Aim: To explore the status and overall competency of Taiwan's doctoral nursing programs. Background: Taiwan has 11 universities offer doctoral degree programs in nursing from 1997 to 2020. As the demand for educators of higher nursing education increases, whether the nursing talent requirements have been satisfactorily fulfilled. Design: A two-stage data collection based on a multi-methods survey was conducted. Methods: The first stage from December 2017 to the end of December 2019, involved collecting admission brochures for 12 doctoral nursing programs provided by 11 universities and 14 Internet databases. In the second stage, convenience sampling was performed to recruit 115 graduates of national doctoral nursing programs to collect data through a self-administered questionnaire online survey from July to the end of September 2018. Results: A systematic review of the vision and core competencies of each university revealed a general emphasis on nursing knowledge, research, leadership, international perspective and competence, innovation, social practice and policy. More specifically, universities aim to cultivate five core competencies in students, for example, nursing knowledge, scientific and innovative research capabilities and participation in the formulation and promotion of nursing policies. Of the 115 graduates of national doctoral nursing programs surveyed, the online questionnaire revealed that more than half of the respondents were aged 41–50 years (n = 62, 53.9%), 81.8% occupied a teaching position and most had 2.4–9.8 years of study in the program (mean = 6.09 ± 1.81 years). Respondents who completed a doctoral nursing program in Taiwan could learn orderly teaching, research and leadership capabilities with scored 4.12, 4.11 and 3.65, respectively. Conclusions: The overall orientation of the doctoral nursing programs in Taiwan aligns approximately with global trends in nursing. This study suggests that international and national resources should be incorporated into the cultivation of various competencies and curriculum quality control; moreover, industry, academia and the government should hold regular meetings to formulate suitable evaluation mechanisms.
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