Research Initiative Aims to Develop National Nursing Research Agenda

    • October 28, 2011

Calling all researchers!

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is drawing national attention to a common research agenda and coordinating multi-funder support for research projects that advance the goals of the groundbreaking report on the future of nursing released last year by the Institute of Medicine (IOM): The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.

The national research agenda, which is based on the research agenda set forth in the IOM report, will help ensure that “all Americans have access to high-quality, patient-centered care in a health care system where nurses contribute as essential partners in achieving success,” says Lori Melichar, PhD, MA, director.

“The Institute of Medicine’s landmark report offers a blueprint for transforming the nursing profession to enhance the quality and value of U.S. health care in ways that meet future needs of diverse populations—but it doesn’t contain all of the answers,” Melichar wrote in a recent entry on the RWJF Human Capital blog. “Research that examines assumptions and fears and compares alternatives can point to implementation strategies that make the most of the significant, yet limited resources that the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and many, many others have to offer.”

The Initiative, which began accepting proposals in June of 2011 and will continue accepting proposals through January 3, 2012, welcomes proposals from a wide range of academic disciplines that address research priorities keyed to the eight major IOM report recommendations listed here.

Priorities fall under the general topics of nurse education, nurse leadership, interprofessional collaboration and data. Some questions include: How effective are various interprofessional education models? How can nurses best be prepared or enabled to lead change to advance health? How do independently practicing APRNs collaborate with primary care or specialist physicians? Or what percent of advanced practiced registered nurses go into primary care?

The project is unique because it enables applicants to put proposals before a group of funders who support research related to the IOM report’s recommendations at the same time. In addition to RWJF, funders include the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the John A. Hartford Foundation, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation, the Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation and the Donaghue Foundation.

The project is supported by the research initiative component of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, a collaborative effort to implement solutions to the challenges facing the nursing profession, and to build upon nurse-based approaches to improving quality and transforming the way Americans receive health care.

Brief proposals should be three to five pages long and include the amount of money the research team needs to complete the work and the time they expect it will take the team to complete the project. Proposals received before January 3, 2012, will be reviewed on a rolling basis and made available to a group of funders for up to a year. Successful proposals will match the goals of this research agenda and demonstrate methodological rigor as well as the potential to advance knowledge to support implementation of the IOM recommendations.

For questions about the Campaign for Action research agenda, please contact Heather Kelley-Thompson, MA, at 215-573-2981 or by email at