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Advice for PhD Students?



I am starting my PhD next month and would like to ask for some advice from current PhD nurses and students on how to prepare for the program? My research focus will be on nursing education and simulation. Also, how do I connect with other PhD students from other schools to discuss research, methodologies and study tips? Is there a specific forum just for PhD nursing students?

Thank you!

Plan to attend a research focused conference at least once a year. Your program may pay for this. There are regional nursing research societies in most parts of the country. These offer great opportunities to see what others are researching and to network with faculty and students.

I would also suggest that you give consideration early to your dissertation topic. You may not have a specific question at this point and that is okay. Deciding upon a research topic early will allow you to use various assignments throughout your program to hone your lit review.

Consider incorporating use of a citation management software early in the program. I recommend Zotero as it is free.

Thank you so much for your input! I like the idea of attending research-focused conferences. Also, my schools requires us to come up with a research question when applying to the program. I have started using Zotero and it's extremely helpful in collecting all the journals in one area with citations, tags, etc.

I'd definitely recommend trying to meet PhD students from your institution. Get close with your lab members and attend social events or seminars nearby to build your network. PhDs are a marathon and you need others that understand it firsthand to help support you through it.

I'd also recommend Twitter for connecting with other PhD students online. I'm in my third year and just joined Twitter recently for my recruitment and I wish I'd joined earlier!

I also second incorporating citation management software from the beginning. It saves an incredible amount of time.

Best of luck!