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Duke School of Nursing and Winston-Salem State Partner to Increase Minority PhD Candidates

The Duke University School of Nursing and Winston-Salem State University have received a $1.245 million, five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to increase the number of underrepresented WSSU minority nursing students who are prepared to transition to Ph.D. programs in nursing and other related biomedical/behavioral science disciplines at Duke University.

Titled “Bridges to the Doctorate Program,” this unique collaboration is the second of its kind in the nation. “Included in our strategic objectives is the goal to promote and develop a diverse group of nurse scientist faculty prepared to lead in the discovery of new knowledge to inform health care. This speaks to the essence of what is the Duke University School of Nursing,” said Debra Brandon, director of the Ph.D. in Nursing program and Associate Professor. “This is a wonderful opportunity to work with our colleagues at Winston-Salem State University to create a direct link between their Masters of Nursing Science (MSN) program and our Ph.D. program at the Duke School of Nursing,” she said.

Duke and WSSU will work together to implement a 17-credit hour Research Honors Track within WSSU’s MSN program. The enhanced program will consist of early and on-going mentored research experiences, new and strengthened research courses, and a year-long integrated intensive mentored research experience including an intensive eight-week summer research internship at Duke University.


Duke University School of Nursing as a diverse community of scholars and clinicians, educates the next generation of transformational leaders in nursing, advances nursing science in issues of global import, and fosters the scholarly practice of nursing. In 2011, U.S. News and World Report ranked Duke among the top seven graduate schools of nursing in the nation. The National Institutes of Health awarded $4.3 million in research funding to DUSON (Oct. 1, 2011, through Sept. 30, 2012), making it one of the top 10 nursing schools engaged with NIH-funded research. The school offers the master’ss, Ph.D., and doctor of nursing practice degrees, as well as an accelerated bachelor of science in nursing degree to students who have previously graduated from college. More than 750 students are enrolled in the School of Nursing–one of the largest numbers in the school’s 80-year history.

—Michael Evans, Director of Communications, School of Nursing