Doctorates and nurses

Publication Date



There is a plethora of routes to obtaining a doctorate in nursing and this arises due to international differences in the modes of study, preparation of the final submission and examination systems. The variety of pathways and outcomes leads to some confusion over the status and purpose of doctorates in nursing. In this discursive paper we review the historical development of the doctorate in nursing and describe the various routes to doctorate in Europe, Australia and the United States. There is much in common between the various routes with increasing evidence of formal elements across the countries studies and, especially in the United Kingdom and the United States, evidence that the fitness for purpose of the doctorate in nursing is being examined and changes being introduced.


Nursing Research Institute

Document Type

Journal Article

Access Rights

ERA Access