Doctor of Education in Nursing Education (Online Degree)

Linda Warren, Graduate Coordinator, WH 220S Phone: (203) 837-3907
Jeanette Lupinacci, Nursing Chair, WH 221A Phone: (203)837- 8570
Terri-Ann Rago, Dept. Secretary, WH 221A Phone: (203) 837-8556
Fax: (203) 837-8550
Website EdD Nursing


Faculty:  E. Abate; D. Bennett; K. Bridges; D. Brown;  E. Campbell;  P. Cumella; L. Dalessio; M. Doherty; D. Graham; J. Lupinacci; J. Mazurak; J. Ort; B. Padykula; J. Palladino; B. Piscopo; T. Puckhaber; C. Rice; M. Sousa; L. Warren.



All university and associated programs are accredited through the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

Program Overview and Mission

The Doctoral program in Nursing Education (Ed.D.), developed collaboratively by Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) and Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) faculty, is designed to prepare nurses for academic roles. The program, which builds on CSUS’s long-standing tradition of excellence in preparing educators and nurses, offers individuals with clinical expertise and a master’s degree in nursing an innovative doctoral program focused on the necessary content and skills required to be effective faculty members, advance the science of nursing education, and transform the education of future nurses.

The Ed.D. program objectives are consistent with WCSU’s and SCSU’s mission to educate students within a diverse, caring, and scholarly learning community dedicated to excellence.

To meet the needs of busy professionals, this program will be delivered primarily online through the use of synchronous and asynchronous learning modalities. Three, three-day on-campus residencies will be required before the start of the program and during each summer following Years 1 and 2 of the program.

This program is the only one of its kind in the State of Connecticut and one of few across the country uniquely designed to prepare nurses for academic faculty roles.

Learning Goals and Objectives

The Ed.D. program objectives are consistent with WCSU’s and SCSU’s mission to educate students within a diverse, caring, and scholarly learning community dedicated to excellence.

Program Learning Outcomes

At the end of the program, degree candidates will be able to

  • synthesize concepts and theories from nursing, higher education, and related disciplines as a foundation for enacting the nurse educator role
  • demonstrate expertise in designing, implementing, evaluation, and improving nursing education to reflect trends in higher education, healthcare, and nursing practice
  • use knowledge of ethical, social, global, cultural, political, and economic issues affecting nursing education to provide effective leadership
  • contribute to the advancement of the science of nursing education through intellectual inquiry and creative scholarship
  • provide professional leadership to affect change in nursing education through service to the profession
  • function collaboratively in the faculty role within a community of scholars.

This program has been licensed by the Connecticut Board of Regents and has been approved by NEASC

Admission Requirements

  • graduate School application for the Ed.D. in Nursing Education program – Online Application
  • master’s degree in nursing, with an overall GPA of at least 3.0, from a regionally accredited institution
  • official transcripts of all prior undergraduate-and-graduate level coursework
  • three (3) current references from individuals who can speak to the applicant’s academic  ability, professional achievements, and potential for success in doctoral studies. At least one reference is preferred to be from an academic source. Recommendation Form or Recommendation forms are located on the Nursing Ed.D. website.
  • current RN license.
  • GRE scores (must be within the past five years); waived if master’s GPA is over 3.5 (Testing Center at WCSU)
  • current resume/Curriculum Vitae highlighting professional experience, scholarship, and service activities
  • personal statement describing the following: Online Essay Form
    • reasons for seeking admission to the Ed.D. program
    • professional goals
    • research interests related to the scholarship of teaching and learning
    • potential contributions to field of nursing education
  • for international students, a score of at least 550 (paper), 213 (computer), or 80 (internet) on the TOEFL exam

All the above materials are to be sent to the Office of Graduate Admissions, Western Connecticut State University, 181 White Street, Danbury, CT 06810 or as an attachment to Graduate Admissions

Applications will be reviewed in the spring semester with the expectation that those accepted will begin the program of study in the fall semester. A faculty committee, consisting of faculty from both institutions, will be responsible for reviewing application files, ranking candidates, and conducting interviews with applicants selected as finalists. Applicants will be responsible for ensuring that all required documents are received.

The overall goal of the admissions committee is to admit individuals who, in the professional opinion of the faculty, demonstrate the greatest potential for making significant contributions to the field of nursing education through their teaching, scholarly, and service activities.

For more information please visit: Frequently Asked Questions

Program Components 

The proposed 51-credit program consists of five major components in the required sequence, including dissertation.Course Sequence Rotation.

Foundations of Teaching in Higher Education (each course is 3 credits; 9 credits total)

NUR 800 Ethical/Legal, Political, and Social Issues Affecting Higher Education  (Fall)

NUR 801 Theories of Teaching and Learning in Adult and Higher Education  (Fall)

NUR 802 Methods of Teaching and Evaluation (Winter Intersession)

Specialization in Nursing Education (each course is 3 credits; 9 credits total)

NUR 803 Curriculum Development, Implementation, and Evaluation in Nursing (Spring)

NUR 804 Nursing Faculty Role in Higher Education (Spring)

NUR 805 Classroom, Clinical Teaching, and Evaluation in Nursing Education (Summer)

Leadership in Nursing Education (each course is 3 credits; 9 credits total)

NUR 806 Leadership Theories and Concepts (Summer)

NUR 807 Leadership in Nursing Education (Fall)

NUR 808 Doctoral Synthesis (Fall)

Foundations of Teaching in Higher Education (each course is 3 credits; 12 credits total)

NUR 809 State of the Science of Nursing Education Research (Spring)

NUR 810 Quantitative Methods in Nursing Education Research (Spring)

NUR 811 Qualitative Methods in Nursing Education Research (Summer)

NUR 812 Statistical Analysis in Educational Research (Summer)

Dissertation Phase (each course is 3 credits; 9-12 credits total)

NUR 813 Dissertation Seminar I (Fall)

NUR 814 Dissertation Advisement II (Winter Intersession)

NUR 815 Dissertation Advisement III (Spring)

NUR 816 Dissertation Advisement IV (Summer)

NUR 817 Continuing Nursing Education Research 

Comprehensive Examination

All matriculated doctoral students wishing to become doctoral candidates must pass a written comprehensive examination. This exam is designed by the doctoral faculty to rigorously assess the student’s mastery and synthesis of knowledge garnered during course work. Further, it is intended to gauge the student’s potential for independent dissertation research.

Dissertation Proposal

The dissertation proposal is a required component of the doctoral program and must be approved for a student to become a doctoral candidate. Specific details regarding the dissertation proposal and required forms can be obtained from the coordinator of the Ed.D. program in Nursing Education.

Doctoral Candidacy

Once students satisfactorily pass coursework, the comprehensive examination, and the dissertation proposal hearing, they are considered doctoral candidates and may begin dissertation research.


The dissertation is the culminating component of the doctoral program. Only upon successful dissertation defense before a dissertation committee may a student be considered for graduation. All requisite forms and further details are available from the coordinator of the Ed.D. program in Nursing Education.

Degree Completion Limits

Students must complete all degree requirements within seven years. 

Transfer of Credit 

Doctoral students can transfer up to nine credit hours of doctoral-level course work, provided the credits represent equivalent courses described in the program of study, pending approval by the program coordinator.

Academic Planning

Each candidate must meet with the Ed.D. program coordinator to discuss the academic program and the doctoral advisement process. Course sequencing is predetermined, and all students participate in a cohort model to complete the program.