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About the Research Mission at UR Nursing

Advancing research in nursing & health science — from discovery to practice — to deliver equitable care for patients and their families.

The research mission at the University of Rochester School of Nursing seeks to advance high-impact science to address intensifying inequities and social determinants of health. Achieving health equity is a central objective of the School of Nursing as we align with URMC Equity and Anti-Racism Action Plan and priorities set by the National Institute for Nursing Research at NIH. As part of a top-tier academic medical center, we are called on to build, recruit, nurture, exemplify, and engage in the work of being anti-racist to reduce disparities through research.

Aerial photo of URMC campus

Our scientists work in distinct areas of expertise to create inclusive research that supports health care decision-making for all people. Research conducted here takes place in laboratories and clinics — in the community and across UR Medicine's clinical enterprise — to target diverse patients and populations. We consistently rank in the top 30 for research funding from the National Institutes of Health.

Headshots of Dr. Loretta Ford, Dr. Jean Johnson, and Dr. Harriet Kitzman

The growth of our research mission is attributable to a vibrant research culture within the School of Nursing and made possible through the hard work and cutting-edge science of our terrific faculty, research teams, post-docs, students, and our team in the Harriet J. Kitzman Center for Research Support.

The School of Nursing has a rich tradition of groundbreaking research which has advanced the science of nursing and made substantial impacts on patient care at leading universities and organizations around the world. Among those achievements:

  • The school's founding dean Loretta Ford, RN, EdD, led the integration of nursing education, practice, research missions in what later became known as the Unification Model. This approach not only fueled evidence-based education and patient care at the University of Rochester, but exposed nurses to new opportunities to conduct patient-focused research. 

  • Jean Johnson’s, PhD, RN, FAAN, theory of self-regulation revolutionized nursing’s patient education and transformed the standard of care by sharing information with patients to help them cope with illness.

  • The development, design, and testing of a nurse-home visitation program led by Harriet Kitzman, PhD, RN, FAAN, became the basis for the Nurse-Family Partnership, now a federally-funded program serving families across the country. Kitzman's research also informed the creation of the pediatric nurse practitioner role, demonstrating the quality of well-child care performed by nurses.

Guided by this integrated model of research, education, and practice viewed through an equity lens, our close ties with clinical practice and education help us continue this work. As outlined in the 2021-24 Bridging Strategic Plan, our research mission seeks to:

Promote research areas of excellence

Our faculty conduct research and collaborate within four main areas — healthy aging, parent-child, adolescent, and transgenerational health, cancer and palliative care, and sexual health and HIV prevention — while also leading research programs in cardiovascular health, disordered eating, nursing workforce, etc.

Sexual Health & HIV Researchers at the ANAC Conference in December, 2022.
Strengthen & diversify research teams

New and established investigators and trainees have access to a wide array of research resources, including generous startup funding and resources that rival most, if not all, research-intensive schools of nursing. The launch of a new postdoctoral program provides quality mentorship to help establish and accelerate the research programs of early scientists. Research teams are also provided with protective time to focus on their research efforts and build interdisciplinary, interprofessional, and collaborative partnerships in order to foster discovery and innovation.

Bring discoveries to practice

The School of Nursing is well-positioned to build on its research in implementation science. Our connection with the University of Rochester Medical Center enables faculty to build strong relationships with practice colleagues, access resources such as the Clinical & Translational Science Institute, conduct rigorous studies, and bring those discoveries into real-world practice. 

We are excited to take our research mission to the next level and ultimately improve patient care in Rochester, NY and beyond. Read more about our active research projects, publications, and research areas of excellence

Sally Norton, PhD, RN, FNAP, FPCN, FAAN

Sally Norton, PhD, RN, FNAP, FPCN, FAAN

Associate Dean for Research
Independence Foundation Chair in Nursing and Palliative Care

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