Entering the Mainstream? Nursing Research at 25 Years

Logo of the United States National Institute o...

Image via Wikipedia

By Shawn Kennedy, AJN interim editor-in-chief

Last Thursday the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) held its kick-off event to celebrate its 25th anniversary—and what could be more appropriate than holding a research symposium at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)? Scientists and researchers (nurses as well as others) whose work is supported by the NINR presented highlights of their research. (See here for synopses.)

Why it matters to all nurses. All nurses, researchers or not, should celebrate the growth and accomplishments of the NINR—its establishment provided tangible recognition of the value of the substantial body of research conducted by and/or about the nursing profession. As practitioners, where would we be without research to provide the evidence underlying care interventions or the processes of delivering that care? With the October issue, AJN highlights the NINR’s silver anniversary: on the cover, with a guest editorial by NINR director Patricia Grady, and with a timeline highlighting key milestones and landmark research supported by the NINR (click through to the PDF version to read this article). To give you an idea why nursing research matters, here’s just one entry on the timeline, from 1998:

Nancy Bergstrom, PhD, RN, FAAN, in a multisite study, tests the Braden Scale for Predicting Pressure Sore Risk and finds its predictive capability accurate. The scale is now widely used in nursing homes and hospitals.

AJN’s role in dissemination. What’s critical, though is that the outcomes of research get disseminated to those at the point of care. Researchers tend to publish in research journals, but how many nurses in clinical practice read those journals? As a general nursing journal with a wide readership, AJN covers the “broad view” of what’s important for most nurses regardless of practice setting or role. It’s our mission “to promote excellence in nursing and health care through the dissemination of evidence-based, peer-reviewed clinical information and original research . . . .”

So on this 25th anniversary of the NINR, my hope for the next decade (we can’t wait another 25 years) is that nursing research will move more and more into mainstream clinical journals.

Bookmark and Share

Senior editor/social media strategy, American Journal of Nursing, and editor of AJN Off the Charts.

One Comment

  1. maundu October 5, 2010 at 4:44 am

    how can a nurse interested in research be helped to make their dreams come true?

Comments are moderated before approval, but always welcome.

%d bloggers like this: