Mentoring in research-focused doctoral nursing programs and student perceptions of career readiness in the United States

Paula V. Nersesian, Laura E. Starbird, Damali M. Wilson, Christina X. Marea, Melissa K. Uveges, Scott Seung W. Choi, Sarah L. Szanton, Maan Isabella Cajita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)358-364
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Professional Nursing
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019


  • Career planning and development
  • Career readiness
  • Graduate nursing education
  • Mentoring
  • PhD in nursing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Mentoring in research-focused doctoral nursing programs and student perceptions of career readiness in the United States'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this