Making explicit the development of PhD-prepared nurses to steward the discipline

Publication Date


UMMS Affiliation

Graduate School of Nursing

Document Type



Leadership Studies | Medical Education | Nursing


Leadership is a core curricular element of PhD programs in nursing. Our PhD faculty began a dialogue about being a leader, a steward of the discipline. We asked ourselves: (a) What expertise do PhD prepared nurse needs to begin to steward the discipline? (b) How do faculty engage PhD nursing students to assume responsibility for stewarding the discipline? Lastly, (c) How do we work with PhD nursing students to create their vision for how their work contributes to stewarding the discipline, from doctoral coursework throughout their career? We support the need for PhD graduates to have the skills to generate knowledge, conserve that which is important, and transform by disseminating new knowledge to a broad audience. Examples of nurses stewarding the discipline when pioneering research, critiquing traditional approaches to inquiry or trends in nursing practice, and developing policy, are highlighted along with examples of how PhD nursing students begin to steward the discipline.


Leadership, PhD education, PhD pedagogy, Steward of the discipline

DOI of Published Version



Morris NS, Wassef ME, Sullivan-Bolyai S, Bova C, Kane AT. Making explicit the development of PhD-prepared nurses to steward the discipline. Nurs Outlook. 2021 Jan-Feb;69(1):50-56. doi: 10.1016/j.outlook.2020.08.002. Epub 2020 Oct 16. PMID: 33070981. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Nursing outlook

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID