Strides in Development of Medical Education

Document Type : Original Article


1 PhD in Nursing, Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing Management, Nursing faculty, Aja University of Medical Sciences. Tehran, Iran.

2 2PhD in Nursing, Associate Professor, Department of Nursing Management, Faculty of Nursing, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 MSc, Instructor, Department of Maternal and Child Health, Faculty of Aja Nursing, Aja University of Medical Sciences, PhD Candidate in Nursing, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Background: The quality assurance of doctoral nursing education programs is one of the priorities of educational systems, with significant effects on the development and improvement of educational programs. Therefore, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of these programs through comparison can be useful.
Objectives: This study aimed to compare the doctoral nursing education programs in Iran and Japan.
Methods: In this descriptive and comparative study, which was based on the model proposed by Beredy, the Iranian doctoral program in nursing education was compared with that of Japan in four stages of description, interpretation, juxtaposition, and comparison.
Results: The doctoral nursing education program in Japan was older than its Iranian counterpart, based on historical records. The challenges of nursing education in Iran included the student admission system, inflexibility of the program, and emphasis on theoretical education. The strict rules regarding article publication in International Scientific Indexing (ISI) journals and the higher number of credits in the Iranian program, compared to its Japanese counterpart, were among the strengths of Iran’s program, increasing the level of students’ knowledge and preparation for research activities.
Conclusion: Comparison of the educational systems of Iran and Japan indicated the need for a more flexible and community-based curriculum in Iran.


