Philadelphia, Pa.—The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) today announced the recipients of four new grants from its Future of Nursing National Research Agenda. The new grants examine nurse residency programs and scope of practice regulations. A fifth study funded last year is nearing completion. That study, co-funded by the Donaghue Foundation and led by David Auerbach, MS, PhD, policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, is intended to determine the implications of emerging models of primary care (such as the nurse-managed health center) for future primary care workforce needs.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) created the Future of Nursing National Research Agenda in 2012 to support research that would inform implementation of the recommendations in the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) groundbreaking report The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. The project is coordinated by RWJF’s Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative (INQRI).
Three of the newly-funded studies address regulations on the practice of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs).
A team from the University of Pennsylvania will examine the impact of the provision of the Prescription for Pennsylvania law that removed practice barriers for APRNs. The research team will evaluate the development and architecture of the bill, and the success of the provision in expanding access to health care, particularly in medically underserved communities.
A team from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston will evaluate the effect of state regulations on APRN and physician teamwork, collaboration, and patient outcomes. They will compare six states with the most restrictive regulations on APRN practice with the 10 states that have the least restrictive regulations.
A team from the MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston will examine whether loosening state restrictions on scope of practice for nurse practitioners affects cost; quality or access to care; brings more nurse practitioners into the state; and the role organizations play in interpreting regulations.
The fourth study is an evaluation of nurse residency programs. A team from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill will evaluate the University HealthSystem Consortium/American Association of Colleges of Nursing Nurse Residency Program (NRP) to determine whether these programs provide a return on investment and to which entities. The NRP is the largest and only baccalaureate degree, graduate–focused, standardized residency program in the United States.
“The results of these studies are invaluable to efforts to advance nursing and improve health care in our nation,” said Mary Naylor, PhD, FAAN, RN, Marian S. Ware Professor in Gerontology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and co-director of the INQRI program. “We’re proud to be a part of the effort to implement the recommendations from the IOM report and to support efforts that all Americans have access to high-quality, patient-centered health care, with nurses contributing to the full extent of their capabilities.”
INQRI also supports interdisciplinary teams of nurse scholars and scholars from other disciplines to address the gaps in knowledge about the relationship between nursing and health care quality. It is helping to advance recommendations from the IOM report, which include fostering interprofessional collaboration and preparing and enabling nurses to lead change. By requiring research teams to include a nurse scholar and at least one scholar from another health care discipline, INQRI not only fosters interprofessional collaboration, it also ensures that diverse perspectives are brought to bear in research.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable, and timely change. For more than 40 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at www.rwjf.org/twitter or Facebook at www.rwjf.org/facebook.