Indiana University School of Nursing

Exploring the State of Doctoral Education: Implications for the Nursing Faculty Shortage

Principal Investigator: Kristina Dreifuerst, PhD

This study seeks a clearer understanding of stages of decision-making leading to a career in nursing education: decisions of MSN-prepared nurse educators to seek a doctoral degree, factors distinguishing decisions of doctoral students to seek a PhD as compared to a DNP degree, decisions of doctoral students to seek a faculty position, satisfaction of recent doctoral graduates with academic and/or practice roles, and intentions of recent graduates to stay in their current roles. Qualitative interviews will inform surveys of representative samples of 300 masters-prepared nurses in faculty roles, 150 current PhD and DNP students, and 150 recent PhD and DNP graduates. The research team will also conduct in-depth interviews with a systematic sample of 30 subjects as a means to expand understanding of the survey findings. Findings will be used to develop strategies for increasing doctoral enrollment as well as numbers of graduates who seek and are retained in faculty roles.