Directions of the 100 most cited nursing student education research: A bibliometric and co-citation network analysis

Ching Yi Chang, Meei Ling Gau, Kai Yu Tang, Gwo Jen Hwang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: To identify and analyze the 100 most cited articles on nursing student education (NSE) that were published in nursing journals. Background: The citation frequency of an article indicates its scientific impact. Analyzing highly cited articles on NSE enabled researchers to identify mainstream research types and acquire relevant information and knowledge. Design: A retrospective bibliometric analysis with co-citation network analysis. Data sources: We searched for journal articles on NSE from the Web of Science, and analyzed the 100 most cited articles (date of search: June 3, 2020). Review methods: The theme, article type, journal, country, source of institutional articles, and publication year were counted and analyzed. The citation relationships among the most 100 cited articles of NSE were calculated and visualized. Results: Articles included in this study were mostly empirical quantitative studies with a cross-sectional design, and were published in international nursing journals between 2000 and 2020. Their authors were mostly from the United States and the United Kingdom. According to the co-citation network analysis, four main research directions were identified: workplace mental health, simulation learning, spiritual care, and medication administration. Conclusion: Workplace mental health was the major research topic on NSE. This research topic has spanned two decades (2000–2020). These articles were mainly published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing and Nurse Education Today. Some recent research topics, such as simulation learning and spiritual care were also identified. Findings provide a fresh review of the highly cited NSE articles, including the visualization of the NSE network.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104645
JournalNurse Education Today
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Bibliometric analysis
  • Co-citation network analysis
  • Medication administration
  • Nursing student education
  • Simulation learning
  • Spiritual care
  • Systemic review
  • Workplace mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Education


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