Finding a doctoral program that allows you to study part-time is extremely important because it’s typical for people who are ready to pursue this level of education to have already begun their careers. Nurses already have a very demanding schedule, which is something you’re probably very aware of. Part-time degree programs feature smaller course loads, sometimes just one course per semester. Even though the pace is slowed, some programs still enable you to graduate within two years. There are plenty of schools all over the country that have part-time options in order to better fit into your schedule, allowing nurses to pursue their higher education goals without disrupting their careers.

Part-time degree programs take a traditional program and spread it out over a more extended period of time by allowing students to take fewer courses per term. While it will take longer for you to earn your degree this way, there are a number of advantages. The most prevalent perk of this option is that you will not have to invest as much time into your courses and will be able to leave room in your schedule to account for any personal or professional obligations that you’re already dealing with. In addition to that, the smaller course load means that you can dedicate yourself to fewer classes at a time so that you can genuinely absorb everything to the fullest extent. Any doctorate degree will require you to push yourself, but a part-time program lets you push yourself academically without having to spread yourself too thin or take a break from your career like you might have to with a more rigorous track. Of course, it might be more difficult, and it will take more time to complete your degree. However, if you know that a part-time study track is what will work the best for you, you have plenty of options when it comes to schools.

One of the most prestigious research universities in the nation, Vanderbilt University, has a vastly flexible PhD in Nursing program available online and at a full-time or part-time pace based on your needs. There are only three required face-to-face meetings on the beautiful campus in Nashville, Tennessee that last no longer than five days each time. The majority of the courses you’ll take to graduate are self-paced, with only a few requiring students to log in set times each week to participate in class via Livestream. For a student that needs the flexibility of a distance-based part-time doctoral program but doesn’t want to lose the opportunity of participating in more traditional style classes, the Doctor of Nursing Practice at Ohio State University provides students with a perfect middle ground. The university has both a Post-Master’s and a Post-BSN option so that it is more widely accessible; all of the classes can be taken online, and the program is available in a part-time delivery. The thing that sets the program apart for a student who desires more of the “true college experience” is that all courses are presented synchronously. You and the students in your cohort would log in at set times to participate in your classes in real time and interact with your peers and instructors. The University of Central Florida, Saint Louis University, Georgia College and State University, and many more institutions also feature part-time nursing doctoral programs.