There has long been an intuitive understanding that as the health care professionals who provide the most direct hands-on care to patients, nurses play a pivotal role in improving patient care and patients’ health. For many years, however, there was little or no evidence demonstrating the connection between nursing care and patient outcomes. To address this, in 2005 the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) established a national program office to support interdisciplinary research to identify nurses’ contributions to improving health and health care.
Since its inception, the Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative (INQRI) has funded 40 studies, conducted by interprofessional teams of researchers, examining nursing’s role in improving patient care. Guided by an interprofessional team, including a nurse and health services researcher, a health care economist, and a health researcher and labor economist, INQRI has helped the research teams shape their studies and enhance their methodological approaches to develop rigorous evidence that nurses are central to delivering high value, high quality care.
The teams conducted research in a variety of settings, using a range of methodologies, focusing on: acute care; assisted living; dissemination and implementation; fall prevention; medication management; pain management; palliative care; payment mechanisms; public health; quality measures; staffing and work environment; and transitional care.
While INQRI will no longer be issuing a call for proposals each year, the program continues to support the work of its research teams and is now supporting the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action’s research initiatives.