Until now, instructors in the UWindsor Faculty of Nursing have had to leave the city to earn a doctorate in the discipline. That is changing, with the introduction of a new PhD program in nursing which welcomed its first cohort Tuesday at a reception in the Medical Education Building.
“This is going to service Windsor-Essex very well,” said Dale Rajacich, graduate co-ordinator. “In all of Canada, only 411 professors of nursing hold doctorates in nursing, as opposed to some other field. We need to produce more.”
Of the five doctoral candidates making up the inaugural class, three have taught in the Faculty of Nursing, and all have a previous connection to the University:
- Anna Marrocco (BScN 1986), a nurse practitioner in cardiac surgery at Detroit’s Henry Ford Health System;
- Peggy Oldfield (BA 1977, BScN 1977, MScN 2005), interim director of emergency and trauma at Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital; and
- Gina Pittman (MN 2011), a nurse practitioner at Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital.
Classmate Arwa Alsadoon is a 2017 graduate of the Master of Nursing program; Mary Voutt-Goos (BScN 1997) is director of patient safety initiatives, clinical care design and interpreter services at Henry Ford Health System.
Marrocco said she is excited to be returning to studies at the University of Windsor.
“The quality of the faculty is great,” she said. “They’re very approachable. They’ll help me achieve my goals.”
The doctoral program will allow her to explore the philosophies behind nursing practice, says Oldfield.
“I’m looking forward to gaining a deeper knowledge of many of the ideas behind the things we’ve been doing over our whole careers,” she said.
And Pittman said she anticipates her studies will make her a more well-rounded professional.
“I feel that the majority of my education and career to date has been very clinically based,” Pittman said. “The PhD program will give me a better grasp on the theoretical aspects of care.”