Author(s): Anderson CA
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Abstract The number of doctoral programs in nursing has increased significantly over the past 20 years. This growth has been driven in part by the pressing need to supply faculty to teach in undergraduate and graduate programs in nursing. Yet, enrollment in and graduation from these programs has remained fairly constant even as the number of programs has grown. During this 20-year period, there have been numerous conferences, workshops, and meetings devoted to the topic of doctoral education with a constant thread running through them calling for the need to maintain quality--quality students, quality faculty, quality research, and quality course work and requirements--in them. Faculty teaching in these programs have given considerable thought to ways of assuring quality in the program of study so as to ensure the graduate's ability to function as a teacher and researcher. Yet, despite these efforts, still less than 50 per cent of nursing faculty possess the doctorate, faculty are experiencing difficulty in fulfilling the tripartite mission of colleges and universities, and extramural funding for research is very unevenly distributed across programs and, in total, is inadequate to build the science. This article examines the strengths and weaknesses of doctoral programs in nursing at the start of the new millennium in which the challenges in higher education are forecasted to become more focused and intense, using accepted benchmarks of quality for students, faculty, and curricula.
This article was published in J Prof Nurs
and referenced in Journal of Nursing & Care