About Our Graduate Programs
The University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Nursing supports and prepares you for the next stages in your nursing career. Our community works together through mentorship and collaboration. We actively foster an environment of inclusive excellence that welcomes diversity among our students, faculty, and staff.
At UW–Madison, we work to improve nursing practice, patient health outcomes, and systems of care.
Our students develop leadership skills on their career paths for clinical practice (DNP) or research (PhD). Our DNP students translate research into practice to improve health outcomes. Our PhD students work closely with faculty to generate discoveries that are innovative, transformative, and grounded in practical application.
Together, we endeavor to change lives throughout communities, hospitals, clinics, schools, and homes.
Learn More About Our Graduate Programs
More Options for Advanced Study
The UW–Madison School of Nursing provided me the experience to conduct interdisciplinary research with scholars from different areas that could build from nursing research questions. This allowed me to conduct a dissertation study that involves nursing, neuroscience, and sleep medicine.Chooza Moon PhD ’16
Which Graduate Program is Right for You?
A side-by-side comparison of our two doctoral programs: the DNP and PhD.
|wdt_ID||Comparison||Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)||Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)|
|1||Program Objective||Prepares you for the highest level of nursing practice in your specialty and to translate evidence into practice.
A doctoral degree in practice.
|Prepares you to conduct research in nursing and interdisciplinary teams and advance the science that guides nursing practice.
A doctoral degree in research.
|2||Career Opportunities||• Clinical faculty
• Nurse educator
• Nurse practitioner (4 specialties)
• Adult gerontology clinical nurse specialist
• Nurse executive
• Advanced population health
• Advanced practice leadership
• Non-profit health care leaders
|• Academic faculty
• Clinical nurse scientists in health care systems and industry
• Health policy development, implementation and advocacy specialists in government or other health organizations
• Health care leaders and entrepreneurs
|3||Program Outcomes||Evaluate and apply research to innovate in practice and improve outcomes.
Practice at the highest levels of nursing with diverse populations.
Inform health care policy.
Implement and evaluate clinical programs.
|Advance the nursing discipline and practice through research, education, and health policy.
Conduct and disseminate independent research.
Participate in interdisciplinary research to respond to regional, national, and international priorities.
|4||Areas of Focus||Seven (7) specialty tracks for advanced practice:
• Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
• Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
• Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
• Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
• Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
• Population Health
• Systems Leadership and Innovation
|Six (6) signature research areas:
• Aging & Care of Older Adults
• Children, Families & Reproductive Health
• Health Disparities
• Health Systems & Public Health
• Mental Health & Substance Use
• Symptom Science & Palliative Care
|5||Clinical Requirements||1,000 hours in advanced specialty practice across the last two years of the program hours
Faculty arrange, oversee, and evaluate all practicum to assure quality of experience and alignment with certification
|6||Research Requirements||Use existing research to improve practice.||Knowledge generation and dissemination.|
|7||Scholarly Activity||Evidence-Based Scholarly Project
||Research Dissertation Study
|8||Length of Time||3-4 years||3-5 years|
|9||Credits||68 credits||52 credits|
|10||Student-Faculty Ratio||6 students per clinical faculty||2-5 students per faculty|
Leaders in Research & Practice
Andrew O’Donnell ’11, DNP’14
Andrew O’Donnell is currently working on the front lines of COVID-19 as the interim co-manager of the Trauma Life Support Center at UW Health, supporting a staff of 120 employees, including 90 ICU nurses.
Rural Placements for Nursing Students Help Address Rural Health-care Shortage
A partnership between the Monroe Clinic-SSM Health and the UW–Madison School of Nursing provides DNP students opportunities to engage in rural practice, and many return to it.
School of Nursing Alumna Named Dean of College of Nursing and Health Sciences at UW–Eau Claire
Dr. Kristen Abbott-Anderson, an alumna of the UW–Madison School of Nursing, was named the new dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
Where Are They Now? Q&A with Treenut Pummanee, PhD’14
Treenut Pummanee, PhD’14, shares highlights from her nursing journey.