The WSSU-Duke Nursing Bridge to the Doctorate Research Honors Track is a rigorous research-based curriculum that includes: early and ongoing research experiences; new and strengthened research courses; a year-long integrated intensive mentored research experience which includes an integrated intensive summer research internship at Duke University; and an array of enhancement experiences.

Bridge to the Doctorate Curriculum

Research Honor’s Track:
Advanced Concepts in Scientific Research (3 credits)
Graduate level Statistical Skills (3 credits)
Scientific Writing Skills (2 credits)
Thesis I (2 credits)
Integrated Intensive Research Internship (4 credits)
Replaces Thesis II and III for Honor’s Track students
Research in Advanced Nursing Practice (3 credits)
Scientific Writing
Non-Credit Enrichment Components:
Monthly Research Seminar Series
Participation in scientific and professional meetings

Research Honor’s Track

(17 credits)

Building off the required courses in the WSSU Family Nurse Practitioner program and Advanced Nursing Education curricula, the Bridge to the Doctorate Research Honors Track consists of 17 research/research-related credits and a variety of required non-credit enhancement activities. Depending upon a scholar’s prior college level course credits and major, The Research Honor’s Track may begin with an optional summer session and will include five to six semesters of study, including one to two summer sessions:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner = 4 semesters and 2 summer sessions
  • Advanced Nursing Education = 4 semesters and 1 summer session

In order to advance in the Research Honor’s Track, scholars must complete:

  • 3-credit college level survey research course (such as WSSU’s Research in Advance Nursing Practice); and
  • 3-credit college level applied statistics course

Integrated Intensive Research Internship

A research immersion experience at Duke University
(4 credits over a summer and two semesters)

The Integrated Intensive Research Internship is an intensive 8-week research immersion experience at Duke University. Scholars will work with world-class research mentors while engaging in the research process through an array of learning experiences. Scholars will have access to the vast research resources available at Duke University. They will gain hands-on experience, collaborate with interdisciplinary teams, and cultivate the skills and knowledge necessary to advance their research proposals.

Building on the research foundation fortified during the summer immersion experience, the learning continues during the MSN program’s academic year. In the fall semester of Year 2, the research process will focus on data analysis and interpretation and in the spring semester of Year 2, scholars will work with mentors to prepare the research report and develop a manuscript.

Non-Credit Enrichment Components

Monthly Research Seminar Series (non-credit)

These virtual learning experiences address current and evolving scientific topics, provide updates on current research projects in nursing and related disciplines, and discuss new techniques and skills in scientific investigations.


Individual and group counseling will be available to PhD students enrolled in doctoral study at Duke. Specialized counseling by university and graduate programs will be facilitated. Scholars will be encouraged to seek out these resources ( to help achieve their academic, personal, and professional goals.


Bridges scholars are encouraged to seek out assistance from the resources available at WSSU and Duke. One-on-one and small group tutoring will be available to scholars that may experience academic problems. An easily accessible tutoring database will be available and additional campus-wide tutoring resources will identify potential tutors by subject matter.

Enrichment Experiences

There are vast resources and countless enhancement opportunities available at both WSSU and Duke University. The Division of Nursing at WSSU is committed to developing graduates who are able to succeed in doctoral-level education and who will command a strong research and scientific writing foundation. WSSU will offer Bridge Scholars a strong program of study in the research process provided by a strong inter-professional and/or inter-institutional teaching team. The Duke University School of Nursing (DUSON) is committed to interdisciplinary research, and research teams that collaborate through an extensive network of research centers and institutes. The environment will offer Bridge Scholars broad options in: areas of research training, mentorship and a scientific base from which to draw Monthly Research Seminar topics.