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PhD Course Descriptions

GPNG 901 State of the Science and Discovery - 3 credits

This course socializes beginning PhD students to the role of Nurse Scholar and Scientist. Students will explore the state of the science in a phenomenon of interest and to conceptualize gaps in scientific knowledge specific to their research topic. Intellectual enrichment activities will be underscored to facilitate: 1) identification and critical evaluation of gaps in existing knowledge in a specific scientific domain; 2) systematic exploration, critique, and synthesis of existing scientific literature; 3) participation in scholarly dialog and constructive evaluation of a scientific body of knowledge. Published theoretical and empirical literature will be examined to facilitate the development of the student's unique ideas regarding how to fill existing gaps in current knowledge for their specific scientific area.

At the end of this course, students will be able to describe their emerging role as a Nurse Scientist and Scholar; articulate their researchable topic in relation to a research question; examine and critique the current scientific literature for knowledge gaps in their topic of interest; and synthesize the extant literature within the context of their research interest.

GPNG 903 Measurement Issues - 3 credits

This course focuses on the application of measurement theory and psychometric techniques to the development, use, and evaluation of measurement instruments for nursing and health care research. The operationalization of concepts, assessment of reliability and validity, and appropriate and ethical use of measurement instruments is explored.

GPNG 921 Foundations of Social and Distributive Justice in Health Policy - 3 credits

Examines contemporary health policy through the lens of social and distributive justice. A major focus will include the identification, formulation, and legitimation of health policy in the United States.

At the conclusion of the course, the student will be able to trace elements of social and deliberative justice in American health policy; analyze the contemporary health care environment and its impact on health policy in the United States and beyond; recognize opportunities to create policy-level changes and weigh the impact of professional, organizational, and governmental policies on health delivery/practice; discuss the influences of political ideologies and fiscal constraints on the health care agenda; and discuss health policy in an age of globalization and terrorism.

GPNG 922 Philosophy of Science and Theory - 3 credits

This course focuses on both the history of philosophy of science and the philosophical and theoretical issues involved in the discovery and verification of theory. Selected writings of Popper and Kuhn are discussed in relationship to how they guided nursing research development. Readings from the nursing literature will focus specifically on how the philosophers impacted nursing knowledge and research.
Patterns of "knowing" are explored. The process of questioning what one knows and from whom or from where one has gained the knowledge will be explored. Using the method delineated by Walker and Avant, the various methods of theory development are analyzed. The contextual relevance of theory to practice is discussed. The course begins the process of looking at various theories as they relate to advance practice.

At the completion of this course, the student will be able to explicate the philosophies of Popper, Kuhn, and other philosophers whose work has influenced the development of nursing research and the advancement of knowledge; discuss the implications of Kuhn's concept of paradigm shifts as it relates to nursing practice; discuss the assigned literature of nursing scholars as the readings relates to History of Philosophy; discuss the meaning of theory and its relevance to knowing; clarify various methods by which a person comes to know; conduct a concept analysis; and analyze Walker and Avant's steps in theory development.

GPNG 923 Methods of Scientific Inquiry I - 4 credits

Pre-requisite: GPNG 927 Structure of Nursing Knowledge
This course focuses on the analysis of research methodologies that guide the collection and analysis of quantitative data. The focus will be on the articulation of research questions with appropriate research methodologies. A critical analysis of quantitative research designs and methods and scientific inquiry from the perspective of the positivistic paradigm will be explored. Focus is placed on descriptive, correlational, experimental and quasi-experimental designs as applied to nursing problems.
The historical and philosophical foundations of mixed methods will be studied, and the principles for designing a mixed methods study will be introduced.

At the conclusion of the course, the student will be able to; design a study that uses appropriate quantitative methods to address complex problems in nursing and health care; analyze the complexity of relationships among the research problem(s), state of the science, and design; describe the role of theoretical and conceptual frameworks in designing and conducting a study; and describe the philosophical foundations of mixed methods designs.

