Research Article| Volume 67, ISSUE 2, P133-139, March 2019

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Best practices and inclusion of team science principles in appointment promotion and tenure documents in research intensive schools of nursing

Published:November 22, 2018DOI:


      • Team Science is a well founded model for performing methodologically strong research, and developing highly productive research teams with excellent mentorship. The model is a highly preferred method for scientific exploration amongst current early career scientists.
      • While nurses contribute in interdisciplinary scientific teams, this analysis of appointment, promotion and tenure documents from highly funded U.S. based schools of nursing found limited accounting for team science in promotion and tenure decision making.
      • A lack of inclusion of team science principles in appointment, promotion, and tenure documents may discourage early career scientists from participating in teams that can help develop their research skills, increase their productivity, and provide additional mentorship.
      • Schools of Nursing should review and update their appointment, promotion, and tenure documents to be more inclusive of team science principles.



      Nurse scientists are highly sought after and find satisfaction in serving as members of interdisciplinary research teams. These teams also tend to be highly productive. However, nurse scientists in academia also have to reach certain productivity milestones to be promoted and receive tenure that may be incongruent with team science principles.


      This study therefore sought to examine whether APT documents in research intensive nursing schools incorporate team science principles.


      Qualitatively analyzed the appointment, promotion and tenure documents of 18 U.S. based research intensive schools of nursing with over $2 million in NIH funding in fiscal year 2014.


      The study found that only 8 of 18 documents included any reference to team science principles and even these mentions were largely negligible. There were few best practices to recommend across documents. By not recognizing team science within these documents, nursing risks marginalization within the larger scientific community by limiting mentorship and learning opportunities for early career nurse scientists.


      Schools of nursing should revisit their promotion and tenure criteria and include a greater commitment to encouragement of team science.


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