The Effect of Teaching and Mentoring Doctoral Students on Faculty Members' Research and Scholarship Productivity

Monday, 9 November 2015: 2:25 PM

Mary Ann Cantrell, PhD, RN, CNE
College of Nursing, Villanova University College of Nursing, Villanova, PA, USA

Purpose and Significance: The Institute of Medicine identified an urgent need for a significant increase of doctorally-prepared faculty to address nurse and nurse faculty shortages. This need is accompanied by a concomitant call for these nurse faculty scholars to address national health care needs through scientific inquiry. These demands have implications on these nurse scholars’ scholarly productivity. This study reports the findings of three aims of a larger study. Specifically, this study examined the scholarship productivity among nursing faculty teaching in doctoral programs and mentoring doctoral students, explored strategies that promote scholarship productivity used by these faculty, and identified their perceptions about benefits and barriers to their scholarship productivity. 

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

Results:Survey respondents reported spending a large amount of time engaged in research-related activities with 58.9% (n = 326) spending anywhere from 6 to 20 hours per week conducting research, writing research-based papers, giving presentations, grant writing or conducting evidence-based improvement projects. The results of the hierarchical regression analysis determined that the strongest predictor of scholarly productivity was the average number of hours spent on research/scholarship-related activities.

Conclusions: Scholarly productivity among the respondents was robust. Personal practices that most strongly supported faculty maintaining their level of scholarship productivity were the belief that engaging in scholarship made them a better teacher and the personal gratification in experiencing doctoral students’ successes.