On Oct. 11, the National Institute of Nursing Research held a special
symposium — "Nursing Research: Changing Practice, Changing
Lives" — to kick-off its year-long 20th anniversary celebration.
The symposium, held at the Natcher Bldg., highlighted many of the
accomplishments of NINR and its scientists in advancing nursing science,
and showcased the positive impact that their work has had on the
lives of millions of Americans.
"As NINR enters its third decade, it is gratifying to look at how
research funded by NINR is reducing the impact of illness, improving
quality of life, reducing health care costs and changing practice," said
NINR director Dr. Patricia Grady in opening remarks.
The symposium featured panel sessions highlighting research that
is changing practice in four areas — end of life, HIV/AIDS
and health disparities, new and emerging technologies, and symptom
management and health promotion.
||NINR director Dr. Patricia
Grady speaks at the kickoff to the institute's 20th aniversary
Since its designation in the late 1990's as lead institute for end-of-life
research, NINR has helped frame the fundamental issues in this relatively
young area of study. Investigators presented research on palliative
care, spirituality, communication and advanced care planning.
The day's second session, on HIV/AIDS and health disparities, featured
encouraging results from studies on prevention of HIV/AIDS in adolescent
and ethnic minority populations in the U.S. and internationally.
The session on technology gave attendees a peek into the future
of health care delivery with the presentation of the "Nursebot" project,
an interdisciplinary, multi-university joint venture. The Nursebot
is a mobile, programmable robot that can be used with home-bound
elders and others with chronic conditions to help them walk and remind
them to take medications. This project, which draws on the talents
of researchers trained in psychology, occupational therapy, design,
mechanical and electrical engineering, computer science, robotics
and nursing science, underscores how interdisciplinary teamwork is
becoming more important.
The session on symptom management and health promotion featured
compelling studies that demonstrated how an intervention focusing
on math skills significantly decreased the impact of certain chemotherapies
on the intellectual function of children with leukemia. Other presenters
discussed the long-term impact of health promotion and quality of
life for persons with multiple sclerosis and methods to promote cardiac
symptom awareness among women.
NIH director Dr. Elias Zerhouni was on hand to congratulate NINR
on its accomplishments over the past 20 years and to acknowledge
its valuable contributions to the NIH community.
Grady also took the opportunity to honor three distinguished leaders
and former directors of NINR and its predecessor, the National Center
for Nursing Research: Dr. Doris Merritt, Dr. Ada Sue Hinshaw and
Dr. Suzanne Hurd. "Their unsurpassed dedication, energy, creativity
and diligence have contributed enormously to the success NINR enjoys
today," she said.
The symposium launches a year-long series of events and meetings
on campus and across the country to celebrate the anniversary. A
second symposium, scheduled for Oct. 11, 2006, will be the culmination
of the year's events.