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  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Nursing
  • Nursing research
  • Nursing science
  • Nurse scientist
  • Research-focused doctorate

Opportunities and challenges presented by recent pedagogical innovations in doctoral nursing education


Journal Title:



Volume 37, Number 1


, Pages 228-234

Type of Work:



The demand to expand the nurse scientist pipeline over the past decade has generated numerous pedagogical innovations in nursing doctoral education. A PhD nursing education summit was held at the University of Pennsylvania in October 2019 to discuss pedagogical innovations. The main pedagogical innovations discussed by Summit attendees included: 1) the expansion of both 3-year PhD programs and BSN to PhD programs; 2) changes in learning opportunities and curricula content; and 3) the role of postdoctoral fellowships. This overview examines the numerous opportunities and challenges generated by these innovations. Opportunities include producing scholars with research careers that are potentially longer than historically seen in the nursing profession, as well as the emergence of unique educational and mentoring opportunities both during and after doctoral studies. Challenges involve the impact condensed program timelines have had on both the content and delivery of curricula, as well as the research expertise and skillsets of nursing PhD program graduates. There is a need to conduct a national coordinated evaluation of PhD program using shared metrics in order to better evaluate the effect of these pedagogical innovations on the development of nurse scientists, and ultimately, the discipline.
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