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Threshold Concepts in Doctoral Education

A Framework for Writing Development in Novice Nurse Scientists

Tyndall, Deborah E., PhD, RN; Flinchbaugh, Kerri B., MAEd; Caswell, Nicole I., PhD; Scott, Elaine S., PhD, RN, NE-BC, FNAP

doi: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000000535
Feature Articles

Pedagogical practices for writing development in doctoral programs are often the by-product of completing dissertation research and may lack deliberate strategies to assist students with complex genres of writing. This article proposes a framework for doctoral education to assist students with mastery of threshold concepts in writing. Threshold concepts in writing are examined for their applicability to the evolution of writing in PhD nursing students as they begin to think and write like nurse scientists.

Author Affiliations: Assistant Professor (Dr Tyndall), East Carolina University College of Nursing; Assistant Director (Ms Flinchbaugh), University Writing Program, and Director of University Writing Centers (Dr Caswell), East Carolina University; and Professor (Dr Scott), East Carolina University College of Nursing, Greenville, North Carolina.

Dr Tyndall was a participant in the 2017 NLN Scholarly Writing Retreat, sponsored by the NLN Chamberlain College of Nursing Center for the Advancement of the Science of Nursing Education.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Dr Tyndall, East Carolina University College of Nursing, 4165-N Health Sciences Bldg, Greenville, NC 27858 (

Accepted for publication: February 19, 2018

Published ahead of print: May 8, 2018

Cite this article as: Tyndall DE, Flinchbaugh KB, Caswell NI, Scott ES. Threshold concepts in doctoral education: a framework for writing development in novice nurse scientists. Nurse Educ. 2019;44(1):38-42. DOI: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000000535

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