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Accelerating Your Career
Bryan R. Hansen
"Even though you're doing your master's, you're very much a part of the PhD cohort."
Bryan R. Hansen , MSN '12, RN Hopkins Nursing PhD Candidate

The neglect and abuse of the elderly that Bryan Hansen saw when he worked in long-term care facilities and a medical examiner's office is "seared into my brain," he says. It's what led him to pursue a career in forensic nursing. He was interested in the Johns Hopkins Clinical Nurse Specialist program with a focus in forensic nursing...

Read Bryan's Story
  • Program

    Program Overview

    The MSN/PhD program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing provides avenues for motivated students to pursue exceptional careers as nurse researchers. This intensive program prepares students as clinical nurse specialists and leaders in nursing science who conduct multidisciplinary, collaborative research that advances the discipline of nursing and healthcare quality. Develop your specialty focus through MSN studies and pursue your PhD with the advanced scientific grounding, cutting-edge research training, and rare opportunities for transdisciplinary and global health research found at the preeminent Johns Hopkins medical institutions.

    Those who earn a dual MSN/PhD degree in nursing:

    • Will be qualified to engage in all areas of professional and scholarly life, including scholarly inquiry, leadership in healthcare delivery systems, and public policy
    • Employ philosophical, theoretical, and conceptual foundations to develop knowledge in healthcare
    • Develop expertise within an area of inquiry, identifying gaps in knowledge and reflecting a transdisciplinary perspective
    • Conduct theory-guided research to test, generate, and extend knowledge that informs healthcare systems, health policy, and the evidence base for practice

    Learn more about the PhD program

  • Program

    Program Requirements

    Students may apply for full- or part-time study.

    The school seeks individuals who will bring to the student body the qualities of scholarship, motivation, and commitment. The Admissions Committee is interested in each applicant as an individual and will consider both academic potential and personal qualities. Therefore, school records, test scores, recommendations, and essays about goals and interests are important.

    Recommendations about a student's character, intellectual curiosity, seriousness of purpose, and range of extracurricular activities are considered.

    Selection factors include:

    • Bachelor of Science degree in nursing
    • Scholastic Grade Point Average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale from an accredited college or university
    • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores within the past five years (for MSN/MPH, MSN/MBA, and MSN/PhD applicants only)
    • Demonstrated commitment to nursing practice and scholarly pursuit
    • Community service and professional commitment
    • Interview with faculty member
    • Written expression of goals
    • Letters of recommendation
    • Applicants must submit evidence of current nursing licensure. Students must have or obtain Maryland Registered Nurse licensure for matriculation (or RN license from compact state)

    Additionally, applicants for the Clinical Nurse Specialist program

    • Will be exceptional students who are carefully chosen based on a number of factors including previous experiences. Direct care acute care experiences will be required;
    • Will be required to attend part time during their first year in the program while working as a staff nurse in an inpatient unit full time (more than 36 hours per week), and will not begin CNS clinical courses until their second year.

    Transfer of Credit

    Transfer of credit is granted on an individual basis. The decision is based on equivalent content (for required courses), credit allotment and satisfactory completion of courses. You may petition for permission to substitute a course from another college or university by submitting a request to the Office of Admissions and Student Services along with the complete course syllabus.

    Up to 6 credits of graduate course work taken at Johns Hopkins University or elsewhere may be accepted for transfer. Course work must have been completed within the last five years. Course work at the undergraduate level will not be considered for advanced standing credit.

  • Curriculum


    This dual degree option may be completed in 8 semesters. More than 500 clinical hours enable graduates to sit for national CNS certification exams.

    View Full Curriculum and Sample Course of Study

Application Deadline

Based on MSN entry date.

MSN deadlines vary

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Important policies, procedures, and resources for easy reference.

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