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J Contin Educ Nurs. 2013 Jul;44(7):309-12. doi: 10.3928/00220124-20130515-38. Epub 2013 May 22.

Fostering completion of the doctor of philosophy degree through scholarly collegial support.

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Texas Woman's University College of Nursing, Houston, TX, USA.


The doctor of philosophy (PhD) degree in nursing science prepares nurses to be scientists through a rigorous program of scholarship and research. Nurses who complete this degree are recognized globally as researchers who are expected to pursue a career of intellectual inquiry. Today, the internationally small cohort of PhD-prepared nurses contributes empirically to the generation and development of nursing science. There is currently a shortage of doctorally prepared nurses to meet the increased demands for researchers and educators in schools of nursing and experts in patient care. The Institute of Medicine has recommended doubling the number of doctorally prepared nurses by 2020 and has emphasized that nurses achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved educational system that promotes seamless academic progression. However, in the United States, the overall PhD completion rate is only 57%. This article reports on the process undertaken by a collegial support group of students in a PhD in nursing science program who encouraged each other's progress through the dissertation process within a calendar year.

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