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Nurs Outlook. 2013 Mar-Apr;61(2):109-16. doi: 10.1016/j.outlook.2012.08.001. Epub 2012 Oct 1.

Using social network analysis to examine collaborative relationships among PhD and DNP students and faculty in a research-intensive university school of nursing.

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  • 1School of Nursing and Department of Biomedical Informatics, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.


The nursing profession has seen a dramatic rise in the number of schools offering both DNP and PhD nursing programs. Information is limited on the impact of this parallel approach in doctoral education on the quality and scope of scholarly interactions or institutional culture.The authors studied collaboration characteristics across the DNP and PhD programs of a research-intensive university school of nursing, before and after programmatic enhancements. An IRB-approved online survey was delivered to faculty and students of both programs at baseline and one year after curricular changes. Response rates were 70% and 74%, respectively. The responses were analyzed by using social network analysis and descriptive statistics to characterize the number and strength of connections between and within student groups, and between students and faculty. At baseline, the flow of communication was centralized primarily through faculty. At Time 2, density of links between students increased and network centralization decreased, suggesting more distributed communication. This nonlinear quantitative approach may be a useful addition to the evaluation strategies for doctoral education initiatives.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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