Background: Research-focused doctorate nursing programs are expanding and seek to double the number of doctoral-prepared nurses by 2020. There is little empirical evidence of the contributions of mentoring to doctoral nursing students' readiness for their desired careers. Purpose: This study assessed characteristics and practices of nursing PhD students, the mentoring practices of their advisors, and the likelihood of self-reported career readiness. Design: A nationwide descriptive, cross-sectional study of PhD students in the United States was conducted using an electronic survey platform. A sample of 380 PhD students representing 64 schools was surveyed from January to July 2016. Methods: Descriptive statistics and ordered logistic regression were used to describe the sample and determine likelihood of career readiness by three readiness levels. Findings: Results revealed greater likelihood of career readiness for students that: (1) perceived their proficiency in key scholarly skills as high, (2) were older, (3) worked a larger number of hours per week, (4) had more responsibilities outside of school, (5) had both advising and mentoring support, (6) had a co-advisor, and (7) attended a private university. Conclusion: Enrollment targets should be based on a faculty-to-doctoral student ratio that optimizes advising and mentoring and schools should provide mentoring guidelines and training for faculty.
- Career planning and development
- Career readiness
- Graduate nursing education
- PhD in nursing
ASJC Scopus subject areas