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Keywords:

  • Japan;
  • nursing education;
  • nursing research;
  • nursing scholarship;
  • qualitative

Abstract

This qualitative study sought a contemporary view of the development, facilitators of, and barriers to nursing scholarship in Japan from the perspectives of the scholars. In-depth interviews were conducted with 13 scholars across Japan, which were digitally recorded, and the data were subjected to content analysis. Five themes emerged: a spirit of collectivism; a lack of nursing control; a lack of English ability; a high workload; and collaboration. The participants considered that culturally based consensus and communication behaviors, as well as the control and dominance by the medical profession, were hampering nursing scholarship. Furthermore, Japanese nurses were not in control of the profession in a period of unprecedented growth in university nursing education and a growing nursing shortage. A lack of English-speaking and English-writing abilities hindered collaboration with scholars internationally and the writing of international publications. Most of the participants felt unable to compare the extent and nature of Japanese scholarship with that of their Asian neighbors. The Japanese scholars need to grasp opportunities to learn English, collaborate with other nurses nationally and internationally, learn assertion and political skills to give them the confidence to take control of nursing education, and be more involved in research collaboration and international publications.