The expansion of U.S. doctoral nursing research programs and transitions based on demographic distribution of the nursing academic workforce raises questions about the preparation for leadership transition planning. The purpose of this study was to describe the program leaders, job conditions, and status of transition efforts. A survey of U.S. nursing research doctoral programs (N = 105) was conducted in 2008. The response rate was 84.8%. A Web search of nonresponding schools provided some data from all programs. Most research doctoral program leaders hold additional responsibilities (mean = 4.2). The mean budgeted leadership time was 32.9% (SD = 21.4). Among programs in which the director's age was at least 60 years, 59% had no succession plan. Continuing improvement of the quality of doctoral nursing research programs could be compromised by leadership transition issues. To produce research-competitive graduates, continued support and attention to leadership of these programs is essential.
Copyright 2010, SLACK Incorporated.