Professional doctorates and nursing practice contribution: a systematic literature search and descriptive synthesis
Article first published online: 9 AUG 2012
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Journal of Nursing Management
Special Issue: This issue: Patient safety management in the health services Issue editor: Elisabeth Severinsson
Volume 21, Issue 2, pages 314–326, March 2013
How to Cite
SMITH, N.-J. (2013), Professional doctorates and nursing practice contribution: a systematic literature search and descriptive synthesis. Journal of Nursing Management, 21: 314–326. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2834.2012.01446.x
- Issue published online: 11 MAR 2013
- Article first published online: 9 AUG 2012
- Accepted for publication: 18 May 2012
- practice development;
- practitioner research;
- professional doctorates
Aim To understand how professional doctorates contribute to nursing practice.
Background Professional doctorate philosophies espouse the integration of research with the practitioner researcher’s practice milieu. It is timely to appraise this and to illuminate the implications for nurse managers and leaders.
Evaluation Five databases were searched for papers with explicit methodologies published between January 2005 and May 2012. Descriptive synthesis was applied to identify emergent themes.
Key issues Enhanced understanding of nursing practice and insight into factors influencing care management are professional doctorate outcomes. Changes to nursing practice are more difficult to extrapolate. Professional doctorates facilitate professional legitimization and empowerment for practitioner researchers. Collegiate study and peer networking opportunities within professional doctorates may indirectly influence practice development.
Conclusion Better understanding of the nursing context is an outcome of professional doctorate study.
Implications for nursing management Managers are pivotal to the translation of research into practice and their role requires exploration. Good practice should be disseminated whereby there is an interface between the nurse manager, the practitioner researcher and academics, before, during and after the professional doctorate. Nurse managers need to appreciate the range of doctoral programmes available to match staff aspirations and learning preferences with organizational priorities.