Experiences of dual PHD-DNP nursing students during doctoral education

Jennifer T. May, Chloe O.R. Littzen, Helena W. Morrison, Lois J. Loescher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Nursing doctoral education now includes an option with a growing national interest: the PhD-DNP dual degree. Although programs have existed for 10 years, little is known about experiences of dual PhD-DNP degree nursing students (DDNS) during doctoral education, including their perceptions of mentorship during coursework, comprehensive exams, and dissertation readiness. Objective: To explore and describe the experiences of DDNS during hybrid dual doctoral education at one Southwestern university. Method: Using a qualitative descriptive design, DDNS (n = 4) at a Southwestern university were interviewed about their experiences during coursework and comprehensive examinations. Results: Three categories fundamental to DDNS were identified through an inductive and deductive iterative process: coursework experiences, including the key findings of in-betweenness and isolation; mentorship; and comprehensive examination experience. Categories of dissertation readiness and DDNS recommendations were inductively derived. Conclusion: Current interest in the PhD-DNP dual degree underscores the importance of knowing more about the experiences of DDNS. The key findings of in-betweenness and isolation have previously not been described in the nursing literature and need to be considered for the DDNS. Facilitators and inhibitors, mentorship experiences, and mentor attributes affect progression of DDNS through coursework. Strategies for success for DDNS, faculty and program success are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-355
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Professional Nursing
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • Distance education
  • Doctoral dual degree nursing
  • Hybrid dual degree programs
  • Nursing education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


Dive into the research topics of 'Experiences of dual PHD-DNP nursing students during doctoral education'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this