Where Have All the STTI/ANF Scholars Gone?

Wednesday, 1 August 2012: 1:50 PM

Patricia R. Messmer, PhD, RN-BC, FAAN
School of Nursing, Miami Dade College, Miami, FL

Learning Objective 1: To systematically review the nursing research conducted by the STTI/ANF scholars from 1987-2011.

Learning Objective 2: To discuss healthcare practices and policies emerging from the research.

Purpose: Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) and American Nurses Foundation (ANF) began jointly sponsoring a nursing research grant in 1987 with STTI reviewing - even years; ANF odd years. The purpose of this grant is to develop nurse scientists with programs of research and infuse funding potential into promoting nursing science. The aim of this study was to 1) systematical review research conducted by STTI/ANF scholars and 2) understand how  “seed” funding promotes the research trajectory for these scholars.

Methods: Structured interviews with past STTI/ANF scholars; archival records (Boston University History of Nursing, Nursing Research, AJN, Undine Sams Collection) and websites were used to develop a comprehensive funded research database. NIH CRISP database determined if STTI/ANF scholars received federal research funding. Studies were categorized according to topic, sample, setting and institutional affiliation.

Results: Of the 26 STTI/ANF scholars (1987-2011) all but 3 were from academia; two from academic medical centers and one from long-term. Only one grant was outside USA while one scholar is a dean internationally. STTI/ANF scholars primarily focused their efforts on clinical research with one on Information Technology. The research studies included research related to the management of chronic illness and research conducted with vulnerable and/or disadvantaged populations. Nurse researchers influenced policy thru dissemination of findings to practice. Several were involved in policy activities related to their research, most notably in interdisciplinary teams. STTI/ANF policy exemplars illustrated the wide-reaching and diversity of nursing research’s influence through health care legislation, regulation and standards development.

Conclusion: STTI/ANF scholars have enhanced programs of research as a result of receiving these prestigious grants, providing focused snapshots of research evolvement. These exemplars’ track record of continuing their research with NIH/other funding and consequent benefit to healthcare policy is noteworthy. This historical study addresses the value of seed money for research and its impact on the development of nursing science.