Relationships Among DNP and PhD Students After Implementing a Doctoral Student Organization

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BACKGROUNDEarly career contact, between clinically focused DNP and research-focused PhD nursing students, may encourage desirable intradisciplinary synergies.AIMThe aim of the study was to assess relationships among DNP and PhD nursing students after initiating a doctoral student organization.METHODAn online survey assessed student interaction pre- and post-doctoral student organization implementation. Analysis consisted of paired t-test, social network analysis, and content analysis methods.RESULTSResponse rates were 72 percent (n = 86) and 60 percent (n = 72) before and after implementation. Network density and centralization increased by 17 percent and 3 percent, respectively; intradisciplinary ties increased by 39 percent. The average student had approximately two new relationships; clique membership increased by 60 percent. Narrative responses corroborated network measurements.CONCLUSIONWe documented additional integration and organized communication among students after this strategy to increase collaboration. Educators preparing nurses to work across research and practice may consider network analysis methods to evaluate their efforts.

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