The program provides for a wide variety of specializations to prepare Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) candidates for advanced research, teaching, and writing skills in their chosen area of specialization, candidates shall be required to take supporting coursework comprising seven-course units and a lasting a minimum of two semesters. The Ph.D. in Nursing program prepares the students for the leadership role to design a unique research project involving innovations, discovery, Theory development, policy development, and knowledge translation to practice that will contribute to a lifelong program in nursing. Students also develop skills in the analytical ability to collaborate on intra-professional projects. The curriculum enriches learning through social, behavioral, and biological sciences. Anchoring these advances in the curriculum will guarantee quality graduates who match global standards. This applies to the University of Nairobi policy that all PhDs be provided through coursework and Thesis.

The doctoral program is intended to enhance individuals' capacity and skills for positions involving teaching, research, and Leadership role in local and international institutions. The program's objective is to enable students to gain skills in carrying out scholarly work including advanced research for PhD.

Program objectives

Graduates will be prepared to:

  1. Integrate philosophical conceptual and methodological foundations to guide the generation of new nursing knowledge.
  2. Conduct scholarly inquiry that contributes to a body of nursing science
  3. Develop expertise within a bio-behavioral or systems nursing science
  4. Lead in interpersonal collaboration in advancing science

Lead in the conduct of innovations, research,and dissemination of the report.


The Department of Nursing Sciences (DONS) is an integral part of the Faculty of Health Sciences University of Nairobi (UoN). The DONS subscribes to the University of Nairobi philosophy and the core objective of training research and community service. The Department believes that education for nurses is best achieved under the auspices of institutions of higher education; accepts accountability for teaching, research, and community service functions. These beliefs serve as a basis for empowering individuals, families, and communities to develop desirable health patterns. The Department of Nursing believes that human beings are unique and unitary and composed of functional subsystems. The individuals are dynamic with inter and intra-environmental interactive processes and therefore social support systems are critical in the maintenance of health and well-being.  Nursing as a critical facet of health care systems undertakes training and capacity building for professional health care system undertakes training and capacity building for professional development and solutions to public health challenges. Learning in Nursing is an individualized, continuously active, interactive process where responsibility and accountability for the learning process and provide opportunities for life-long learning.



University of Nairobi, Department of Nursing Sciences (DONS) has been training PhD students since 1998 with first graduate in 2002. Since then, over 10 graduates has gone through the PhD nursing grogram. The Master of Science in Nursing (MScN)  curriculum in place was first implemented in 2004 which has produces over 200 graduates. In order to address the vertical mobility  and in response to the regulatory (CUE, NCK) and stakeholders the higher level of nursing education manpower need to be addressed. This curriculum is premised on the national development agenda for high skilled manpower, and the vision 2030 social pillar. Recently, more public and private universities have graduated a substantial number of  Masters (MScN)  holders in nursing and the higher level PhD. The expanding and diversifying field of nursing education and practice demands more highly trained nurses. The healthcare community recognizes the need for the nursing perspective to be a part of major decision-making in the education and care of patients as well as the management of healthcare and nursing education systems.The PhD Nursing Studies programme will offer the students a chance to make a significant contribution to nursing knowledge and theory.  Highly trained nurse scientists are a critical link in the discovery and translation of knowledge to practice. To carry out this crucial work, a sustainable supply of PhD graduates will be necessary. The same will also  improve the reputation and image of nurses in every area of practice locally and globally.  To keep up with the global trends, keep pace with expanding frontiers of knowledge, provide research training to present relevant needs of social economic objectives of the country, there is need to strengthen the PhD Nursing programme by introducing the Theory component for Nursing PhD students. They will also learn how to write a good research report. According to the standards and Commission for University Education (CUE) guidelines of 2014 in Kenya and it has also become necessary to review the modes of teaching PhD. The requirement is to have a Theory and Thesis approach for the training of a PhD graduate, instead of the traditional research and Thesis. This new approach needs to be implemented during the subsequent academic years in line with the global trend.


  1. The Doctor of Philosophy in nursing degree programme shall run for a minimum three (3) years {6 Semesters} and a maximum of six (6) years  {12 Semesters} academic years of full  or part time  training.
  2. The course shall be by course work, practical, Theory and Thesis.
  3. A course unit shall be defined as a total of forty-five contact hours of lectures, seminars, projects, tutorials and practicals.
  4. Candidates shall be required to take all prescribed courses offered during the first year. Research projects including a Thesis in the area of specialization should be done during the second and third years.
  5. Continuous assessments shall comprise lectures, practicals, demonstrations, and

       Seminars, Journal clubs, and conferences,  while the Thesis shall involve individual research in a specialized area of  Nursing.

