Nominations were also sought from prominent researchers in academic health centers around the country and from military service members.
The Institute of Medicine's final selection of committee members from this extensive list of nominees ensured representation of the various fields of nursing; related fields such as epidemiology, biostatistics, nutrition, physiology, and health policy; and the three branches of the armed forces. The nine committee members who have experience in the military are reserve, retired, or former members of the armed forces.
To assist the committee in its evaluation of the TSNR Program, extensive information was gathered in three areas: (1) program history and support for the program, including federal legislation; (2) program administration, implementation, and products; and (3) relevant published and current nursing research. The committee as a whole advised project staff on general parameters for information gathering, whereas each of the committee's three working groups (administrative/structure, process, and outcome) provided detailed guidance concerning types of information needed to prepare letters of inquiry, data collection forms, and questionnaires.
The committee reviewed the legislation authorizing the program in fiscal year (FY) 1996 and the appropriations history of the program beginning with its initiation in FY 1992. The committee recognized that military nurses work in a unique environment and that frequently the success of efforts to obtain funding and carry out a coherent research program depends on balance with other commitments; therefore, it sought additional information from the three military service branches. In particular, it requested information concerning the history of military nursing research, opportunities for military nurses for advanced educational preparation, research opportunities, number of positions requiring nurses with advanced degrees, and the importance of nursing research to their overall mission. Information was requested from the chief of the Army Nurse Corps and the directors of the Navy and Air Force Nurse Corps; the chiefs of the Army, Navy, and Air Force Reserves Nurse Commands; and the chiefs of the Army and Air Force National Guard. Current members of the TSNR Group provided the committee with a description of the program and its goals, historical information, and responses to specific questions. Information on the history of the program was also sought from past members of the TSNR Group and from the published literature.