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Program Director
Mi Ja Kim, PhD, RN, FAAN
University of Illinois at Chicago
(312) 996-5275
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Program Coordinators

Roy Ann Sherrod, DSN, RN,
University of Alabama
(205) 348-6634

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Susan Poslusny, PhD, RN
DePaul University
(773) 325-7281

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Karyn Holm, PhD, RN, FAAN
DePaul University
(773) 325-7498
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UIC Project Faculty and Staff
Beverly McElmurry, EdD, RN, FAAN
UIC Faculty
(312) 996-3035
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Karine Richardson, BSN, RN
UIC Research Assistant
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Bridge to the Doctoral Program

About the Program

The Bridges to Doctoral Program in Nursing is a collaborative training program between the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing (UIC CON) with two partner schools, the University of Alabama, Capstone College of Nursing in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and DePaul University, Department of Nursing, Chicago Illinois to increase the number of doctorally prepared minority nurses in the United States.

In 2000, the percentage of doctorally prepared minority nurses constituted 6.9% of the U.S. doctorally prepared nurses, while the percentage of the minority population in the U.S. was projected to be 23%. This disproportionately small number of minority nurse scholars, together with the recent report (2002) on health disparities between the minority Americans and whites in the United States clearly indicate the need for increasing doctorally prepared minority nurse researchers who will educate future nurses and conduct research on health problems with cultural sensitivity.

Goals of the Program

The long-term goal of this training program is to increase the pool of doctorally prepared minority faculties. Four specific aims collectively are designed to help master’s students at the University of Alabama and De Paul University prepare for doctoral study at UIC CON by gaining appropriate scientific knowledge, research skills, and professional socialization.

The primary short-term goals of this training program are to:

  • offer UIC CON programs of teaching and research training to master's students at the University of Alabama and De Paul University;
  • provide academic counseling/professional socialization and mentoring for master's students at our partner institutions;
  • enhance the curriculum of partners’ programs in preparing students for the biomedical and/or behavioral research and for cultural competency; and,
  • stimulate and enhance the academic environment for increased collaborative research activities between the faculties of the partner schools and UIC CON.

How the Program Works

Four master's students (two from each university) will be recruited each year from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa and DePaul University for the UIC CON Doctoral program. To be eligible for the Bridges Program to PhD study: Students must apply for the UIC PhD program as soon as they are ready during their master’s degree study and be accepted (pending successful completion of the master’s program). Campus housing will be available and study space for students will be provided. Financial support, traineeships, fellowships, or research assistantships with stipends for doctoral study, will be provided for the selected master’s students. UIC faculty members will be available as faculty sponsors and collaborators The UIC CON faculty will sponsor pre-doctoral fellowship applications to National Institutes of Health (NIH) as soon the students are ready. Upon graduation of their master’s program, they will be automatically admitted to the UIC PhD program.

Grant Support for Bridges Students
The grant will pay the tuition, stipend, and travel related to the Bridges program during the master’s degree program. UIC will provide tuition for the doctoral study. College of Nursing tuition differential and stipend are not guaranteed. UIC will make every effort to provide these supports as well. Students are responsible for the rest of expenses involved in studying at UIC such as moving, housing, and living cost during the doctoral study.

Required Courses During Master’s Study

At partner schools:
  Fall or Spring Semester:
Writing seminar - 1 shr. (for professional socialization)

Alabama Students
Fall Semester:
Independent Study (NUSC 596) 2 shrs.*

Spring Semester:
Independent Study (NUSC 596) 2 shrs.

Interim (6 weeks total, 3 of which are at UIC):
Res. Seminar (NUSC 585) 1 shr.
Res. Project (NUSC 597) 5 shrs.

  DePaul Students
Fall Semester:
Inquiry I (NUSC 526) 2 shrs.
Independent Study (NUSC 596) 1 shr.

Spring Semester:
Inquiry II (NUSC 527)-2 shrs).
Independent Study (NUSC 596) 1 shr.

Summer Semester (4 weeks):
Res. Seminar (NUSC 585) 1 shr.
Res. Project (NUSC 597) 3 shrs.
*shrs. = semester hours

Summer Research Training at UIC for Master’s Students

Summer semester:
Two students each from partner schools will come to UIC for 3-6 weeks research training and receive 3-5 shrs. credit of NUSC 597, which can be transferred to their master’s degree programs. Most likely this work will be the foundation for the PhD dissertation research.

Program Partners

Photo of the College of Nursing at UIC.University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing

The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing (UIC CON) is a nationally ranked research institution, ranked 4th by The National Institutes of Health and The National Institute of Nursing Research for extramural awards to nursing schools (2003). UIC CON provides education and research training to nearly 400 undergraduate and over 300 masters and doctoral students. The College is located on the west campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago, in the heart of the Illinois Medical District. The College of Nursing’s main Chicago campus building, an eleven-story structure completed in 1969, provides teaching and research facilities, laboratories and offices. Regional Programs in Quad Cities and Urbana-Champaign provide selected undergraduate and graduate study options. Rockford and Peoria provide graduate study options. The UIC College of Nursing houses the first World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for International Nursing Development in Primary Health Care, and served as the first Secretariat for the Global Network of WHO Collaborating Centers for Nursing and Midwifery Development.

Photo of Denny Chimes at the University of Alabama.University of Alabama, Capstone College of Nursing at Tuscaloosa

The University of Alabama, located in Tuscaloosa Alabama, was the first public university in the state. With an overall enrollment exceeding 20,000, the University of Alabama offers over 220 different degree programs in more than 200 fields of study. It is a Carnegie classification Doctoral I institution and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The Capstone College of Nursing (CCN) was established in 1976 as a baccalaureate program with a strong commitment to the health care needs of the West Alabama region, particularly those needs that are unique to rural populations. In 1998, CCN received approval by the Alabama Commission on Higher Education to begin a cooperative masters of science in nursing program with a major in case management. The program was implemented in fall, 1999 and has the distinction of being the first of its kind in the state. It is distanced based with all nursing courses online.

Graphic image of the School of Nursing of DePaul University. DePaul University, Department of Nursing

DePaul University, located in Chicago, Illinois, is a Carnegie classification Doctoral I degree granting institution accredited by the North Central Association. The nursing program began in 1948 with a baccalaureate completion program for registered nurses. In 1953 at the request of the National League for Nursing [NLN], DePaul was the first institution in the State of Illinois to establish a graduate program in nursing. In 2001, DePaul became the first graduate generic nursing program in the state of Illinois. DePaul also offers graduate degree programs in advanced practice nursing and a nurse scholars program. The nurse anesthesia program offered in collaboration with Evanston-Northwestern Health Care School of Anesthesia is one of the oldest and most highly regarded in the country. DePaul nursing students volunteer in the DePaul University Department of Nursing Services Clinic for homeless men and women and are recognized nationally as Schweitzer Foundation fellows.


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