By Shawn Kennedy, editor-in-chief
I’m immersed in nursing research and nursing leaders this week, attending (in order and immediately following one another) meetings of the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science (CANS), the 25th anniversary concluding scientific symposium of the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), and finally, the American Academy of Nursing.
Wednesday was CANS and its focus on comparative effectiveness research. After an opening keynote by Carolyn Clancy, director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), who discussed the need to accelerate progress in improving U.S. health outcomes, a panel of nurses discussed different methodological considerations, from databases to competencies.
Research to help people make informed decisions. Especially interesting was a discussion of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), the research entity which was mandated by the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. According to Debra Barksdale, associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the only nurse appointed to the PCORI board of governors (there are 21 members, 13 of whom are physicians), it was created to provide research “to help people make informed health care decisions.” PCORI seeks to do research that’s important to patients and makes a point of soliciting public input and public reviewers of grants. (It’s also hiring for several positions, and seeks nurses for reviewers and advisory boards.)
You can listen to my interview with Barksdale and with Robin Newhouse (it takes a moment to load), an associate professor and chair of organizational systems and adult health at the University of Maryland (and the only nurse on PCORI’s Methodology Committee, which, according to this article in the New England Journal of Medicine, “is charged with defining rigorous, high-integrity standards and methods to strengthen the science underpinning patient-centered outcomes research.”