Research in Nursing Education: A Vision for the Future

Article excerpt

THE NLN EDUCATION SUMMIT 2012 IN ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA, WAS BY ALL ACCOUNTS EXHILARATING. With an enthusiastic group of nurse educators, I spent the week engaged in dialogue about how to best lead nursing education into the future, with purpose, power, and passion. I came away from the Summit energized, convinced that as we continue to nurture the leadership potential that exists among nurse educators, the future of nursing education is bright and full of promise.

Excellence in nursing education is best achieved by building a strong evidence base to support our practice. So a definite highlight of the 2012 Summit was the release of the NLN's new Research Priorities in Nursing Education (2012-2015). These are emblematic of the League's vision and are available online (www.nln.org/researchgrants/priorities.htm). They emerged from a bold new vision statement designed to lead to a transformation of nursing education, which is posted online (www.nln.org/ aboutnln/livingdocuments/nln_vision.htm).

The NLN's history of supporting research to advance the science of nursing education is long and distinguished. The League first demonstrated this commitment in the early 1980s, when support for educational research was almost nonexistent. At that time, the League created the Council for Research in Nursing Education and funded small research projects. Our support for educational research has grown stronger over the years, with larger research grants and the establishment in 2002 of the NLN Foundation for Nursing Education. And, at the 2012 Summit, we announced the creation of the NLN Chamberlain Center for the Advancement of the Science of Nursing Education.

This is a critical time for our profession, one that calls for even greater scholarly attention to the learning environments within our nursing programs. Calls for health care reform and the transformation of nursing practice and nursing education abound. As nurse educators, we must be proactive. We must examine our teaching-learning practices and develop evidence-based strategies to prepare our graduates to practice in a changing environment.

The NLN's vision for the future of research in nursing education is founded on the establishment of strong collaborative partnerships between education and practice, partnerships designed to lead to enhanced patient outcomes in a redesigned health care delivery system. …