• doctoral education;
  • international students;
  • Jordan;
  • nursing;
  • qualitative;
  • UK


Many countries develop their nursing capacity by sending nurses overseas to gain their doctorates. There is a lack of research on their subsequent experience and career development. Focusing on the Jordanian and UK contexts, this qualitative study explored the doctoral and postdoctoral experience. Interviews were held with 16 PhD nursing graduates in Jordan. The participants had studied in 12 different universities in the UK and now worked as faculty members in seven Jordanian universities. The data were analyzed thematically. The participants reported that the most difficult task (but also the most significant achievement) was the transition to autonomous scholarship. They also described a profound personal transformation as a result of living in another country. However, very few of them could cite examples of how they were using their skills now to influence their current practice within their faculty roles. This suggests a possible under-use of the skills, new perspectives, and enthusiasm that new doctoral graduates bring back home with them. Future research should focus on identifying ways to support and develop doctoral nursing graduates to maximize their potential on their return home.