NIH 1998 Almanac/The Organization/NINR/      

National Institute of Nursing Research: Major Programs

Extramural Research

The NINR extramural program invites investigator-initiated applications containing innovative ideas and sound methodology in all aspects of nursing research consistent with the institute mission. A program priority is the integration of biological and behavioral research. Three dimensions--promoting health and preventing disease, managing the symptoms and disability of illness, and improving the environments in which care is delivered--cut across the following six areas.

  • Research in chronic conditions, including arthritis, diabetes, and urinary incontinence, and in long-term care and caregiving.

  • Research in health and risk behaviors, including studies of women’s health; developmental transitions such as adolescence and menopause; and health and behavior research such as studies of smoking cessation.

  • Research in cardiopulmonary health, including prevention of cardiovascular disease and care of individuals with cardiac or respiratory conditions. This area also includes research in critical care, trauma, wound healing, and organ transplantation.

  • Research in neurofunction and brain disorders, including pain management, sleep disorders, symptom management in persons with brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, and rehabilitation following brain and spinal cord injury. This area includes research on patient care in acute care settings.

  • Research in immune and neoplastic diseases, including symptoms primarily associated with cancer and AIDS such as fatigue, nausea and vomiting, and cachexia. Prevention research on specific risk factors is also included.

  • Research in reproductive and infant health, including prevention of premature labor, reduction of health-risk factors during pregnancy, delivery of prenatal care, care of neonates, infant growth and development, and fertility issues.

  • Research on end-of-life palliative care to ease pain, difficulty with breathing, delirium, weakness, nausea, fatigue and depression. Ethical concerns and assisting patients and families in making end-of-life decisions are also part of this effort.

The following areas of opportunity have been identified for fiscal year 1999:

  • Developing and testing nonpharmacologi-cal clinical interventions for managing the initial events and resulting complications of stroke.

  • Determining respiratory needs of patients with respect to mechanical ventilation.

  • Understanding and managing the neuro-immunological effects of behavioral interventions--how behavioral interventions affect the immune system, and how immune function influences emotional state and the ability to change behavior.

  • Developing innovative strategies to prevent low birth weight in at-risk populations.

  • Developing and testing health promotion programs to reduce and prevent risky behaviors in children and adolescents.

  • Identifying behavioral interventions that focus on such issues as adherence to medical treatment, dietary habits, and sexual behavior in order to prevent emering infections.

Research Training and Career


This activity assures that there will be an adequate pool of well-trained nurse scientists to meet future research needs. This is accomplished through national research service awards for pre- and postdoctoral individual and institutional support, as well as senior fellowships for experienced investigators.

For career development, NINR offers a "Mentored Research Scientist Development Award--Nursing," which is available to doctorally prepared students who need a mentored research experience with an expert sponsor to gain expertise in an area new to the candidate or to demonstrably enhance the candidate’s scientific career.

The NINR Career Transition Award will provide up to 3 years of support for research training in an NINR or NIH intramural laboratory followed by 2 years of support for an independent program of research in an extramural institution. It is anticipated that awardees will subsequently obtain a research project grant to support the continuation of his/her work.

Intramural Division

As noted above, the NINR intramural program was revitalized in 1997 with an initial focus on factors that contribute to wound healing. Understudy are pathophysiological mechanisms underlying delayed wound healing in chronic wounds such as leg ulcers and pressure sores.


National Institutes of Health