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J Prof Nurs. 2005 Sep-Oct;21(5):303-13.

Halfway between receiving and giving: a relational analysis of doctorate-prepared nurse-scholars' first 5 years after graduation.

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KTH Consulting, Guilford, CT 06437, USA.


The longitudinal, phenomenological study described in this article is unique in exploring doctorally prepared nurses' lives during their first 5 years after graduation. Despite individual differences, there was a definite pattern in the way the 16 female participants internalized a doctoral identity. During the first year, the women asked themselves, "How big do I want my world to be?" In the second year, they were overwhelmed by trying to prove themselves because they equated doctoral identity with conducting research and scholarship. During the third year, they prioritized gradually focusing and determining the direction of their professional endeavors. In the fourth year, they "spent a lot of time creating my piece of the world." By the fifth year, they valued their accomplishments, "This is my world and I am proud of it." In between receiving and giving, most participants developed a network of colleagues who mentored them as scholars. Given that relationship and scholarly identity are linked in the nursing literature, this relational feminist analysis suggests the need for doctoral nurse educators and students to replace the single mentor-mentee model with a collegial one that allows them to mentor one another as scholars during and after doctoral studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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