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The purpose of this study was to explore, analyze, and describe nursing doctoral students' perceptions of factors that impacted them during their doctoral program. Answers to an open-ended question, in a national descriptive survey study of nursing doctoral students across the United States, were analyzed using Colaizzi procedural methods as a guideline. The content analysis identified issues unique to doctor of nursing practice (DNP) students that related to lack of clarity for the DNP degree and student concerns within academic settings. Recommendations include having DNP faculty on DNP project committees and standardization of guidelines to ensure rigor and consistency.