The National Institute of Nursing Research is a body mandated with the principal responsibility of carrying out research that relates to the nursing and medical field in general. The institution dedicates its effort to improving the health and health care of Americans through funding of nursing research and research training. The involvement of the federal government led to the formation of the research institute as early as 1946. The federal government established a division of nursing within the office of the Surgeon General, Public Health Service. The NINR commenced its activities in 1955 when the institute established a Nursing Research Study section, which was within the Division of Research Grants. The purpose of this Study Section was to conduct a scientific review of the growing volume of applications in the nursing sector.
In 1960, a consolidation of the public health service led to the formation of a new division of nursing, which later changed its name to Health Resource and Services Administration (HRSA). From the early years of its formation, the institute's goals and objectives was to build and support a firm foundation for nursing research. The majority of the institutions founded during these years established predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowship programs to train independent nurse researchers. According to Macnee and MacCabe (2008) from 1960s, nursing began to realize the importance and need for theoretical foundations for nursing practice and research. Research focus also had to change from the study of nurses toward the study of clinical care that the nurses provided. Macnee and MacCabe (2008) explain that nursing faculty changed to teaching the research process in baccalaureate nursing program. The institute also supports the teaching of new investigators who are responsible for new ideas and endorsement of further study programs.
The federal government provided the funds necessary for research and exchanging of nursing information to all parts of the country. Legislation to finally integrate and establish the research institution took place in 1986. Researches in 1983 and 1984 concerning the need to integrate nursing research into the mainstream of biomedical and behavioral sciences forced the passing of the legislation in 1986. The 1984 NIH research task force study emphasized the need of nursing research in the NIH mission. The two studies encouraged a legislative action that established the National Centre for Nursing Research (NCNR) at NIH in 1986. A revitalization act of 1993 and a federal notice on June 24 of the same year changed the NCNR to what is today's known as National Institute of Nursing Research.
The main purpose and mission of the Nursing Institute is to promote and improve the health of American individuals, families, communities and the general population. The purpose is to support research and research training in health and illness across an individual's lifetime in relation to the environment. A study by Nyamathi and Koniak (2007) shows, the National Nursing Institute has designated minority health and related health disparities research as the institution's priority. The institution incorporates these policies and plans in the institution's mission statement, strategic plan and allocation of resources. To achieve its mission and objectives, NINR research programs incorporate and utilize a broad range of interdisciplinary approaches that promote scientific explorations leading to better health outcomes and health services. Clinical intervention studies, translation and implementation research methods are among the approaches utilized by the institution to implement its objectives. The mission statement specifies the modes and ways of funding researches that promote health equity and focus on eliminating health disparities to underserved and resource-limited communities in the nation. As one of the main agendas addressed by the mission statement, the institute seeks to improve knowledge of underlying biological systems, which includes the contributions made by genetic and genomic symptoms and health conditions of individuals and society.
The national institute's mission and objective place more emphasis on research training for cultivating the knowledge and practice of younger nursing generations. Training and learning opportunities are available for both students beginning their research careers as well as those seeking to advance their knowledge and research expertise. Through collaboration and integration of various disciplines especially in areas of mutual interests, the institute is able to deliver its mission and goals more appropriately. According to Daly et all (2005), the mission of the national institute are to foster a clinical research and innovation that provides a scientific basis for the care provided across the life span of an individual. The NINR strategic plan seeks to utilize the strength of nursing sciences to energize an ambitious research that will meet the demand and health care needs of the citizens.
The institute uses the strategic plan as a guide for research and training programs that impact positively to the health care sector and health services to the population. The strategic plan further provides a vision for the future health care needs of the society. Bringing science to life as the strategic plan motto of the institute, the institute is able to pave the way for future discoveries in scientific areas that have great potential and impact in the health sector. Macnee and MacCabe (2008) explain that a proper nursing and clinical research facilitated by a sound strategic plan is necessary in providing answers and evidence to the many questions that arise out of the faculty. The institute's strategic plan provides direction and ideas on how to handle various research problems and how to fund such cases.
To achieve its mission and objectives, the strategic plan focuses on research that supports the science of health, which entails investigation into a multiple health determinant. The strategy focuses on empowering people to maintain their own health through the prevention of disease and self-management of illnesses. Daly et all (2005) states that, the purpose of the plan is to use research findings to facilitate the advancement and development of client coping mechanism during any alterations in an individual's health status.
The institute is under a strong management team dedicated to improving the health care services and facilities for the American people. Leadership of the institute is under a director who is responsible for overseeing the activities of the various units and departments within the institution. Currently the institution is under Dr. Patricia A Grandy who was appointed in the year 1995 as the director. Dr. Grandy is a recognized international recognized research whose main scientific focus has been in stroke. For ease of management and leadership, the institution is in divisions, which carry out specific activities. The major programs of the institution are under a division referred as extramural activities. This division consists of offices of extramural programs. There are three offices under this division, all of which are under direct supervision of the director. The office of the extramural programs (OEP) is responsible for managing the funding activities of the institution across the country and around the world.
The office of grants management (OGM) undertakes the responsibility of maintaining contact for all business related activities. The office undertakes negotiations, administration of grants, awarding and cooperative agreements with the institution. The third office is the office of review (OR) which provides policy direction and coordination for the planning and execution of scientific research. The office undertakes review on all planned activities before passing of grants applications. NINR current initiatives target at increasing participation in a broad range of activities that have a significant impact on the health care services. The initiatives aim at addressing the most pressing issues facing the Nation's health. Among the current initiatives undertaken by the institute, include improving self-management of chronic illness in children. NINR acknowledges the many risks that young people especially in the adolescent age face in the modern society. To express these problems, the institute support research to promote a positive outcome for children and families facing these challenges.
Research conducted by NINR helps to provide an understanding to the relationship between families, children and society on how to improve health assessment. The institution seeks to address the challenges facing the old generation. Research is necessary in order to improve management of co-occurring chronic illnesses among older people. The goals of this research are to prevent and alleviate symptoms of chronic disease before a person reaches older ages where it becomes difficult to do so. A current initiative by the institution is to address the increasing effect of Alzheimer disease popularly referred to as AD. The disease is incurable and affects many Americans with the number expected to increase significantly by the year 2030. According to Miller (2009), major goals of the current initiatives of the institution are to enhance geriatric activities and providing nursing information for older people.
As one of the current initiatives addressed by the institute, the institute conducts research on how to improve the services for individuals with acute diseases and their families especially after death. The institute supports research that leads to evidence-based end-of-life and palliative care to assist individuals with chronic illnesses. This research prepares individuals both psychologically and…