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The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health
ery questions but also in translating research findings into practice and developing and setting the policy agendas. Their leadership is vital in ensuring that new state-and federal-level policies are based on evidence and will help increase quality and access while decreasing costs and health care disparities. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides opportunities for demonstration projects and pilot programs directed at various elements of nursing. If these projects and programs do not adequately track nursing inputs and intended/unintended outcomes, they cannot hope to achieve their potential.
Nurse researchers should seek funding from the National Institute for Nursing Research and other institutes of the National Institutes of Health, as do scientists from other disciplines, to help increase the evidence base for improved models of care. Funding might also be secured from other government entities, such as AHRQ and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and local and national foundations, depending on the research topic. To be competitive in these efforts, nurses should hone their analytical skills with training in such areas as statistics and data analysis, econometrics, biometrics, and other qualitative and quantitative research methods that are appropriate to their research topics. Mark Pauly, codirector of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative, argues that, for nursing research to achieve parity with other health services research in terms of acceptability, it must be managed by interprofessional teams that include both nurse scholars and scholars from methodological and modeling disciplines. For nurse researchers to achieve parity with other health services researchers, they must develop the skills and initiative to take leadership roles in this research.4
Will Nursing Organizations Hear the Call?
The Gallup poll of 1,500 opinion leaders referenced earlier in this chapter also highlighted fragmentation in the leadership of nursing organizations as a challenge. Responding opinion leaders predicted that nurses will have little influence on health care reform over the next 5–10 years (see Figure 5-1). By contrast, they believed that nurses should have more input and impact in areas such as planning, policy development, and management (Figure 5-2) (RWJF, 2010a). No one expects all professional health organizations to coordinate their public agendas, actions, or messaging for every issue. But nursing organizations must continue to collaborate and work hard to develop common messages, including visions and missions, with regard to their ability to offer evidence-based solutions
Personal communication, Mark Pauly, Bendheim Professor, Professor of Health Care Management, Professor of Business and Public Policy, Professor of Insurance and Risk Management, and Professor of Economics, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and Codirector of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative, June 25, 2010.