Evaluation of doctoral nursing programs - a review and a strategy for follow up

Karin I Kjellgren, Catharina Welin, Ella Danielson
Nurse Education Today 2005, 25 (4): 316-25
Enhancing and assuring the quality of doctoral nursing programs is currently of major concern to promote growth in quality and quantity of research in nursing. The aims of the paper were to review the literature about evaluation of higher education with focus on doctoral programs in nursing, and to present a strategy to evaluate a doctoral nursing program. A search of literature in relevant databases was done using the keywords doctoral program, evaluation, nursing, program evaluation and higher education. From the review it is concluded that more systematic evaluations are necessary to guide the development of quality in nursing. Attention must be given to the curricula, competence in the faculty, the research activity and to the students' involvement in courses and research. Therefore, a strategy for evaluation should be ongoing, flexible, systematic and comprehensive. It should involve students, graduates, employers and faculty members in evaluation, include process and outcome data and give possibility for comparison to internal and external standards. The strategy developed aims to facilitate ongoing and future improvement of the doctoral nursing program. This process is dependent on a methodological pluralism of evaluation to detect what is of most weight for growth in the process of research and education.

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