Learning from a Lived Experience of a PhD: A Reflexive Ethnography of Two Journeys

Lydia Aziato


Introduction: Nurses globally have strived to obtain a Doctor of Philosophy Degree (PhD) especially those in academia. Few publications have focused on lived experiences of nurses especially those reporting failed attempts. Thus, this paper presents how lessons learnt from a failed attempt of a PhD in Nursing was used to achieve an outstanding success of a second attempt.

Process and strategies: Using a reflexive ethnographic approach, conclusions reached are that student’s pre-entry skills, use of software, mentorship, effective management of family and work enhance the outcome of a PhD study. Other strategies were effective time management, social support, and creating learning and cognitive spaces. A disadvantaged background of a PhD student should not lead to failure. It was reinforced that PhD students require extensive reading and use of rigorous but systematic research processes.

Conclusion: Adequate support is required to help PhD students in Nursing based on the individual’s need to enhance a successful outcome. It is recommended that nurses should rise to the challenge of obtaining PhDs and contribute to the body of nursing knowledge.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/ijhe.v4n4p199


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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email: ijhe@sciedupress.com

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