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A National Survey Examining Manuscript Dissertation Formats Among Nursing PhD Programs in the United States.

Graves, Janessa M; Postma, Julie; Katz, Janet R; Kehoe, Leanne; Swalling, Eileen; Barbosa-Leiker, Celestina.
J Nurs Scholarsh; 50(3): 314-323, 2018 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | Mar 2018 | ID: mdl-29517152
Resumo: PURPOSE: Among research-focused nursing doctoral (PhD) programs in the United States, the traditional dissertation format has recently given way to a series of publication-ready manuscripts, often bookended by introduction and conclusion chapters. To help programs make decisions about the use of these formats, this study undertook a national survey of programs offering PhDs in nursing. The purpose of this study was to explore the advantages and disadvantages of the traditional format versus manuscript option for dissertations among nursing PhD programs in the United States. DESIGN: Cross-sectional census survey of U.S. nursing PhD programs. METHODS: A web-based survey was administered to all U.S. nursing PhD programs. Respondents indicated formats offered, factors contributing to decisions of which formats to offer, and lessons learned. Descriptive statistics and inductive content analyses were used for analysis. FINDINGS: Of 121 eligible institutions, 79 provided eligible responses (66.7%). The majority (59%) offered both formats; 11% offered the manuscript option only, and 24% offered the traditional format only. Faculty support (or lack thereof) contributed to adoption (or not) of the manuscript option. Respondents' approaches to the manuscript option (e.g., number of papers) and advice are summarized. CONCLUSIONS: Manuscript option dissertations are commonly offered and provide benefits to students and faculty; however, thoughtful implementation is critical. Programs need to agree upon clear expectations and have graduate school support (e.g., formatting). Faculty need mentorship in advising manuscript option students who choose to use this format, and the time and support. Finally, students need additional writing skills that could be provided through coursework or via individual work with mentors. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: As nursing education continues to expand further into doctoral research, programs must examine dissertation formats in order to both prepare future nurse scholars and disseminate nursing research that is critical to improving nursing education, patient care, and clinical practice.