BOX 4-1

Nursing’s Clinical Research Workforce

  • Only 0.6 percent of R.N.s are doctorally prepared.

  • Between 1993 and 2002 the number of new doctorates fluctuated annually between 360 (1999) and 472 (2002).

  • In 1999-2000 the mean number of years registered in doctoral programs was 8.3 for nursing graduates compared with 6.8 years for all doctoral awardees.

  • The median time elapsed between entry into any graduate program to completion of the doctorate in nursing was almost twice that of other fields—15.9 years versus 8.5 years.

  • The greatest nursing workforce shortage is the shortage of nursing faculty.

Increasing the Numbers of Women and Minorities

  • Requires an interdisciplinary approach, because there are fields with more women and minorities that already value clinical research and an emphasis on the “lived experience” with its appreciation of participatory action (e.g., nursing, social work, psychology).

  • Requires a multidisciplinary approach, because the translation of new knowledge into clinical practice and health decision making involves team or consortium building around complex problems and across institutions and sectors.

Evaluating Existing Training Efforts

  • Assess the extent to which existing NIH-funded research centers are interdisciplinary and sector spanning in their training efforts (e.g., composition of advisory boards and mentors, shared courses, infrastructure supports).

  • Catalog the clinical research outcomes expected of trainees at institutions with institutional research training grants, starting with the presentation of results to clinical agencies where data are collected.

  • Identify the best practices of institutions that have successfully recruited and graduated minorities.

Addressing Health Disparities

  • Although NINR is already focusing strongly on addressing health disparities, its success should be evaluated.

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