Florence Nightingale
The nursing vocation is an evidence-based practice that has made nursing research an imperative element the growth of nursing and development that stems from Florence Nightingale era to present. Simply put, nursing research is the process of collecting data that supports nursing practice.
Welcome to Historical Event in Nursing Research presentation by Learning Team D; Rebecca Ingersoll, Shannon Merk, and Louis Tingling Sr. This presentation covers nine nursing research developments during 1981 – 2011. The presentation was created while in Analysis of Research Reports, NUR/518, at University of Phoenix Online.


Annual Review of Nursing Research begins publication 1983. Center for Research for Nursing - created in 1983 by the American Nurses’ Association; mission: to develop and coordinate research program to serve as the source of national information for the profession. During this period nurses gained an increase in knowledge in regard to nursing research. However, information, and knowledge obtained from nursing research was seldom incorporated into nursing practice. The materials from this federally funded project were published to simplify the use of research to advance nursing practice (Burns & Grove, 2011).


November 20, 1985 ­Public Law 99-158, the Health Research Extension Act of 1985 becomes law. Among other provisions, the law authorizes the National Center for Nursing Research (NCNR) at NIH.

Animal_Research_Act.jpgEstablished in 1985 the Health Research Extension Act made available the judicial directive for the policy in regard to use of laboratory animals for research. In addition, this policy enforces compliance by the Secretary of Health and Human Service department in regard to proper procedures including treatment and care in animal research. The regulation necessitates that the procedures reports suitable use of sedatives, palliatives, painkillers, and mercy killing, and fitting pre and post-surgical medical and care for animals. Also included in this Act is the obligation of committee members to report minor insights such as ways to control the use of animals or limiting suffering. The Act of 1985 was executed in Public Health Services departmental policy.

Health Research Extention

Patricia A. Grady, Director, National Institute of Nursing Research

In 1985 the National Center for Nursing Research was developed. The center was renamed the National Institute of Nursing Research in 1993. The vision at NINR is to indorse and increase health and wellbeing for everyone. The exoneration of the research is accomplished through funding from the NINR and offers many disciplines within medical profession the information needed to administer cost-effective, quality health care. This achievement enables nurses to have money available to finance his or her studies. NINR seeks to extend nursing science by integrating the biological and behavioral sciences, employing new technologies to research questions, improving research methods, and developing the scientists of the future. NINR funded research has focused on topics important to practicing nurses.

National Institute of Nursing Research

April 1986the National Center for Nursing Research (NCNR) was established throughout the years it became necessary to upgrade to institute status to receive the funding necessary for research. To read more about the advancements this organization offers to nursing research visit National Institute of Nursing Research.

Ada Sue Hinshaw, PhD, RN, FAAN
Ada Sue Hinshaw, PhD, RN, FAAN
The National Center of Nursing Research establishes seven priorities for research in 1988. Ada Sue Hinshaw organized the first Conference on Nursing Research Priorities (CANTELON, 2010). The object of this conference was to develop a national nursing research agenda that would give criteria for the selection of various proposals and projects and to advocate for increase depth in the development of knowledge base for nursing practice (CANTELON, 2010).
During the conference, the attendees (the top 60 nursing research scientist) were separated into various groups (CANTELON, 2010). The group began by establishing the three major criteria for setting the priorities. Cantelon (2010), “First, the agenda had to focus on critical public health problem in the country. Second, the nursing research had to be applicable and make a difference. And third, the nursing profession had to have the investigators able to conduct appropriate studies" (p. 77).
The NCNR develops a proposal that will focus on seven areas for health care priorities as defined by Cantelon (2010):
  • Low Birth-weight infants and their mothers
  • HIV positive patients, partners, and families
  • Long-term health care for the elderly
  • Symptom management, such as intervention strategies for pain and other symptoms asssociated with acute and chronic illness
  • to modify behavior for reducing risk factors
  • Family adaptation to chronic illness
  • Improving the quality of life during chronic illness (p. 78)

National Center of Nursing Research begins an intramural research program. The goal of this program was to prove that nurses could competently conduct quantitative research. Ada Sue Hinshaw also hoped that with proving that nurses could do research many more nurses would opt to go into research nursing. The Division of Intramural Research was established in 1992 with a starting operating budget of $300,000. This division was responsible for conducting research that focused on nursing practice and health care.

In the fall of 1992, Ada Sue Hinshaw, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Dr. Bernadine Healy sought out to discover the opposition from the medical community in regard to the nursing center becoming a nursing institute. Dr. James Mason, assistant secretary for Health asked in return if the center were ready for the jump into institute status, that was answered with undeniable “Absolutely" (Cantelon, 2010).
Nursing at NIH

In June 1993, the National Center for Nursing research became the National Institute for Nursing research after Dr. Shalala signed the papers (Cantelon, 2010). Being an institute afforded more for funding and research opportunity (Cantelon, 2010). Prior to becoming an institute, the center had to be very selective on the studies that would be allotted funding as research dollars were slim. Each year following the inception of the center the number of studies awarded funding continued to decline as monies were not available. Reaching institute status gave an increase to funding and research opportunities (Night, 2011).
Nurse researchers identified a need for continuing education in genetic research. The initial team found deficiencies following an analysis of completed questionnaires. In an effort to improve genetic research education for nurses the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) developed the Summer Genetic Institute (SGI) in 1999. The SGI is an intensive workshop for nurses offering hands-on and classroom education focusing on genetic research. The following video created by nurses attending the SGI in 2010 provides evidence of the importance of genetic research education for nurses.

Nursing Research At National Institute of Health

In 2004 the NINR developed a new training program for graduate nursing students persuing a doctoral degree, called Graduate Partnership Program (GPP). The program continues to offer assistance for doctoral students to develop and execute nursing research, The program educates doctoral students and assists them with the development of their dissertation.

The NINR in an effort to further research, initiated a lecture series that brings researchers together to collaborate. A conference in 2011 was attended from a variety of disciplines. During the conference, the attendees learned what it means to be part of a team research project. The group believes collaboration of disciplines will further promote research to a new level. The attendees at the conference were given access to a learning tool to establish team nursing. Please visit the following link for this special learning opportunity. Team Science


Burns, N., & Grove, S. K. (2011). Understanding nursing research: Building an evidence-base practice (5th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Saunders Elsevier.

Cantelon, P. L. (2010). The National Institute of Nursing Research at NIH: Celebrating Twenty-five Years of Nursing Science. Retrieved from

National Institute of Nursing Research (2006). Mission. Retrieved December 17th, 2011 from www.nih/gov/about/almanac/organization/NINR.htm

Night, S. S. (2011). History of NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 and Current Relevance to Inclusion of Women and Minorities in Clinical Research. Retrieved from