A letter of confirmation from a faculty member who has agreed to be his or her supervisor if the applicant is accepted;
- A five-page research project overview consisting of a statement of the research problem and supporting background and rationale, specific research questions, and an outline of potential methods to address the questions;
- An explanation (maximum 1 page) about the importance of the research topic and how it links to the applicant’s experience, expertise and future goals;
- An explanation of how the applicant will manage the workload associated with full-time doctoral studies given other commitments (e.g., family, work); and
- A current and full CV.
Note that all students in the PhD in Nursing program must be registered as full-time students for the first two years of the program and commit to devoting full-time hours to their academic program (http://www.mun.ca/regoff/calendar/sectionNo=SEARCH?q=full+time&edition_id=13&sa=Search+Calendar)
Applicants will need to have a potential supervisor identified and confirmed prior to submission of the application. Therefore, it is important for applicants to begin their search by reviewing faculty profiles listed below and contacting a potential supervisor as soon as possible. Individual faculty members will identify what information they require from applicants and make arrangements for face-to-face, telephone or Skype interviews.
Because the 'fit' between student and supervisor has been identified as the main predictor of success in doctoral programs, the applicant's research interest must align with that of one of our research-intensive faculty members. The faculty member must agree to be the applicant’s supervisor should the applicant be accepted. However, agreement by a faculty member does not guarantee acceptance into the program. Admission to the PhD program is on a competitive basis. Decisions about acceptance of applicants are made by the Faculty of Nursing and the School of Graduate Studies, not by individual faculty members or potential supervisors.
For additional information about the PhD program or the application process please contact the Academic Program Assistant, Graduate Programs, MNSON@mun.ca
Application forms and additional information are available on the School of Graduate Studies website at www.mun.ca/become/graduate/apply/index.php
- Memorial's School of Nursing became the Faculty of Nursing in late December, 2018.
The following faculty members may be available to act as supervisors or co-supervisors.
Dr. Murray’s program of research stems from her extensive community health nursing experience. In particular, her research focuses primarily on chronic disease prevention and management, especially among vulnerable populations.
Dr. Murray’s recent studies relate to smoking cessation in pregnancy, Indigenous peoples and health, body weight and health, multiple sclerosis, and type 2 diabetes mellitus. She uses qualitative and quantitative research methods, including systematic reviews (e.g., meta-analysis).
Dr. Parsons' research expertise is in the area of aging and the older adult. Although she is interested in many aspects of healthy aging, she is primarily interested in the older adult's experience with age-associated memory loss and mild cognitive impairment.
Dr. Parson's is also interested in the area of family care giving for the older adult especially families caring for frail older adults and those with dementia of the Alzheimer's type. She is currently planning to explore innovative teaching strategies with undergraduate students as a means to increase interest and improve attitudes toward caring for the older adult. Methodologically her expertise is in qualitative research, particularly hermeneutic phenomenology, but she also has experience in grounded theory.
Recipient, 2018 Presidents Award for Distinguished Teaching
Dr. Porr’s research interests stem from her doctoral research during which she employed grounded theory methodology to formulate a relationship building model for public health nurses who work with vulnerable and potentially stigmatized clients. Research interests include establishing therapeutic relationships, social intelligence competencies, social cognitive theory and person-centered care. In addition, Dr. Porr wants to investigate how advances in social neuroscience may inform empathic skills training of both frontline practitioners and nursing students.
Dr. Porr is a CIHR Graduate Fellow of the International Institute of Qualitative Methodology, University of Alberta and has a broad qualitative health research knowledge base and skillset, especially grounded theory. Recently, she has been teaching mixed methods research to graduate-level students at MUNSON, and overseas in Vietnam and Mainland China. Dr. Porr has also completed systematic review training (from the Joanna Briggs Institute and the local Cochrane Centre) and is in the process of conducting both qualitative and quantitative systematic reviews.
Dr. Small has a broad range of research interests that include coping with chronic illness and disability, particularly as it pertains to respiratory illness, health promotion and disease prevention. Recently her main focus has been on smoking prevention in youth and smoking and smoking cessation during pregnancy.
Dr. Small is particularly interested in parenting children about risk behaviours such as smoking. Her research method expertise is qualitative, predominantly grounded theory, but she has also used phenomenological methods.
