The expansion of US doctoral research programs raises questions about mentorship capacity, program quality, and decisions about future expansion. To describe capacity issues and, when possible, compare findings to those of an earlier study, a survey of US nursing research doctoral programs (n = 105) was conducted in 2008. The response rate was 84.8%. The Web sites of non-responding schools were reviewed providing some data from all programs. The mean ratio of students per current externally funded grant was 6.9 (SD 7.5) to 1. The mean ratio of student to ever-funded faculty was 8.3 (SD 8.3) to 1. The mean number of research activities required (out of 5 possible) was 1.8 (SD 1.4), and the most common was a research practica (77%), followed by attendance at a research meeting external to the school (37%), and submitting an article for publication (32%). The quality of many programs may be compromised by capacity issues. Attention to existing programs' requirements and capacities and determination of the roles of these variables in producing research competitive graduates is needed.
Copyright 2010 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.