Exploring data management content in doctoral nursing handbooks

Rebecca Raszewski, Abigail H. Goben, Martha Dewey Bergren, Krista Jones, Catherine Ryan, Alana Steffen, Susan C. Vonderheid


Objective: While data management (DM) is an increasing responsibility of doctorally prepared nurses, little is understood about how DM education and expectations are reflected within student handbooks. The purpose of this study was to assess the inclusion of DM content within doctoral nursing student handbooks.

Methods: A list of 346 doctoral programs was obtained from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). Program websites were searched to locate program handbooks, which were downloaded for analysis. A textual review of 261 handbooks from 215 institutions was conducted to determine whether DM was mentioned and, if so, where the DM content was located. Statistical analysis was performed to compare the presence of DM guidance by type of institution, Carnegie Classification, and the type of doctoral program handbook.

Results: A total of 1,382 codes were identified across data life cycle stages, most commonly in the handbooks’ project requirements section. The most frequent mention of DM was in relation to collecting and analyzing data; the least frequent related to publishing and sharing data and preservation. Significant differences in the frequency and location of codes were identified by program type and Carnegie Classification.

Conclusions: Nursing doctoral program handbooks primarily address collecting and analyzing data during student projects. Findings suggest limited education about, and inclusion of, DM life cycle content, especially within DNP programs. Collaboration between nursing faculty and librarians and nursing and library professional organizations is needed to advance the adoption of DM best practices for preparing students in their future roles as clinicians and scholars.


Data Lifecycle; Data Management; Nursing Doctoral Education; Student Handbooks

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jmla.2021.1115


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