Ranking of PhD in Nursing programs

  1. I recently ran across an article from the Chronicles of Higher Education listing the Top Research Universities in the 2005 Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index. The article ranked institutions based on categories such as public health, business, and even nursing. I thought the rankings were quite controversial especially with the nursing category because a lot of the "prestigious" PhD in Nursing programs did not end up in the top 10. Incidentally, my alma mater for my MSN was in the list and was number five. It is a well known fact in my state that another school is considered "better" than my alma mater.

    For the article link click on this: http://chronicle.com/stats/productivity/

    I am just wondering what the nurses with PhD's or those in the process of getting their PhD's think of this.
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   llg
    If you read all the details ... the schools were ranked on "scholarly productivity" - which was a count of how many publications and presentations they produced. The quality of those publications, their originality, the relative importance of their content, etc. were not considered. Also, the index did not at all address the quality of the education those institutions provide.

    So ... if a terrible school with a terrible faculty had gotten those faculty members to publish tons of garbage, they would be at the top of the list. A wonderful school with a wonderful teaching faculty who did not publish a lot would be at the bottom. A school where the faculty was very discriminating about the quality of the publications and who only published highly significant material might also be nearly bottom.

    That's why the reort is so controversial within higher education. Some people may see the "headlines" and assume that scoring high on the list means that the school is "better" than those schools that scored low on the list -- which is not the case.
  4. by   juan de la cruz
    Quote from llg
    If you read all the details ... the schools were ranked on "scholarly productivity" - which was a count of how many publications and presentations they produced. The quality of those publications, their originality, the relative importance of their content, etc. were not considered. Also, the index did not at all address the quality of the education those institutions provide.

    So ... if a terrible school with a terrible faculty had gotten those faculty members to publish tons of garbage, they would be at the top of the list. A wonderful school with a wonderful teaching faculty who did not publish a lot would be at the bottom. A school where the faculty was very discriminating about the quality of the publications and who only published highly significant material might also be nearly bottom.

    That's why the reort is so controversial within higher education. Some people may see the "headlines" and assume that scoring high on the list means that the school is "better" than those schools that scored low on the list -- which is not the case.
    I knew you would respond llg. See that's what I was thinking as well. Anyone can publish a book. However, I do give credence to the research output of the faculty members from a particular college and how often their research is cited by others. That was one of the criteria from the rankings. I am not one to buy into rankings myself. However, I do have thoughts of getting a PhD in the future and am looking around for good programs that would fit my needs.
  5. by   lyela
    Quote from llg
    If you read all the details ... the schools were ranked on "scholarly productivity" - which was a count of how many publications and presentations they produced. The quality of those publications, their originality, the relative importance of their content, etc. were not considered. Also, the index did not at all address the quality of the education those institutions provide.

    So ... if a terrible school with a terrible faculty had gotten those faculty members to publish tons of garbage, they would be at the top of the list. A wonderful school with a wonderful teaching faculty who did not publish a lot would be at the bottom. A school where the faculty was very discriminating about the quality of the publications and who only published highly significant material might also be nearly bottom.

    That's why the reort is so controversial within higher education. Some people may see the "headlines" and assume that scoring high on the list means that the school is "better" than those schools that scored low on the list -- which is not the case.
    I tend to agree with above poster. Having been in the "Publish or parish"
    culture, quantity rarely equal quality and sadly often interferes with didactic instruction.
  6. by   llg
    Quote from pinoyNP
    I knew you would respond llg. See that's what I was thinking as well. Anyone can publish a book. However, I do give credence to the research output of the faculty members from a particular college and how often their research is cited by others. That was one of the criteria from the rankings. I am not one to buy into rankings myself. However, I do have thoughts of getting a PhD in the future and am looking around for good programs that would fit my needs.
    I think the most important criteria in choosing a PhD program is the "fit" between your interests and those of the faculty -- assuming that all schools you are considering are reasonable in quality. By "fit" I mean both their topics of interest and also the culture/personality of the school.

    Working with the most famous, most well-published scholar in your field might be a disaster if the 2 of you do not get along on a personal level and/or you rarely get to interact with her at all because of her many committments. On the other hand, a competent but less prestigeous scholar with whom you "click" might be terrific for nurturing your development and guiding your work.

    Publications are certainly one thing to consider -- an important thing, but don't let that be an overwhelming factor in your selection. Don't forget to give serious consideration to other factors as well.
  7. by   lyela
    For anyone considering a graduate school, I would recommend "The Grad School Handbook" by Jerrard & Jerrard. It is a quick read, but can prevent a naivet student like myself from wasting years and thousands of dollars on a school that employs faculty whose only concern is not their student, but their own tenure. Heed the chapter on picking a dissertation advisor, as it can make possible or make horrible your quest for a degree! Most people know of someone who fails to get a degree, because of personal disagreement with their advisor, only to find out that the school will close ranks around their faculty to defend one of their own in the name of "Academic Freedom." It is a dirty little secret school don't talk about. At that point, you have a choice- get a lawyer or fade away. Most students that work hard do get their degrees. For some that fail through no fault of their own, they carry it with them the rest of their life. Good luck to all that try.
  8. by   juan de la cruz
    I appreciate all your input. I totally agree with the "fit" you are referring to. Part of the reason why I haven't made any move as far as pursuing a doctoral degree is that I haven't seen any faculty research from the available schools in my state that closely matches my interests. However, I have come across faculty from universities out-of-state whose research interest me a lot. I also hesitate to pursue doctoral studies at this time because I have a feeling that I will earn less working in the academia than in the clinical setting where I'm currently at. On the other hand, the lifestyle that one gets from teaching and doing research at an academic institution is appealing to me.

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