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J Prof Nurs. 1992 Jan-Feb;8(1):56-62.

Doctoral programs in nursing: philosophy, curricula, and program requirements.

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College of Nursing, Villanova University, PA 19085.


This study examined the philosophy, curricula, and program requirements of doctoral nursing programs in the United States. Forty-four doctoral nursing programs were solicited by mail and information about doctoral nursing programs was obtained. Of the programs, 31 offer the doctor of philosophy degree, 11 the doctor of nursing science degree, and 1 the doctor of education degree. Program philosophies could not be distinguished from one another. Eighteen doctoral programs offered advanced clinical courses and 22 programs focused on role preparation; 16 offered both clinical and role preparation. There was much variation in credit requirements, but the standard program was 60 credits in length, with 48 credits in nursing and 12 credits in cognates and electives. Approximately half the required credits focused on research. The similarity in the curricula of doctoral programs is striking. Discipline-specific values may be strong and account for the congruence in the types of curricula found in this study. Continued focus on research preparation, with varying degrees of emphasis on clinical or role development, is expected. The dominance of the doctoral degree as the terminal degree for nursing is likely to continue.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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