The Bridge to the Doctorate Program prepares minority nurse scientists to influence the research agenda by broadening research questions and methodologies, particularly around the challenges of health disparities.

Bridge to the Doctorate is a collaborative partnership between WSSU Division of Nursing and Duke University School of Nursing (DUSON) that provides minority nurse scholars enrolled in WSSU’s Master of Science in Nursing program with an array of educational and socialization experiences to foster seamless transition into a PhD program at Duke University.


The purpose of the WSSU-Duke Nursing Bridge to the Doctorate is to increase the number of underrepresented minority PhD students and nurse scientists.  Increasing diversity among PhD students and nurse scientists is critical to the future of biomedical and behavioral research in the US, particularly as the percentage of the population comprised of underrepresented minority groups increases. The WSSU-Duke partnership will create a pipeline that primes underrepresented minorities for transition into PhD programs in nursing and other  related scientific disciplines. 

Program Aims

  • Admit and progress Bridge Scholars through the WSSU Research Honors Track
  • Seamlessly transition Bridge Scholars into PhD programs in nursing and other related disciplines at Duke University
  • Provide an array of activities to facilitate transition to doctoral study:
    • One-on-one and team mentoring
    • Counseling
    • Tutoring
    • Enrichment and enhancement experiences
  • Provide an educational and socialization experience to cultivate minority nurse scientists through the development of a new 17-credit hour Research Honors Track