National Institute of Nursing Research
The mission of the National Institute of Nursing Research is to promote and improve the health and quality of life of individuals, families, and communities.
To achieve this mission, NINR supports and conducts clinical and basic research and research training on health and illness, research that spans and integrates the behavioral and biological sciences, and that develops the scientific basis for clinical practice. From premature infants in neonatal intensive care units, to adolescents living with diabetes, to elderly cancer survivors coping with pain, nursing research develops the science to help people strengthen the quality of their lives. Nursing science transcends the boundaries of disease and research disciplines to better understand the experiences of individuals and families living with illness and to develop personalized approaches that maximize health and well-being for individuals at all stages of life, across diverse populations and settings.
Interest in Diversity
NINR recognizes a correlation between a diverse nursing research workforce and the ability to conduct research that improves health outcomes and quality of life, and ensures culturally competent patient care. Across all of its scientific focus areas, NINR emphasizes the important contributions of scientific program partnerships with underrepresented and minority communities. Of particular importance to the science of wellness, is research addressing sex and gender differences, health disparities, social determinants of health, and environmental influences. By working in close research partnerships with communities, a diverse nurse scientist workforce will be well positioned to develop culturally congruent, feasible, and sustainable interventions to promote healthy behaviors and prevent chronic conditions across the lifespan.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s 2014-2015 report, Enrollment and Graduations in Baccalaureate and Graduate Programs in Nursing, nursing students from minority backgrounds represented 30.1% of students in entry-level baccalaureate programs, 31.9% of master’s students, and 29.7% of students in research-focused doctoral programs. In terms of gender breakdown, men comprised 11.7% of students in baccalaureate programs, 10.8% of master’s students, 9.6% of research-focused doctoral students, and 11.7% of practice-focused doctoral students.
While the nursing field is relatively more diverse than many research disciplines, more must be done to ensure that adequate representation becomes a reality in the near future. The need to attract students from underrepresented groups to nursing research is a high priority. NINR is committed to providing training opportunities to individuals whose basic or clinical research interests and skills are grounded in the advanced methods and experimental approaches needed to solve research problems.
At the National Institute of Nursing Research, we have long recognized the critical importance of a diverse scientific workforce. The potential of nursing science to improve the health and quality of life of all Americans can only be realized through a nursing science workforce that represents our diverse population, and the backgrounds, experiences, and cultures that make us all unique. On behalf of NINR, I reaffirm our strong commitment to NIH initiatives to ensure a diverse scientific workforce, along with our own, ongoing, efforts to promote diversity in nursing science at all career stages, across all populations, and within all of our research programs.