For nurses who are passionate about advancing the profession through research or educating future nurses, a PhD in the field can help them achieve their career goals. Most students who are admitted to doctoral programs have already earned a master's degree before applying, but outstanding undergraduate students can be accepted directly into a PhD program by many schools. The following is a list of the top ten graduate schools of nursing as ranked by US News and World Report.

University of Washington

The PhD in nursing at the University of Washington focuses on combining advanced study in the field with in-depth training in statistical techniques and research methods. For those with a special interest in statistics, an additional concentration in the subject is available through UW's Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences. Research training fellowships funded by the National Institute of Health are also regularly awarded to outstanding doctoral students.

University of Washington School of Nursing 1959 NE Pacific Street Seattle, WA 98195 206-543-8736 son.washington.edu/admissions/phd/default.asp .

University of California- San Francisco (UCSF)

The School of Nursing at UCSF offers three distinct PhD programs. In the standard Nursing program, areas of research emphasis include family healthcare, community health systems and physiological nursing. For students who are interested in the sociological basis of medicine, the PhD in Sociology is one of the premier programs of its kind, with many students receiving fellowships from UCSF's Institute for Health and Aging to research issues affecting the elderly. Lastly, the PhD in Nursing and Health Policy prepares nurses to be future healthcare policy makers.

University of California- San Francisco Nursing Student Affairs Office 2 Koret Way, #N-319X UCSF Box 0602 San Francisco, CA 94143 415-476-4544 nurseweb.ucsf.edu/index.shtml

University of Pennsylvania (Penn)

The PhD in nursing at Penn provides students a chance to learn from Ivy League professors in a program tailored to meet their individual needs. All students choose an area of concentration, with some students choosing to earn a Master's degree in an area such as gerontology or pediatrics en route to the PhD. Students also have the option of simultaneously earning an MBA through Penn's esteemed Wharton School of Business. In order to prepare students for their potential roles after graduation, each doctoral candidate is required to complete one semester of teaching experience and one semester as a research assistant.

University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing Claire M. Fagin Hall, Suite M-05 418 Curie Boulevard Philadelphia, PA 19104 (215) 898-4271 nursing.upenn.edu/admissions/doctoral/Pages/default.aspx

Johns Hopkins University

Well-known for its medical education, Johns Hopkins is also home to a prestigious nursing school. Students in the Doctorate of Nursing program complete a 24 credit required core curriculum in subjects such as statistics and grant writing along with 22 credits of student-selected courses. Elective offerings include classes on subjects such as global health, writing for publication and human stress responses. A variety of scholarships and fellowships are awarded for students with specific research interests. For example, fellowships are available for students studying mental health nursing or underserved minority groups.

Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing 525 N. Wolfe St. Baltimore, MD 21205 (410) 955-7548 nursing.jhu.edu/academics/academic_programs/doctoral/

University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill

The PhD program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill prides itself on developing the future leaders of the nursing field. Recent graduates have gone on to become professors at universities such as Duke, Vanderbilt, and Yale. In order to prepare students for careers in academia, research experience is emphasized throughout the program. Current research includes topics as varied as reducing the risk of HIV among female prisoners, treating depression in Latina mothers, and the differences in nursing education throughout the world.

School of Nursing UNC-Chapel Hill Carrington Hall, CB #7460 Chapel Hill, NC 27599 919-966-3731 nursing.unc.edu/degree/doctoral/index.html

Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU)

Oregon Health and Science University offers a highly ranked nursing PhD program at an affordable price. Not only do Oregon residents pay lower in-state tuition rates, but students from 14 other states in the western US are also eligible to pay in-state tuition at OHSU. Scholarships are also available. For example, a $7500 scholarship is given by OHSU's Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence to students with a specific interest in geriatric nursing.

OHSU: School of Nursing 3455 SW US Veterans Hospital Rd. Portland, OR 97239 503-494-7444 ohsu.edu/xd/education/schools/school-of-nursing/programs/doctoral/doctor-philosohpy/index.cfm

University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC)

Students at the doctoral program in nursing at the University of Illinois-Chicago have numerous opportunities to participate in cutting edge research. For example, some students work together with UIC medical students and faculty to investigate treatments for sleep disorders at the Center for Narcolepsy, Sleep and Health Research. Others work with the Chicago Partnership for Health Promotion to find ways of improving nutrition within Chicago's low income neighborhoods. Apart from research, students also complete required coursework and up to 32 credits in an elective concentration of their choice.

UIC College of Nursing 845 South Damen Avenue MC 802 Chicago, IL 60612 312-996-7800 uic.edu/nursing/prospectivestudents/phd-about.shtml

University of Maryland-Baltimore (UMB)

The University of Maryland offers a PhD in nursing at its health science campus in Baltimore. Students can apply directly from an undergraduate nursing program, as UMBs program allows them to earn a master's degree en route to the PhD. All students are required to choose an area of emphasis for their studies. Choices include clinical practice, nursing education, nursing administration and nursing policy. Students with an interest in business can also earn an MBA from the University of Baltimore along with their nursing degree through UMB's PhD/MBA program.

University of Maryland School of Nursing 655 West Lombard Street Baltimore, MD 21201 410-706-3100 nursing.umaryland.edu/academic-programs/grad/doctoral-degree/phd

University of Pittsburgh (Pitt)

The University of Pittsburgh has been home to a doctorate of nursing program for over 55 years, making Pitt's program one of the oldest in the United States. The core curriculum provides a strong grounding in the fundamentals of scholarship, with required classes in areas such as advanced statistics and the history and philosophy of nursing. Students are also required to complete a minor in a subject outside the School of Nursing, allowing them to explore their individual interests. Independent study projects can also be used to satisfy the credit requirements for the minor.

University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing Victoria Building 3500 Victoria Street Pittsburgh, PA 15261 412-624-4586 nursing.pitt.edu/academics/phd.jsp#description

Yale University

According to Yale, the university's School of Nursing is "the birthplace of clinical nursing research." The standards for admission are high; applicants must have previously earned a masters' degree with at least a 3.5 cumulative GPA in order to be considered for acceptance. Once enrolled, students consult with faculty to decide on a focus for their research and coursework. Examples of potential areas of focus include health care policy, maternal health, chronic illnesses and children with mental disorders.

Yale University School of Nursing PO Box 9740 New Haven, CT 06536 nursing.yale.edu/Academics/PhD/