The power of nursing research

Linda McCauley, Dean, Nell Hodson Woodruff School of Nursing

What do a physiologist, epidemiologist, anthropologist, pediatrician, and neuropsychologist have in common with nurses? All share a desire to improve patient care as researchers in the School of Nursing.

Interdisciplinary research is naturally part of our school’s DNA. Betsy Corwin, a physiologist and family nurse practitioner, directs the Office of Nursing Research, where epidemiologist Bryan Williams and other faculty support the growing need for data design and analysis. Martha Rogers, a pediatrician, and Maureen Kelley, a nurse-midwife, work together on the Africa Health Workforce Project, for which they recently received a five-year renewal of funding. Lynn Sibley, a nurse-midwife and anthropologist, has added a nutrition component to the maternal and newborn health project in Ethiopia. Drenna Waldrop-Valverde, a neuropsychologist, leads the new Center for Cognition and Affect in Chronic Illness, one of several Centers of Excellence in Symptom Science Research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 

The School of Nursing is also fully engaged in preparing advanced practice nurses in research and education. Five students graduated from our doctoral program this year. A new training grant from NIH supports predoctoral and postdoctoral students as they develop new methods for managing chronic disease. Two nurses and a physician are immersed in new fellowships to improve health outcomes for U.S. veterans. Another new award from the Health Services and Research Administration supports training for advanced practice nurses and physicians in palliative care at Emory.

The Future of Nursing, the seminal report issued by the Institute of Medicine in 2010, states that nurses are vital to implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). To meet ACA objectives, The Future of Nursing recommends that nurses practice to the full extent of their training and lead collaborative efforts to conduct research and improve health systems. As the stories in this issue of Emory Nursing show, the School of Nursing is a leader on both fronts. 


Linda A. McCauley 79MN PhD RN FAAN FAAOHN
Dean and Professor

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