New research suggests faculty need to do more to promote student-faculty interactions and preparation in scholarly activities for students enrolled in online PhD nursing programs.
Professional Socialization of Students Enrolled in an Online Doctor of Philosophy Program in Nursing by Linda M. Goodfellow, Phd, RN, associate professor at Duquesne University School of Nursing in Pittsburgh, studied the extent of professional socialization of students enrolled in an online research-focused PhD program in nursing.
Findings of the study appeared in the October issue of the Journal of Nursing Education. For the study, 26 of 54 students in the program participated in a survey called the Doctoral Student Socialization Questionnaire. The survey focused largely on student activities relating to four of six dimensions of professional socialization, including student-peer interactions, supportive faculty environment, collegiality and student scholarly encouragement.
The study found activities associated with student-faculty interactions and student scholarly encouragement were evident in the online environment but not prevalent.
The results also show that faculty of online PhD programs need to promote activities related to student-faculty interactions and preparation in scholarly activities, Goodfellow wrote in the study. Specifically, faculty should offer PhD students the opportunity to work on research projects, grant applications and manuscripts. Students also need to be offered more enrichment activities to supplement their course work, such as virtual seminars on specialty topics not covered in a course.
The study was supported by the Center for Nursing Research at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.