  1. The Thesis shall be the equivalent of (eight-course units) 480 hours.

   Candidates shall be required to take all prescribed courses per semester.

Mode of Delivery:

PHD Program is through advanced research, teaching, and writing skills in their chosen area of specialization, candidates shall be required to take supporting coursework comprising seven-course units face to face and lasting a minimum of two semesters.

Admission Requirements:

The common regulations for the Doctorate Degree in the University of Nairobi shall apply.

  1. Holders of  Masters’ of Science Degree in Nursing from the University of Nairobi or an

equivalent qualification approved by Senate. 

2. The applicants should be registerble by a professional body of Nursing.


  1. Holders of any Master’s degree in a related field recognized by the Senate of the University of Nairobi as being of comparable academic status, in addition to holding a higher or equivalent masters’ degree in Nursing.  The candidate must be registerble by a professional body of Nursing


 A candidate may be allowed to transfer credits from institutions recognized by the Senate up to a maximum of one-third of the taught units subject to the following conditions.

1. Send a formal application to the University of Nairobi Director of the Graduate School through the Dean / Chairman of the department, seeking transfer of credit, with the justification of the request and attach certificates, syllabus, and transcript which would support such a request.

2. Apply for a transfer of credit, which shall be processed only after payment of the prescribed fees.

Applicants will only be allowed to transfer credits for courses that are equivalent and/or at the same level as what is offered at the University of Nairobi.

3.  No credit transfers or exemptions shall be granted for clinical courses.

Schedule of Intakes

The program commences every September. Enrollment is continuous. More information on the application can be obtained from application system.

Application Information

Please click on the link below to apply;

Click here to apply

For more information Contact

The Chairman, Department of Nursing Sciences 


020 491 5009

020 491 5077


Careers Prospects 

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing is to enable the graduates to apply knowledge, skills,  attitude, and competencies gained to nursing education, leadership, practice, and research locally, in the region, and globally. 

Attachment Opportunities:




Notable Alumni:

The Late Professor Anna Karani (

   YEAR 1   YEAR 2   YEAR 3    TOTALS 
TUITION             432,000          432,000            432,000           1,296,000
ICT SERVICES - (PER YEAR)                  7,000               7,000                 7,000                21,000
THESIS EXAMINATION                           -                        -               50,000                50,000
REGISTRATION (PER SEMESTER@2250)                  4,500               4,500                 4,500                13,500
ID CARD ( PER YEAR)                  1,000               1,000                 1,000                   3,000
CAUTION - (ONCE)                  5,000                        -                          -                   5,000
MEDICAL FEE (PER YEAR)                  6,500               6,500                 6,500                19,500
ACTIVITY-( PER YEAR)                  2,000               2,000                 2,000                   6,000
LIBRARY (PER YEAR)                  5,000               5,000                 5,000                15,000
STUDENT ORGANISATION(PER YEAR)                  1,000               1,000                 1,000                   3,000
Grand totals             464,000          459,000            509,000           1,432,000


Exam Regulations
  1. All candidates shall be required to take examinations in the Seven common courses and pass all the seven papers before they are allowed to proceed to the Second part of the programme.
  2. Continuous assessment shall consist of class presentations, seminar papers, assignments and tests.
  3. Each taught course except independent study paper shall be examined through a 2x hour written examination paper at the end of the semester in which it is taken.
  4. Independent study paper shall be marked out of 100%.  There shall be no coursework component of the study.
  5. The pass mark for each course shall be fifty percent (50%)
  6. The final examination shall account for fifty percent (50%) of the marks in each course, while continuous assessment shall account for the remaining fifty percent (50%).
  7. A candidate who fails in any course shall be allowed upto a maximum of two resits taken at the next semester examinations.
  8. A candidate who fails to satisfy the examiners in the second resit in any courses shall, on the recommendation of the Faculty Board of Examiners and approval by Senate, be discontinued.

Rules Governing the Research Work

The doctoral student should demonstrate competence in applied research by carrying out the following;

  1. Writing an Independent conceptual study paper in nursing area of specialization and Reporting
  2. Organizing and participating in a scientific Seminar that focuses on; advanced Operations Management and Information Systems
  3. Develop an Independent Conceptual Study Paper in Information Systems
  4. A candidate shall be allowed to present for approval, a research proposal in a Faculty seminar only after successfully completing all seven courses in theProgram.
  5. A candidate shall be required to present a seminar(s) of their research work.
  6. A candidate shall write and submit for examination a thesis compiled from the research work carried out under supervision as prescribed in the common regulations for the degree of the Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Nairobi.