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Research-Focused Doctoral Program Pathways to Excellence Task Force

Task Force Charge

The task force is charged with revising AACN’s 2010 position statement on The Research-Focused Doctoral Program in Nursing: Pathways to Excellence. The goal is to develop a vision for research-focused doctoral programs and graduates. The task force will consider trends in higher education, nursing education, nursing research, other health disciplinary research, and career trajectories for research scientists, faculty, and other leadership roles. 

The task force is charged to address the following:

  • Strategies for sustaining the number of PhD graduates needed to support the generation of new knowledge for nursing and health care
  • Strategies to support the advancement of quality nursing science, including opportunities for creation of consortia and faculty collaboration
  • Recommendations to increase the diversity of both faculty and students in research-focused nursing programs; and strategies to advance health disparities research
  • Pathways to research-focused nursing education for nurses and non-nurses, including post-baccalaureate, post-master’s, and post-DNP programs
  • State of financial resources for students and research
  • Relationship between the PhD and DNP, including common areas of study
  • Guidance for individuals seeking careers within academia and other areas of practice
  • Criteria of excellence for research-focused nursing education programs, including:
    • Necessary human, infrastructure, financial, and learning support resources
    • Faculty numbers, criteria, expectations, and experiences
  • Expectations of and learning outcome criteria for students enrolled in nursing PhD programs
  • Expectations for programs/faculty, including support for students prior to and throughout the program
  • Recommendations for curricula approaches to maintain quality while facilitating timely completion of the degree: 
    • Curricular components or elements
    • Recommendations regarding a broad-based preparation or more narrow preparation in research methodologies for all graduates
    • Curricular innovations/ recommendations to prepare graduates for both faculty and scientist roles
  • Expectations for a comprehensive evaluation plan for the program, including program, student and graduate outcomes 
  • Expectations and recommendations for post-doctoral programs, fellowships, and other potential career opportunities  
  • Recommendations for stakeholder organizations, including AACN, as appropriate 
Task Force Members
            Marion Broome, Chair
Duke University
            Suzanne Prevost 
University of Alabama Capstone
          Jane Georges
University of San Diego
          Linda Scott
University of Wisconsin-Madison
          Mikyoung Lee , RLN Faculty Representative
Texas Woman’s University
          Joan Vitello
University of Massachusetts Medical School
          Shevellanie Lott
Hampton University

Jerry Mansfield, Practice Representative
Mount Carmel Health System

          Patricia McMullen
The Catholic University of America

Terri Weaver, Emeritus
University of Illinois Chicago




AACN Staff Liaisons

Rick GarcĂ­a, PhD, RN
Director of Nursing Education
(202) 463-6930 ext. 251

Cynthia Leaver, PhD, APRN
Director of Academic Nursing Development
(202) 463-6930 ext. 270

Krisi Yosifova
Nursing Education Assistant
(202) 463-6930 ext. 250