Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Announces Nearly $500,000 in Support for Two New Studies on Nurses’ Scope of Practice

    • September 17, 2013

Philadelphia, Pa.—The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) today announced the recipients of two new grant awards totaling nearly $500,000 from its Future of Nursing National Research Agenda. The two newly-funded studies will examine the regulations, policies, and practices that affect nurses’ ability to practice to the full extent of their education and training.

RWJF created the Future of Nursing National Research Agenda in 2011 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) and these new grants bring the total number of projects funded through this initiative to seven.

The newly funded studies are being conducted by researchers at the University of Florida and the University of California.

A research team at the University of Florida will examine the impact of state regulations and other barriers on advanced practice registered nurses’ (APRNs) practice, particularly in rural and other underserved areas.

The University of California, San Francisco research team will examine the structural, practice, and policy opportunities and barriers that affect psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioners’ ability to most effectively use their skills and expertise in public mental health settings.

“The studies being funded through the National Research Agenda are addressing some of the key contemporary issues in nursing,” 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. “The findings will help us build a base of evidence to support policies and practices that will not only advance nursing but also improve the quality of health care and increase access to health care.”

The other five studies, funded earlier through the initiative, address:

  • the impact of emerging models of primary care for future primary care workforce needs;
  • the impact of the provision of the Prescription for Pennsylvania law that removed practice barriers for APRNs;
  • the effect of state regulations on APRN and physician teamwork, collaboration, and patient outcomes;
  • the impact of loosening state restrictions on scope of practice for nurse practitioners on cost, quality, access to care, and the size of the nurse practitioner workforce; and
  • the return on investment for nurse residency programs, and the entities to which returns accrue.

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. 

To learn more, visit, or follow on Twitter at @INQRIProgram.

Media Contact:

Christine Clayton | Robert Wood Johnson Foundation | | 609-627-5937
Lisa Lederer | PR Solutions | | 202-371-1999

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

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 or Facebook at