Facilitating the academic success of international PhD students

Joanne Kraenzle Schneider, Catherine M. Bender, Elizabeth A. Madigan, Marie T. Nolan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


AIM This article discusses the challenges of international PhD nursing students and recommends strategies to support them. BACKGROUND Approximately 10 percent of the students enrolled in research-focused nursing doctoral programs in the United States are non-US residents, challenging schools of nursing to examine ways to support these students. METHOD We searched five electronic databases using international student* AND doctoral OR graduate as search terms; we integrated the authors’ experiences. RESULTS Faculty and peer support can promote a smooth transition into the United States. Participating on research teams or school committees promotes academic socialization. Dissertation work has multiple unique challenges, including international relevance of topics, translation, funding, and location of the research. CONCLUSION Faculty advisers and universities can facilitate student adjustment. Once international students become familiar with the academic requirements and culture, they have the capacity to contribute rich, diverse perspectives that greatly enhance the quality of PhD education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-25
Number of pages6
JournalNursing education perspectives
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Graduate Nursing Education
  • Immigration
  • International Doctoral Students
  • Research-Focused Doctoral Programs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Education


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