Nursing Education PhD in Education

Doctor of Philosophy in Education

Grow as a Change Agent in Nursing Education

Your passion to teach can help empower nursing professionals to find success in their roles. Capella University offers an online PhD in Education, Nursing Education specialization that can help you meet the demand for qualified instructors.

In this program you’ll learn to design and lead effective nursing education programs. Your coursework and in-person learning experiences will help you become a change agent, ready to introduce fundamental, well-documented improvements to nursing education. And you’ll develop the capacity to lead continuous quality improvement as a nurse educator.

At a Glance

  • Online & in-person
  • 6 Core courses
  • 8 Specialization courses
  • 3 Elective courses
  • 3 Residencies
  • Comprehensive exam
  • Dissertation
  • 92 Total quarter credits
  • 16 Maximum transfer credits

Reduce your tuition by 30%

Enroll in an eligible program and apply for our Front Line Heroes Discount to save 30% on your doctoral degree.

Apply now »

Classes Start October 12th

Ready to get started? We’re ready for you. Chat with an enrollment counselor or apply now to take the first step on the journey toward your future.

$50 application fee (waived w/promo SUMMER).

PhD in Education—Program Highlights

Core CNE Exam Skills

The National League for Nursing recognizes that this program aligns with the Core Competencies for Nurse Educators©, using competencies that are integral to the Certified Nurse Education© exam.

90% of alumni are satisfied with their Capella experience.

Source: Alumni Outcome Survey, 2017

Focus on Nursing Education Research

Advance new knowledge in the field of nursing research with your dissertation work, which focuses on nursing education research rather than clinical practice.

Our unique doctoral structure

Our PhD in Education, Nursing Education program is designed to remove roadblocks for you and demystify the dissertation process. This unique approach centers on supporting you in three ways: through program structure, a dedicated faculty and support team, and online resources. To help generate momentum toward graduation, you’ll begin your dissertation early in the program. Our faculty, support team, and online resources will help guide you every step of the way.

Cost & learning format

Online education isn’t one-size-fits-all. We know you’re busy—you need a learning experience tailored to your life, not the other way around. Capella has learning and tuition formats to suit you, however you learn. 

A more structured learning format with an active peer community and faculty guidance. We’ll set the schedule, you meet the deadlines. 

  • Based on the quarter system; 1-3 courses per 10-week quarter
  • 1 semester credit = 1.5 quarter credits
  • Weekly assignments and courseroom discussions
  • Pay for what you take, price varies by courseload or term
$745 per credit, 92 total quarter credits, 16 max transfer credits

Get the details

Speak with an enrollment counselor to get a personalized cost estimate for what you can expect to pay.

Accredited & recognized

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Accreditation and recognitions provide the assurance we meet standards for quality of faculty, curriculum, learner services, and fiscal stability. See all of our accreditations and recognitions

Ways to save

At Capella, we believe your education is an investment in your future. It’s also an investment within your grasp. Your goals are achievable—there are more ways to save than you might think. 

Transfer credits

We can accept many transfer credits from regionally accredited schools.


There are a variety of need-based federal grants available to help pay for tuition and costs.

$20K toward your doctorate

Apply for a $20K Capella Progress Reward, a scholarship to help you fund your doctoral degree.

PhD in Education, Nursing Education Sample Courses

Become a role model and guide for nursing professionals with the knowledge and expertise you gain in the Capella PhD in Education, Nursing Education program. Teach the next generation of nurses from the perspective of a scholar and experienced practitioner. The program includes dissertation research seminars which allow you to get an early start on your dissertation.

Show course with description
The Nurse Educator: Faculty Roles and Responsibilities

This course presents the history of higher education nursing programs and the roles and responsibilities of nurse educators in higher education and clinical settings. Topics include clinical site responsibilities, professional and staff development, the importance of student preceptors and mentors, educational program requirements and evaluation, and legal and ethical issues. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
Curriculum Design and Evaluation in Nursing Education

In this course, learners research nursing curriculum elements and model construction. Learners also evaluate the accreditation process and the influence of accreditation requirements on curriculum development. This course focuses on understanding and synthesizing learning concepts and the components of curriculum, as well as curriculum models that will help learners create successful learning outcomes. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
Teaching Strategies in Nursing Education

In this course, learners examine nursing education teaching and learning theories, and analyze teaching strategies in classroom and clinical settings, including use of simulations. Learners also analyze instructional strategies for teaching in face-to-face and online environments. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
Nursing Leadership and Professional Practice

Learners in this course explore the grants process within the context of nursing leadership. Learners develop the skills needed to identify specific needs and grant opportunities as well as cultivate specific organizational and professional support for grant activities. Additionally, learners critique various grant proposals and write elements of a proposal.  Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits

What you’ll learn

The right education can change everything. Prepare to make positive change in the field of nursing education.

  • Facilitate learning by designing and leading nursing education programs.
  • Serve as a leader and change agent to introduce improvements to current nursing education programs.
  • Design curriculum with assessment and evaluation strategies.
  • Engage in scholarship to produce curriculum design and evaluate program outcomes.
  • Pursue continuous quality improvement in the nurse educator role to effect positive change.

Julia Bronner, PhD

Julia Bronner, PhD, is a core faculty member with the School of Education, Nursing Education specialty at Capella University. Previously, she worked in trauma and held academic dean positions. Bronner has worked extensively in the Middle East and aboard ORBIS. She is a certified transcultural nurse and a certified HLC AQIP & PEAQ Consultant/Appraiser. Bronner earned a PhD from Capella, an MS in Nursing from Winona State College, and a BSN from St. Theresa's College in Minnesota.

PhD in Education, Nursing Education Career Insights

Capella PhD Student Wins 2016 Outstanding Nurse Educator Award

The award celebrates a nurse educator hero who goes above and beyond the call of duty and inspires others to do their best work.

10 Questions with Capella Faculty Member Jobeth Pilcher, EdD

An interview with Dr. Pilcher, faculty member and mentor in Capella University’s PhD in Nursing Education program.

PhD in Education, Nursing Education—Professional Paths

Your education can help you reach your goals, professionally and personally. Here are some of the jobs and employment settings to explore with a doctorate in nursing education.

Related job titles to explore*

  • Dean or associate dean of nursing program
  • Nurse educator
  • Full-time faculty of nursing courses
  • Nursing instructor
  • Nursing education curriculum specialist
  • Nursing department chair

Employment settings to explore

  • Land-based or online college or university
  • Health care system
  • Hospital
  • Community and technical college
  • Medical center
  • Community health agency

*These are examples intended to serve as a general guide. Some positions may prefer or even require previous experience, licensure, certifications, and/or other designations along with a degree. Because many factors determine what position an individual may attain, Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific job title, a promotion, salary increase, or other career outcome. We encourage you to research requirements for your job target and career goals.

Other programs to explore

Is this program close to what you need, but maybe not a perfect fit? The programs below might be interesting. Check them out to find one that suits your academic and professional goals.

Ready for the next step?

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