The National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) has released a new strategic plan, which articulates the Institute’s vision to support science that advances nursing research and addresses critical health challenges and informs practice and policy-optimizing health and advancing health equity into the future. The plan includes NINR’s mission, guiding principles, and research framework.
The research framework emphasizes a holistic approach to understanding and responding to health issues, with an emphasis on community-level interventions, interdisciplinary approaches, and systems of care. This approach reflects the foundational value of nursing science in its concern for people and communities as whole. It also reflects the longstanding commitment of NINR to supporting scholarship that addresses the needs of diverse populations and is guided by the scientific method.
NINR’s new research framework includes five research new NINR strategic plan lenses for investigating health-related questions: health equity, social determinants of health, population and community health, prevention and health promotion, and systems and models of care. The framework is designed to encourage innovative multilevel study designs that look upstream and midstream at the root causes of positive and negative health outcomes, taking into account the biological embedding of social determinants across the life course.
In addition to NINR’s research portfolio, the Institute is also engaged in several cross-cutting initiatives and partnerships. For example, NINR is leading the IMPROVE (Improving Maternal Health and Pregnancy Outcomes) initiative to reduce high rates of maternal morbidity and mortality. The Institute is also participating in the NIH Common Fund Transformative Research to Address Health Disparities and Advance Health Equity initiative, and NINR staff serve on the NIH-wide Social Determinants of Health Research Coordinating Committee.
This is a critical time for health and nursing science to continue to contribute to solving the most pressing health issues facing our country. The Institute is optimistic that, similar to priority-setting discussions throughout NINR’s history, nurse scientists will rise to this challenge and demonstrate the unique contributions of their discipline to addressing health and societal problems.
In a time when public funding is increasingly difficult to secure, the 2022-2026 NINR strategic plan and research framework underscore the importance of investing in nursing-led solutions that can transform health outcomes and provide the foundation for a healthy nation. The NINR is committed to supporting the diverse scientific workforce that is necessary to bring these ideas to fruition.