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Doctoral Education and Preparation for Nursing Faculty Roles

McNelis, Angela M. PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, FAAN; Dreifuerst, Kristina Thomas PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF; Schwindt, Rhonda DNP, RN, PMHNP/CNS-BC

doi: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000000597
Feature Articles

Background Despite increased enrollment in doctoral programs and the encouraging numbers of graduates intending to pursue faculty positions, lack of adequate preparedness to assume the faculty role may adversely impact retention and consequently undermine efforts to reduce the shortage.

Purpose Understanding doctoral nursing students’ and recent graduates’ expectations of their educational experience related to preparation for an academic career is needed to inform curricular revisions and advise guidance to ensure role readiness.

Methods A secondary analysis of 24 interviews with current PhD and doctor of nursing practice (DNP) students and recent graduates from both degree programs was performed to gain a deeper understanding of expectations and perceptions of doctoral education.

Results Two themes emerged: (1) met and unmet expectations of programs and (2) equivocal preparation for teaching.

Conclusions PhD and DNP curricula should include coursework on teaching, as well as research, to prepare graduates for faculty roles.

Author Affiliations: Professor/Associate Dean for Scholarship, Innovation & Clinical Science (Dr McNelis), The George Washington University School of Nursing, Washington, DC, Associate Professor (Dr Dreifuerst), Marquette University College of Nursing, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Assistant Professor and Director of Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Post-Master’s Program (Dr Schwindt), The George Washington University School of Nursing, Washington, DC.

This study was supported in part by a grant from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Evaluating Innovations in Nursing Education 3rd Cycle.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Dr McNelis, George Washington University School of Nursing, 1919 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20006 (

Accepted for publication: July 12, 2018

Published ahead of print: September 25, 2018

Cite this article as: McNelis AM, Dreifuerst KT, Schwindt R. Doctoral education and preparation for nursing faculty roles. Nurse Educ. 2019;44(4):202-206. doi: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000000597

Online date: September 26, 2018

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