GPNG 924 Methods of Scientific Inquiry II - 4 credits

Pre-requisites: GPNG 923 Methods of Scientific Inquiry I and GPNG 927 Structure of Nursing Knowledge
This course focuses on the analysis of research methodologies that guide the collection and interpretation of qualitative data. Included are naturalistic, conceptual, interpretive and analytical research methods. In addition, detailed descriptions of the practical aspects of how mixing of methods can be rigorously achieved will be addressed. The six major mixed methods designs will be explored.

At the conclusion of the course, the student will be able to; compare and contrast selected qualitative methods for discovering and documenting nursing knowledge; describe selected qualitative data collection strategies to investigate a nursing phenomenon of interest; describe the process of considering appropriate data analyses procedures to analyze data; delineate the six major mixed methods designs; and describe the steps in mixed methods data collection used in different types of designs.

GPNG 925 Grant Writing - 3 credits

This course explores the current state of the art of nursing research and the major research and funding trends in nursing and health care. Emphasis is placed on preparing a fundable grant application for dissertation study. A variety of pre-doctoral funding sources are explored. NIH-NINR mechanisms are addressed. Emphasis is also placed on developing a fundable program of research and understanding ethical issues related to research. The importance of multidisciplinary research to build science will be discussed.

At the conclusion of this course, the student will be able to explore the relationship between a national research agenda and the major research and funding trends in nursing and health care; develop a program of research that reflects the student's research interests, plans for dissertation and future research goals; identify funding sources for research in nursing and health care; apply the necessary principles of ethics in research when designing nursing research studies including the budget; discuss the key factors necessary to build a research team; and prepare a grant application for dissertation study.

GPNG 927 Structure of Nursing Knowledge - 3 credits

Pre-requisite: GPNG 901 State of the Science and Discovery
This course builds on the theory development course. In this course greater emphasis is placed on epistemology, the study of how knowledge is acquired. Further, the course examines how knowledge builds. Students are led through this process by looking at the work of Michael Polyani and, to a lesser extent, Benner’’s Novice to Expert. Since theorizing is an ethical endeavor and choices made may have ethical consequences in practice, this theme permeates the course. The testing of theory, refinement and modification of theory, and the use of theory in practice are brought together to explore and project the future direction of theory-based practice for advanced practice nurses and other health care professionals.

GPNG 930 Applied Quantitative Methods - 3 credits

Pre-requisite: GPNG 924 Methods of Scientific Inquiry II
This course extends the students’ theoretical understanding of quantitative designs related to research in health care and provides the opportunity for applied practice in quantitative methods. Topics to be covered include (but are not necessarily limited to) review of foundation statistical knowledge (as covered in prerequisite coursework), analysis of variance, repeated measures ANOVA, and regression analysis. Data management will also be examined. Students will gain competence in using common statistical tests and SPSS (statistical software package) to be able to conduct and report quantitative research from an applied perspective.

GPNG 931 Applied Qualitative Practicum - 3 credits

The focus of this course is to promote a broader understanding of the student’s phenomena of interest through the process of qualitative inquiry, immersion and Field Work.  Students are expected to choose a particular area of clinical research interest and keep field notes, observations and insights.  Students will then analyze their field notes using a chosen process of analysis with a data manager.  In moving from stranger to friend the perspective researcher should be aware of emerging research questions in relation to the domain of inquiry, regardless of the chosen methodology.  The student will arrive at research questions grounded in the clinical area or area of inquiry with support from the literature and the prospect of moving to the next phase of inquiry.  Students will have ample opportunity to work with data and use a data manager to assist with data analysis.

* Students in the TCN post masters program must be involved with phenomena related to culture.

GREV 610 Educational Statistics II - 3 credits

This course is the second in a sequence of three statistics courses. The major topics focused upon are analysis of variance and multiple regression. Specific areas include: one-way ANOVA, factorial ANOVA, post-hoc analysis, evaluation of model assumptions, repeated measures analysis, analysis of covariance, and bivariate and multiple regression procedures.

Cognates - 12 credits

This series of courses, which may be taken either in nursing or related disciplines, support the dissertation.

GPNG 915 Dissertation - 15 credits

Duquesne University uses an Electronic Theses and Dissertations submission process. For more information, visit the ETD homepage.

Revisions to courses and curricula are ongoing.