A Profile of U.S. Nursing Faculty in Research- and Practice-Focused Doctoral Education

Monday, 9 November 2015: 1:45 PM

Nancy C. Sharts-Hopko, PhD, MA, BSN, RN, FAAN
College of Nursing, Villanova University, Villanova, PA, USA

Purpose and Significance: Growth in DNP programs has outpaced growth in PhD programs, and DNP graduates have moved into doctoral education in greater numbers than PhD graduates. This study aimed to ascertain characteristics of faculty teaching in DNP and PhD programs and of the schools in which they teach with particular attention to scholarly productivity.

Methods: Data were collected via an on-line researcher-developed survey distributed nationally and completed by 554 faculty teaching in PhD, DNP, or both types of programs. The survey was based on review of the literature and on data from two focus groups involving PhD and DNP faculty. It addressed relative commitments to teaching, research/scholarship, and service, doctoral faculty members’ scholarly productivity, work-life balance, strategies to support research/scholarship activities and work-life balance, and characteristics of a successful faculty member. Data were analyzed using frequencies as well as tests of chi square and analysis of variance to compare faculty teaching only in PhD programs, faculty teaching only in DNP programs, and faculty teaching in both types of doctoral programs.

Findings: DNP faculty reported less prior experience and current productivity in scholarship than faculty teaching in PhD programs only or both types of programs, though a majority reported that they are expected to conduct and publish research. PhD faculty are more likely to engage in grantsmanship and spend more time on scholarship; in addition they reported more support for scholarship from their institutions. 

Conclusions/Implications: Strategies are needed to ensure that doctoral programs are staffed by faculty who are prepared for doctoral education and that institutions are able to fulfill their research mission. Recommendations for strategies to address these issues will be discussed in the presentation.