BACKGROUND : In Italy, the nursing doctoral programs were established in 2006, and after ten years we though it would be important to understand how nursing research in Italy has developed thanks to its four doctoral schools of nursing. Our research question was: How have the Italian doctoral schools of nursing contributed to the development of nursing research in the last ten years? METHODS : A national descriptive observational was conducted to collect all the publications made by the four nursing doctoral schools in Florence, Genoa, L'Aquila, and Rome between 2006 and 2015. For the enrolment of the participants, an online survey was sent to the e-mail address of each student provided by the reference University. The publications collected through the CVs of the current and former doctoral students were then checked against Web Science. The publication trends were analysed considering the type of journal, the Impact Factor (IF), and the topics. RESULTS : A total of 478 papers published between 2006-2015 were retrieved, of which 226 (47.59%) were published in Italian journals and 250 (52,41%) on international journals. The great majority of the papers (59,21%) were published in 30 journals, of which 15 had an Impact Factor (range 0.236 - 3.755). The main topics were clinical care, research methods, education, management, ethics, and policies. CONCLUSIONS : Between 2006 and 2015, Italy has produced nursing knowledge and scientific data that can be used to improve the quality of care and facilitate discussions with health policy decision-makers in order to better address the incumbent heath challenges of the near future.