Dedicated to Helping People through Nursing Research

American Nurse Today, February 2017 | Go to article overview

Dedicated to Helping People through Nursing Research


We do things because we want them to matter--to make a difference. That's why the American Nurses Foundation began the Nursing Research Grant (NRG) Program more than 60 years ago--to support nurses who are making a difference in defining quality care.

To mark the program's 60th anniversary in 2016, a committee of nine scholars, led by Martha N. Hill, PhD, RN, FAAN, Dean Emerita Professor of Nursing, Medicine and Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, prepared a comprehensive review of the NRG program.

The key question: Was the program making a difference?

The answer: Yes, and it should be expanded to offer more and larger grants to nurses.

"Nurses and their patients must be able to rely on care that is proven, reliable, safe, and evidence-based," said Hill, a Maryland Nurses Association member. "This requires research. And nursing research is important because nurses look comprehensively at the broad social determinants of health in addition to physiological, psychological, and emotional factors. Every nurse and every patient should demand that nursing expertise guide today's and tomorrow's research."

Working closely with Foundation staff, the National Nursing Research Grant Program Review Committee evaluated the program from mission to operations to impact. The process included surveys of past grant recipients; a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis; environmental scanning; participant satisfaction scores; mapping of research trends; and funding gaps.

Based on their findings, the committee strongly affirmed the program's mission to fund nurse-led research of the highest quality that is focused on improving health and healthcare delivery. Additionally, they called for a broader definition of clinical research that focuses on the "discovery of new knowledge," and they identified the need for more gifts and contributions.

Last year, 126 nurses and friends of nurses, including many from Stryker Medical, funder of The Margretta Madden Styles Credentialing Research Endowed Grant, made contributions to the NRG program. They did so for a number of reasons. One nurse, Maura Ryan, PhD, RN, GNP, a former grant recipient, said that her grant allowed her to help others while she administered the Gerontological Nurse Practitioner Program at the University of Pennsylvania. …

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