The over-riding mission of the Office of Nursing Research (ONR) is to facilitate faculty and students in the generation, dissemination, and application of knowledge as it relates to nursing care of individuals and families across the lifespan and around the globe. To this end, the Dean of the School of Nursing has invested significantly in the ONR. The ONR includes the Associate Dean for Research Operations (Drenna Waldrop, PhD); 1 Grant Editor; 3 FTE Methodology/Statistical Experts; a Data Manager, a Biobehavioral Lab Director, a Lab Manager, full-time Pre-Award Specialists, full-time Post-Award Specialists; a full-time Senior Research Program Coordinator; and a full-time Project Manager. Each of these individuals works to foster a climate of research facilitation and productivity.
Multiple resources are provided by the ONR. Briefly, as soon as a faculty member or student alerts the ONR that he or she intends to submit a proposal, an electronic notification is sent to the Senior Associate and Assistant Deans for Research. The Pre-Award Specialist, the Grant Editor, and the Statistical Team follow-up with the individual to begin discussions around the budget, to brainstorm around the Aims, to provide early methodological consultation, and to schedule an in-house, Mock NIH Review. These personalized contacts remain active until the proposal is submitted. When a proposal is awarded, the Post-Award specialist assists the faculty member or student to manage the award effectively by preparing monthly reports and reviewing them in regularly scheduled in-person discussions,
In addition to assisting faculty in grant submissions and management, publishing resources and manuscript editorial support is also offered through the ONR. Monthly series of research roundtables and colloquia provides additional opportunities for interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration. In addition, the statistical team holds regular statistical workshops each semester, well attended by students and faculty alike. To coordinate all interactions, the offices of the ONR team are grouped in a complex on the second floor of the Nursing School.
The research efforts of the faculty and students in the School of Nursing address a variety of contemporary clinical and health policy questions. Pertinent areas of inquiry include symptom management in acute and chronic illness such as Cancer and Heart Failure and the impact and etiology of interacting symptoms – such as cognitive dysfunction, depression, sleep disruption, pain and stress – on symptom expression and management. Faculty scholarship includes work focused on improving health outcomes and self-management in a variety of conditions (e.g., HIV/AIDs, diabetes, maternal and child health, and PTSD). Work is also ongoing regarding the role of family, community, and spirituality in the support of persons faced with a variety of chronic illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease, and the influence of the microbiome on pregnancy outcomes and maternal health. Consistent with strategic themes in the school and across the university, a number of faculty members are engaged in international research, much of it focused on issues of maternal and newborn infant mortality. Almost all of these research examples, conducted by faculty members from the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, are interdisciplinary in nature.
The success of the School’s researchers is evidenced by our active research program of extramurally funded awards, currently totaling nearly $20 million, of which nearly $10.5M is comprised of NIH funding, resulting in the School of Nursing’s consistent ranking in the top five of NIH funded nursing schools in the last three years. Included in our NIH portfolio is The Center for the Study of Symptom Science, Metabolomics, and Multiple Chronic Condition (P30 P30NR018090); The Center for Children’s Health, the Environment, the Microbiome, and Metabolomics (C-CHEM2) (P50-ES026071), The Center for Children’s Health Assessment, Research Translation, and Combating Environmental Racism (CHARTER), The Emory Roybal Center for Caregiving Mastery, a T32 award to train the next generation of nurse scientists, and seventeen R01 awards to study such as: 1) An effectiveness-implementation trial of SPIRIT in ESRD (R01NR017018); 2) Healing hearts, mending minds in older persons with HIV (R01NR14973); 3) Oral chemotherapy adherence trajectories in chronic myeloid leukemia (R01CA236871) and 4) Role of estradiol and related hormones on inflammation, sleep, and risk for Alzheimer’s disease (R01AG066203). At least one member of the ONR faculty serves as Co-Investigator or Project PI on each of these major awards, with the goal of coordinating activities across and within them to maximize resources, visibility, and achievement. Additional support for faculty research comes from other federal organizations including the Center for Disease Control, and state and private organizations, including the American Heart Association, Sigma Theta Tau International, and the Oncology Nursing Society to name just a few.