STAR Revision to Advanced Training in Nursing Outcomes Research. This program is a revision to T32-NR-007104 that began in 1999 to add two predoctoral positions with an explicit focus on expedited BSN to PhD education. This revision is responsive to the recommendation of the 2010 landmark study by the Institute of Medicine, The Future of Nursing, to double the number of nurses with doctoral degrees by 2020. We will specifically target the recruitment of nurses to doctoral study who have not previously decided upon a research career in order to demonstrate that it is possible to increase the pipeline into research careers. We have made curriculum changes to enable successful completion of the PhD within 3 years. The priority applicant pool are well qualified applicants who are within 3 years or less of basic BSN graduation and who are 26 years of age or younger. Our goal is to assist these promising young researchers to complete their PhD and post doctoral fellowships by age 30 which will enable them to make sustained contributions to nursing science, improved clinical care, and teaching the next generation of nurses. Ours is a formal interdisciplinary program of pre-doctoral and post-doctoral study comprising the conceptual and empirical foundations and the cutting edge methodologic approaches and statistical tools of advanced outcomes research. Our students take coursework with our affiliated faculty in the Schools of Arts and Sciences, Wharton (business), Medicine, Annenberg (communications). Our clinical priorities reflected in the funded research of our faculty are improved outcomes for the chronically ill and reducing health disparities and research on end-of-life care. Unique components of our curriculum for BSN to PhD research training include two new doctoral level courses in clinical nursing and a clinical residency in recognition that these new fellows are coming to research without the benefit of many years of clinical experience and need increased clinical mentoring in order to ask clinically relevant research questions. Research training in this program directly interfaces with related pre- and post-doctoral training programs across the University of Pennsylvania providing a network of educational opportunities for fellows that augment the rich experiences offered within the School of Nursing. The program is guided by the conceptual framework of the Quality Health Outcomes Model postulating that outcomes of nursing interventions are mediated by the organizational context in which care takes place and the characteristics of patients. Research fellows receive state of the science education in the measurement of the organizational context of care, patient risk adjustment methods, nurse sensitive outcome measures, spatial geography and geocoding, comparative effectiveness methods, and cost of care measurement. The program's first 12 years have been highly successful in terms of the recruitment and program completion including minorities, high visibility scientific publications by faculty and fellows, success of our alumni in competing for extramural grant funds, and the placement of those who have completed their fellowships in mainstream research positions where their research careers can continue to flourish.
This revision is responsive to national needs to expedite educational pathways from bachelor's degrees in nursing (BSN) to PhDs to produce nurse researchers in fewer years and at younger ages to extend their impact on nursing science development, improved clinical care, and education of the next generation of nurses. Through an interdisciplinary, innovative curriculum, two highly qualified trainees who have recently completed basic nursing education at the BSN level will undertake a closely mentored doctoral program in nursing outcomes research with a focus on cutting edge research methods and a substantive focus on chronic illness, end-of-life care, and health disparities.
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