ATLANTA – Georgia State University has launched a new Bachelor of Science to Doctor of Philosophy nursing program, providing a more direct route to educate nursing researchers.
The first class of the B.S.-Ph.D. nursing students will enter the Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions this fall. Only 4 percent of all nursing schools in the United States offer this entry level to doctoral education, which is designed to attract the top, most motivated nurses who want to pursue a career in healthcare research.
“Graduating Ph.D. candidates earlier in their career allow nurse scientists to develop expertise in research. There is time to participate in more than one post-doctoral research experience, more time for them to be mentored in academia,” said Ptlene Minick, associate professor and doctoral program coordinator program in nursing.
Traditionally, nursing Ph.D. candidates enter the program after many years of working at the bedside of patients and in hospital management. By graduation, the average doctorally-prepared nurse is around 40 to 50 years old, leaving the researcher with approximately 15 to 20 years to conduct research.
In recent years, GSU has discovered a small group of highly-motivated nursing students who have a strong interest in research. Many of these nurses participated in research as undergraduates. These nurses became the motivation for developing a B.S.-Ph.D. program that will catapult them into conducting research early in their careers.
Nurses who complete the B.S.-Ph.D. program are on the fast track for developing the science of nursing, improving patient care and influencing health policy. Nurse scientists focus on developing interventions, systems and methods that promote health, prevent disease, and contribute to the quality of life of patients, families and communities.
GSU nurses in the B.S.-Ph.D. program will have the opportunity to conduct research with colleagues from other disciplines as they seek to expand their understanding of phenomena in their area of interest.
“Mentoring and multiple [post-doctoral experiences] provide nurses with more opportunities to participate in funded multidisciplinary research studies. Results of from these kinds of studies can profoundly impact patient outcomes,” Minick said.
“GSU is dedicated to producing high quality nurses who are grounded in the science of caring; having nurse educators who are well respected researchers is critical to providing high quality care to Georgians,” said Margaret Wilmoth, dean of the Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions. “As a research university, we have an obligation to educate and graduate nurse researchers for the next generation.”
June 6, 2012