The National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is the leading federal agency for nursing research. As part of their mission to advance nursing science and promote health through research, they have identified four current priorities for nursing research under the theme “Nursing Research Develops Knowledge To…”. In this paper, I will discuss these priorities and provide my analysis on whether I agree with them or if I would recommend additional or elimination of some priorities. Furthermore, I will explore how these research initiatives can be translated into evidence-based practice in my work environment.
The four current priorities for nursing research identified by NINR are:
1. Promote health and prevent disease and disability: This priority focuses on understanding the factors that promote health and prevent diseases and disabilities across the lifespan. It aims to identify effective interventions, strategies, and policies that can improve health outcomes. This priority is highly relevant in the current healthcare landscape, where the emphasis is shifting towards preventive and community-based care. I agree with this priority as it aligns with the need to shift the focus from a reactive to a proactive approach to healthcare.
2. Manage and eliminate symptoms of acute and chronic illness: This priority emphasizes the need to develop interventions and strategies to effectively manage and alleviate the symptoms associated with acute and chronic illnesses. The goal is to improve the quality of life for individuals living with such conditions. This priority is crucial as it addresses the burden of symptoms that impact patients’ daily lives and overall well-being. I also agree with this priority as it aligns with the holistic approach to care, which aims to address not only the disease but also the symptoms experienced by patients.
3. Enhance palliative and end-of-life care: This priority focuses on improving the quality and delivery of palliative and end-of-life care. It aims to address the physical, psychological, and spiritual needs of individuals nearing the end of life, as well as their families and caregivers. This priority is essential as it recognizes the importance of providing holistic care and support during this critical phase of life. I agree with this priority as it aligns with the principles of compassionate care and patient-centeredness.
4. Develop innovative strategies to manage and eliminate health disparities: This priority highlights the need to reduce health disparities among different populations, including racial and ethnic minorities, rural communities, and underserved populations. It aims to identify the underlying causes of these disparities and develop innovative strategies to address them. This priority is crucial as it recognizes the systemic inequities that exist within healthcare and seeks to promote health equity for all individuals. I agree with this priority as it aligns with the ethical principle of justice and the need for equitable access to healthcare.
In my work environment as a nurse in a hospital setting, these research initiatives can be translated into evidence-based practice through various means. Firstly, promoting health and preventing disease and disability can be achieved by implementing health promotion programs, providing education on preventive measures, and offering community outreach initiatives. For example, conducting research on effective interventions for smoking cessation and implementing these interventions within the hospital setting can contribute to preventing related diseases and disabilities.
Secondly, managing and eliminating symptoms of acute and chronic illness can be addressed through evidence-based interventions. For instance, research on the effectiveness of non-pharmacological interventions for pain management can be translated into practice by incorporating these interventions into pain management protocols. This can help alleviate pain and enhance the overall well-being of patients.
Thirdly, enhancing palliative and end-of-life care can be achieved by developing evidence-based guidelines and protocols for comprehensive end-of-life care. This may involve research on effective communication strategies, symptom management, and psychosocial support. Implementing these guidelines can ensure that patients and their families receive optimal care and support during this challenging phase.
Finally, innovative strategies to manage and eliminate health disparities can be implemented through research-informed policy changes and interventions. For example, conducting research on the barriers to healthcare access for underserved populations and advocating for policy changes that address these barriers can contribute to reducing health disparities. Additionally, implementing outreach programs and community partnerships can help bridge the gap in healthcare access for marginalized populations.
In conclusion, the four current priorities for nursing research identified by NINR contribute to advancing nursing knowledge and improving healthcare outcomes. I agree with these priorities as they address significant areas of concern in healthcare. By translating these research initiatives into evidence-based practice, we can enhance preventive care, symptom management, palliative and end-of-life care, and reduce health disparities in our work environments. These research-informed practices have the potential to improve patient outcomes and promote the delivery of high-quality, patient-centered care.