The committee had access to a broad array of information concerning the TriService Nursing Research Program and its portfolio. It also benefited from discussions with program staff and advisors; the chief and directors of the Army, Navy, and Air Force Nurse Corps; and a number of grantees and unfunded applicants. Extensive searches of published literature and of federally funded research in progress provided the committee with citations and abstracts for the body of research that is specific to military nursing as well as for other current major nursing research efforts. The committee used these information sources and called upon its collective expertise to assess the TriService Nursing Research Program and develop its recommendations. The committee's methods, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are described in much greater detail in the body of the report.
Each of the military Nurse Corps has official statements concerning the integral role of research to military nursing practice, and each corps has programs in place to support graduate education of selected active-duty nurse officers. The total number of doctorally prepared nurse officers is relatively small: 56 on active duty and approximately 200 members of the reserve component, which includes the guard. In contrast, the number with master's degrees is relatively large—approximately 3,600 counting only those on active duty. Nurse officers with master's degrees have received a majority of the TriService Nursing Research Program grants. The Army Nurse Corps has medical facilities that incorporate a strong focus on nursing research, and the Air Force and Navy are taking steps to increase their research capabilities.
Although historically military nurses were highly instrumental in establishing nursing research in general, the body of identifiable military nursing research articles published in peer-reviewed journals is relatively small, and the range of topics covered is large. The majority of the military nursing research literature is contained in theses, dissertations, and studies from training programs and is available only through the National Technical Information Service or the Defense Technical Information Service. Among studies funded by the TriService Nursing Research Program, the most common broad area of research is the delivery of military health care; the second is women's health; and the third is nursing care interventions under field conditions. To date,