Nurses hoping to enter a research intensive doctoral program have a choice of program delivery modes, faculty expertise, and multiple points of entry in addition to the traditional post masters. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) lists doctoral programs in nursing in over 300 universities in the United States (U.S.) and Puerto Rico, with most institutions offering more than one type of doctorate. For prospective students who want to maximize their likelihood of significant, sustained scientific impact, identifying research-intensive Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programs with faculty who have a topic match is key. Embarking on a scientific career requires assessing the curricula and faculty at several institutions. The purpose of this paper is to give prospective students pragmatic guidance in selecting a U.S. research-intensive doctoral program in nursing. We provide a list of published quality indicators in PhD programs as well as potential questions to be addressed to key persons in schools.
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