Mentoring in Nursing Doctoral Education: Processes, Perceptions, Problems and Prospects

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This study described the mentoring relationship between doctoral nursing students and their committee chairs. Twenty-two public university doctoral programs responded to a request for names and addresses of their doctoral candidates. The Major Professor Mentoring Scale was used to measure the mentoring relationship. The survey also included demographic and open-ended questions regarding the student-committee chair relationship. Surveys were mailed to 269 doctoral students with an 86% return rate. A principal components analysis was performed to identify the structure underpinning the relationship. The typical doctoral student in this sample was found to be a 44 year old Caucasian female, married with ... continued below

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Kirkley, Debra Lynn May 1999.

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  • Kirkley, Debra Lynn

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Description

This study described the mentoring relationship between doctoral nursing students and their committee chairs. Twenty-two public university doctoral programs responded to a request for names and addresses of their doctoral candidates. The Major Professor Mentoring Scale was used to measure the mentoring relationship. The survey also included demographic and open-ended questions regarding the student-committee chair relationship. Surveys were mailed to 269 doctoral students with an 86% return rate. A principal components analysis was performed to identify the structure underpinning the relationship.

The typical doctoral student in this sample was found to be a 44 year old Caucasian female, married with children, working full or part time while pursuing a PhD degree. Students traveled an average of 85 miles each way to campus and nearly half had selected their program based on its location. The typical committee chair was a Caucasian, tenured, associate or full professor between 46 and 69 years of age. The majority of chairs were married and had funded research projects. The students in the study reported knowing their chairs for an average of five years.

The study revealed that mentoring is occurring in the majority of relationships between doctoral nursing students and their committee chairs. Students identified many strengths and weaknesses in their relationships with their chairs although the relationship appears to be largely positive. The mentoring relationship is composed of four principal components, the largest of which is psychosocial support. Dissertation support, role modeling and scholarly collaboration comprise the other three components. The factor receiving the most positive rating was role modeling, suggesting that students see their chairs as intelligent and hard-working. Students also report positive feelings about both the psychosocial and dissertation support they have received from their chairs. Students reported more neutral feelings about scholarly collaboration suggesting that this is not a frequent occurrence in the relationship. Demographic variables including age, sex, race, geographic distance and family status were not predictors for mentoring scores.

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UNT Theses and Dissertations

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  • May 1999

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  • Sept. 20, 2007, 2:06 p.m.

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  • April 13, 2016, 3:39 p.m.

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Kirkley, Debra Lynn. Mentoring in Nursing Doctoral Education: Processes, Perceptions, Problems and Prospects, dissertation, May 1999; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2190/: accessed April 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .