Di Fang, PhD and Geraldine Bednash, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Rachael Arietti, MS
Journal of Professional Nursing (2016), 32(3), 193-201
The shortage of doctorally educated nurses pursuing faculty careers is a major concern regarding the development of the nurse faculty workforce. This cross-sectional study aims to identify barriers and facilitators to academic careers for doctoral (PhD) nursing students. A total of 1,500 PhD students were randomly selected from nursing schools across the country to participate in our survey, and a 62.8% response rate was achieved.
- PhD education has a positive impact on students’ plans to pursue academic nursing careers.
- Slightly more than 72% of PhD students have post-graduation plans for academic careers. Compared with students who planned to pursue non-academic careers (11%) and students who had not decided on their career directions (17%), they were more likely to be full-time students, to be minorities, to have faculty status, and to receive financial support to cover most of their doctoral education expenses. During their doctoral education, they were more likely to work primarily in teaching or research, to participate in teaching development activities, and to have a faculty member as a mentor.
- Most students who planned to seek academic careers felt confident in carrying out most academic tasks, except for reviewing and writing grant proposals.
- Students who planned to seek academic careers were more likely than students in the nonacademic group to be influenced by facilitators to faculty careers. On the other hand, they were less likely to be dissuaded by barriers to academic careers.
- Post-mater’s students entered their doctoral programs would graduate at the age of 48.5 on average. At the time of survey, 21% of them had stayed in their doctoral programs for 5 years or longer.