The U.S. faces the triple threat of explosive growth in chronic illness incidence, persistent challenges to improve population health and safety, and rising healthcare expenditures. Given this triple threat, it is imperative that we train future nurse scientists to develop transformative interventions that promote safe and healthy behaviors that will enable individuals and populations to thrive at all points of the health-illness continuum. Promoting health and safety involves modification of multiple complex factors that impact health. Thus, the proposed T32 will prepare nurse scientists to develop and test interventions to improve health and safety in the context of high complexity. The goal of this new T32 application, Complexity: Innovations in Promoting Health and Safety (CIPHS), is to educate 8 pre-and 2 postdoctoral trainees to become independent scientists in promoting health and safety across the wellness-illness continuum. The program is designed to train nurse scientists in novel research approaches to: 1) investigate the complex array of personal, social, and environmental factors that impact the health and safety of individuals and populations across the wellness-illness continuum to inform the design and testing of interventions; 2) design and test innovative approaches to promote health and safety and to prevent development of chronic conditions at the individual and population levels; and 3) design and test innovative approaches to promote health and safety among those with chronic conditions to enable them to live well with chronic illness. Scientific activities of trainees will be anchored to the context of multiple physical, environmental, and social determinants of health. The training will focus on three pedagogic competencies regarding innovations in promoting health and safety in the context of complexity: 1) understanding theory and methods of nursing science; 2) conducting nursing science in both a supporting team-based role as well as in an independent leading role; and 3) ongoing continuous development of oneself as a scientific scholar. The training is organized by four main activities: course work, research experience, mentoring, and professional socialization. Trainees will have an individualized development plan and a three-member mentorship team composed of a Primary Mentor, a methods/analytic mentor, and a faculty from a second discipline complimentary to the Primary Mentor. The program aligns with priorities of the NINR 2016 draft strategic plan of 1) building the science of promoting health and 2) enhancing healthy behaviors and promoting functional health and wellbeing across chronic conditions.
This new training program for pre- and postdoctoral trainees focuses on educating nurse scientists to become independent investigators and team scientists to develop and test interventions to improve health and safety in the context of high complexity. The health of individuals and populations are affected by multiple complex factors, including the environment, lifestyles, personal factors (e.g. gender, ethnicity), and other social determinants of health. Consequently, promoting health and safety is complex, involving consideration and/or modification of these multiple complex factors. To advance the nation's health, innovative scientific approaches are needed to investigate what works in promoting health, under what conditions and why, and in what populations and settings. Future nurse scientists must develop the research knowledge and skills to develop and test complex interventions that promote health and safety, and understand the multiplicity of factors that impact intervention effectiveness.