Dr. Snow's program of research is focused on relationships. She is interested in exploring how people interact and engage with one another under a plethora of circumstances with a primary focus on mental health contexts. This includes how we relate to one another as families, friends, colleagues, and members of society, in addition to the various social organizations and institutions that exist. Of primary interest are: the relational dimensions of professional engagement; the ethical and legal considerations inherent in professional care; the concept of professionalism and its praxis; and inter-professional education and practice. To support her research interests, Dr. Snow has clinical experience in mental health care settings. She also has experience in the examination of policies and legislation.
Dr. Snow's current research activities involve exploring the mental health of individuals and families separated by work, the use of occurrence reporting forms for violent behaviour in mental health settings, the intersection of the work processes with peace officers and nurses, and system usage of at-risk youth.
She is also exploring teaching -learning initiatives, such as how to improve facilitator training for individuals leading inter-professional education groups and promoting self-reflection in nursing students. In the past, she has explored issues related to nursing professionalism, the health of single mothers attending university, and the challenges in implementing mental health legislation in Newfoundland.
While she has used quantitative research methods, many of the research questions that Dr. Snow has and is currently exploring are answered through the use of qualitative methods. In particular, she has experience with phenomenology, institutional ethnography, and discourse analysis.
Dr. Pike's program of research and practice are in the field of genetics and risk, simulation and cardiovascular disease. She has been involved in several studies related to the psychosocial aspects of living with genetic conditions, including arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) and familial colorectal cancer type X (FCCTX).
Dr. Pike has received grants from several funding agencies including Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) Office of the Public Engagement, MUN School of Nursing (MUNSON), Association of Registered Nurses, Atlantic Regional Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing, Newfoundland and Labrador Healthy Aging Research Program and the Heart and Stroke Foundation. She is currently the Co- Principal Investigator on a research project (MUN Seed, Bridge and Multidisciplinary Fund) dealing with fostering success on the NCLEX-RN, as well as a Co-Investigator on a Teaching and Learning Grant involved in exploring the integration of high fidelity simulation into the undergraduate nursing curricula.
Dr. Pike has expertise in qualitative health research methods, grounded theory and phenomenology.
Dr. Maddigan’s research interests are interdisciplinary, primarily practice-based and focused on mental health and illness; particularly the quality of life and recovery outcomes for those who suffer from early psychosis. Using mixed methods approaches to better understand the recovery milestones and experiences of individuals and families, Joy’s research goals include fostering a greater understanding of the therapeutic work of psychiatric mental health nurses and the impact of their work on the health of the population. Joy is currently concluding a pilot study that examined the feasibility of implementing a ten-year follow up study of individuals and families who participated in the early psychosis program of Eastern Health. Applications for funding the long term study are being explored. In addition development work is underway on a study to examine the effect of an illness beliefs intervention on the short term recovery outcomes of individuals who have experiences a first episode of psychosis. Involving clinical nurses in research on nursing practices is a developing but important part of Joy’s emerging program of research.
Dr. Lukewich's program of research is concentrated on better understanding which organizational strategies best support the management of chronic disease within the primary care setting, with a particular focus on nursing resources and nursing roles. She is currently focused on exploring the current state of nursing within primary care in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) and identifying opportunities (e.g., existing funding structures/strategies used to support nursing resources) to implement nursing into this setting.
Dr. Lukewich is Principal Investigator on a research project focused on Type 2 diabetes management and nursing in primary care within NL, as well as a Co-Investigator on several research projects at the provincial and national level concentrated on identifying an optimal team based model of care that supports patients within primary care settings. She is also working with the Canadian Family Practice Nurses Association (CFPNA) to develop core practice competencies for Family Practice Nursing, and is the Co-Principal Investigator on a project related to understanding the predictors of success for the NCLEX-RN.
Dr. Lukewich has expertise in quantitative research methods, including cross-sectional designs, systematic reviews and secondary data analysis.
Dr. Kearney’s research interests at present include appraisal of evidence related to breast screening effectiveness, mammography in particular, and the quality of nurses’ worklife including performance of non-nursing duties. I am interested in the critical appraisal of evidence related to health care procedures and tests and its application to health policy and public dissemination. I am also interested in working with clinical partners in the identification, analysis, implementation and evaluation of strategies to address issues of concern in the health care system, particularly affecting nurses. I have experience in participatory action research, survey research, qualitative research (focus groups and interviews), and (limited) experience in quantitative research.