  1. Salminen L, Stolt M, Saarikoski M, Suikkala A, Vaartio H, Leino-Kilpi H, et al. Future challenges for nursing education-A European perspective. Nurs Educ Today. 2010;30(3):233-8. doi:10.1016/j.nedt.2009.11.004. [PMID:20005606].
  2. Jafari Asl M, Chehrzed M, Shafipour S, Ghanbari A. Quality of Educational Services from ViewPoint's of Nursing and Midwifery Students of Guilan University Based on Servqual Model. Research in Medical Education. 2014;6(1):50-8. doi:10.18869/acadpub.rme.6.1.50. [In Persian]
  3. Naseri N, Salehi Sh. Accreditation of Nursing Education in Iran: Documenting the Process. Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research. 2008; 12(4): 136-8.
  4. Farajzadeh Z, Rakhsh Khosid M, Izadpanah AM, Saadatjoo SA. Factors affecting quality of education from the viewpoint of graduated nurses working in Birjand hospitals, 2012. Mod Care J. 2014; 11(3):196-202. [In Persian]
  5. Borzou SR, Oshvandi K, Cheraghi F, Moayed M S. Comparative Study of Nursing PhD Education System and Curriculum in Iran and John Hopkins School of Nursing. Educ Strategy Med Sci. 2016; 9 (3):194-205. [In Persian]
  6. Abedini F, Vafadar Z. Comparative Study of Nursing PhD Course in Iran and a Nursing Faculty in University of Auckland, the USA. Educ Strategy Med Sci. 2020; 13(4):277-86. [In Persian]
  7. Adib Hajbaghery M, Nabizadeh-Gharghozar Z, bolandianbafghi S. Comparative Study of Nursing PhD Education System and Curriculum in Iran and Alberta School of Nursing. J Military Caring Sciences. 2019; 6(1):69-78. doi:10.29252/mcs.6.1.69. [In Persian]
  8. Molaeenejad A, Zekavati A. A comparative study of the teacher training curriculum system in England, Japan, France, Malaysia, and Iran. Journal of Education Innovation. 2008;7(26):35-2.
  9. Mokhtari Nouri J, Nezamzadeh M. Comparative study of nursing education in Iran and Japan. Journal of Clinical Excellence. 2016;4(2):81-99. [In Persian]
  10. Turals S, Ito MS, Nakao F. Issues and challenges in nursing and nursing education in Japan. Nurse Educ Pract. 2008 Jan;8(1):1-4. doi: 10.1016/j.nepr.2007.07.002. [PMID: 17719851].
  11. Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Tehran University of Medical Sciences. General Specifications and curriculum for Ph.D. MsD, and Bachelor's Degree. [cited 4 Mar 2017]. Available from: [In Persian]
  12. Paplham P, Austin-Ketch T. Doctor of nursing practice education: impact on advanced nursing practice. Semin Oncol Nurs. 2015;31(4):273-81. doi:10.1016/j.soncn.2015.08.003. [PMid:26525727]
  13. Mehraban MA, Taleghani F. Doctor of nursing practice (initiated or disorder). Iran J Med Educ. 2011;10(5):1140-5.
  14. Ketefian S, Davidson P, Daly J, Chang E. Wichita Srisuphan. Issues and challenges in international doctoral education in nursing. Nurs Health Sci. 2005 Sep;7(3):150-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-2018.2005.00240.x. [PMid:16083477].
  15. Farahani M, Ahmadi F. Doctoral nursing students’ viewpoints about the Nursing PhD curriculum. Iran J Med Educ. 2006; 6(1):83-92. [In Persian]
  16. Rahmani R, Fathi K. Evaluation of Quality in higher education. Educ Strategy Med Sci. 2008; 1(1):28-39. [In Persian]
  17. Zamanzadeh V, Jasemi M, Mansoori A, Khodabandeh F, Alsadat Hoseini F. Doctoral Nursing Students’ Perspectives towards Educational Quality of PhD Course. Iran J Nursing. 2014; 27 (89):30-9. doi:10.29252/ijn.27.89.30. [In Persian]
  18. Vahedian-Azimi A, Ebadi A, Saadat S, Negarandeh R, Ahmadi F. Professors’ view on the appropriate postgraduate degree in nursing education: A comparative study in two different sociocultural societies and literature review. International Journal of Medical Reviews. 2014;1(1):13-23.
  19. Feizolahzadeh H, Hasani P. Challenges and opportunities of doctorate of nursing graduates in clinical settings. J Health Promot Manag. 2012;1(1):74-84. [In Persian]
  20. Tazakori Z, Mazaheri A, Namnabati M, Torabizadeh K, Fathi S, Abrahimibalil F. Evaluation of Ph.D. nursing: application CIPP model. Journal of Health And Care. 2010;12(2):44-51. [In Persian]
  21. Zandi B, Farahani A. Comparative study of the status of education in Iran with the countries of America and Canada. Journal of Motion and Sports Sciences. 2007;6(12):109 -97. [In Persian]
  22. Zhu RA. (dissertation). A Comparative Study of College Entrance Examinations (CEES): SAT and ACT in the United States of America and Gaokao in the People's Republic of China. Ohio, US: The University of Akron; 2014.
  23. Aghazadeh A, Ahghar G, Fazilzadeh R. Analytical and comparative study of characteristics curriculum higher education for distance study in IRAN and England and India. Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities. 2012;4(4): 75-105. [In Persian]
  24. Ministry of Health. Specifications and specialized medical curriculum and outlines of PhD course Iran: High Council for Medical Planning. [cited 4 Mar 2017]. Available from: [In Persian]
  25. Nagata S, Gregg MF, Miki Y, Arimoto A, Murashima S, Kim MJ. Evaluation of doctoral nursing education in Japan by students, graduates, and faculty: a comparative study based on a cross-sectional questionnaire survey. Nurse Educ Today. 2012 May;32(4):361-7. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2011.05.019. [PMid:21665333].
  26. Horiuchi Sh. Doctoral nursing education in Japan. J Nurs Sci. 2013;Suppl 1(31):5-8.
  27. Chiang-Hanisko L, Ross R, P B, Ozawa M, Chiang L. Pathways to Progress in Nursing: Understanding Career Patterns in Japan, Taiwan, and Thailand OJIN. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing. 2008;13(3):Manuscript 4.
  28. Gregg MF, Sanada H, Yamamoto A, Yamamoto-Mitani N. Quality in doctoral nursing education in Japan. Advances in Nursing Doctoral Education & Research. 2013;2(4):2-8.
  29. Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences. Curriculum(Doctoral program). [Cited 5 May 2020]. Available from:
  30. Tabari Khomeiran R, Deans C. Nursing education in Iran: Past, present, and Future. Nurse Educ Today. 2007 Oct;27(7):708-14. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2006.10.003. [PMID: 17125890].
  31. Miki Y, Gregg MF, Arimoto A, Nagata S, Murashima S. Evaluation of doctoral nursing programs by doctoral students in Japan: Cross-sectional questionnaire survey. Jpn J Nurs Sci. 2012 Dec;9(2):160-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-7924.2011.00196.x. [PMID: 23181884].
  32. Khosid MR, Izadpanah AM. Factors affecting quality of education from the viewpoint of graduated nurses working in Birjand hospitals, 2012. Mod Care J. 2014; 11(3):196-202. [In Persian]
  33. Farsi Z, Dehghan Nayeri N, Negarandeh R, Broomand S. Nursing profession in Iran: An overview of opportunities and challenges. Jpn J Nurs Sci. 2010 Jun;7(1):9-18. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-7924.2010.00137.x. [PMID: 20618672].
  34. Rassouli M, Zagheri Tafreshi M, Esmaeil M. Challenges in clinical nursing education in Iran and strategies. Journal of Clinical Excellence. 2014;2(1):11-22. [In Persian]
  35. Loomis JA, Willard B, Cohen J. Difficult professional choices: Deciding between the PhD and the DNP in nursing. Online J Issues Nurs. 2006 Dec 22;12(1):6. [PMID: 17330978].
  36. Manouchehri H, Imani E, Atashzadeh-Shoorideh F, Alavi-Majd H. Nursing students' experiences of work while studying: a qualitative study. Iranian Journal of Nursing Research. 2016;11(2):32-42. [In Persian]
  37. Rochford C, Connolly M, Drennan J. Paid part-time employment and academic performance of undergraduate nursing students. Nurse Educ Today. 2009 Aug;29(6):601-6. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2009.01.004. [PMid:19246132].
  38. Schoofs N, Bosold S, Slot V, Flentje J. Nursing student employment: impact on academic achievement. Nurse Educ. Mar-Apr 2008;33(2):57-8. doi: 10.1097/01.NNE.0000299501.32529.44. [PMID: 18317313].
  39. Ghorbani F, Rahkar Farshi M, Valizadeh L. Comparison of Master’s curriculum of pediatric nursing in Iran and United States. J Nursing Educ. 2015;4(3): 41-7. [In Persian]