Evaluating the Outcomes of a Distance-Accessible PhD Program

Marion E. Broome, Judith A. Halstead, Daniel J. Pesut, Susan M. Rawl, Donna L. Boland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The Doctor of Nursing Science (DNS) Program at Indiana University School of Nursing matriculated the first students in 1978. In 1996, the DNS program was phased out and the PhD in Nursing Science program was approved. Given advances in technology, market demand, and faculty expertise, a decision was made in 2002 to revise the PhD program to make it "distance-accessible" with courses and other learning experiences designed to be delivered using both synchronous and asynchronous Web-based technologies. As part of the newly designed program, distance-accessible courses were paired with an annual 2-week summer residential intensive learning experience on the Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus. This article discusses the process and outcome evaluation for this innovative program, with a particular focus on pedagogies faculty have found effective for scholarly mentoring and on best practices for distance-accessible doctoral education. Evaluation of program outcomes indicates graduates are well positioned to provide leadership in the areas of knowledge development for nursing science, practice, and education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-77
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Professional Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
In addition to the predoctoral fellows funded by the T-32 Institutional Research Training Grant, the school also receives support from the Walther Cancer Institute to support predoctoral fellows studying health problems in behavioral oncology. In addition to the institutional National Research Service Awards (NRSAs) held by three predoctoral students each year from 2003 to 2009, six students had been awarded an individual NRSA (F31 grant) to support their doctoral studies and research in that same time frame. Ten percent of the NRSA Traineeship monies are used to support students in the doctoral program. A number of other external sources of funding have been accessed to support various students' research including the American Cancer Society, Oncology Nursing Society, Research Incentive Funds from the University Graduate School, the pharmaceutical industry, the National League for Nursing, specialty organizations such as Wound and Ostomy Nursing Society, American Nurses Foundation, Sigma Theta Tau chapters, Nursing Economics Foundation, American Association for Nurse Executives, and the Washington Association of Diabetes Educators.


  • Distance-accessible
  • Nursing
  • PhD program


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