Doctoral prepared nurses in Denmark and their scientific production between 1976 and 2005

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Nursing research in Denmark has evolved over the last 30 years. By 2005, 48 Danish nurses had earned a doctoral degree. The Danish Nurses Organization formalized a strategy for development of nursing research for the period 1999–2002. The strategy was evaluated in 2004. One point in the evaluation was that the nurses' publication of peer-reviewed articles in journals with an Impact Factor did not show in the bibliographic measure used in health sciences.


The purpose of this study is to identify the number of Danish nurses holding a doctoral degree by the end of 2005 and to document their scientific production.


A descriptive design based on a national register of all nurses in Denmark holding doctoral degrees was used to explore the curricula vitae and publication lists of 38 out of 48 (79%) nurses on the register. Authorship of all 48 graduated nurses was sought in the databases: PubMed and CINAHL.


A pattern of growing engagement in publishing peer-reviewed articles was identified among the Danish nurses holding a doctoral degree. Fifty per cent of these doctoral prepared nurses published peer-reviewed papers. The majority apparently pursued a career in health sciences. Nursing as an academic discipline is evolving in Denmark but, with its roots in clinical nursing, scientists may have to be aware of the necessity to prevail as a discipline through scientific production.

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