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Public Engagement in NINR’s Strategic Planning Process

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participated in a working group that provided recommendations through the National Advisory Council for Nursing Research
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to our "Tell Us What Nursing Research Means to You" campaign
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100 +
in response to an open call for input on the development of the strategic plan
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~ 80
with external groups
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130 +
in response to our request for information on the draft strategic plan research framework



The development process for the 2022-2026 Strategic Plan consisted of four phases.

As a living document, NINR intends to regularly engage with internal and external stakeholders to evaluate and update the plan.

Phase 1: Community Input
  • From May 2020 through May 2021, NINR engaged in multiple outreach activities to collect qualitative and quantitative input from the scientific community and NINR staff for the purposes of informing the strategic plan:
  • An online campaign asked respondents how they would describe nursing research to someone outside of the field and to picture the future of nursing research in the next five to ten years. This “What Does Nursing Science Mean to You” campaign yielded over 385 responses from nurses, nurse scientists, and other health professionals, as well as patients and caregivers.
  • Through an open call for ideas for the strategic plan on NINR’s website, over 100 responses were captured from researchers, clinical professionals, and individuals representing nonprofit organizations, professional societies, and the general public.
  • NINR’s Director engaged in over 80 meetings and presentations with external groups and also met with National Advisory Council for Nursing Research members, NIH leadership, and other NIH colleagues to obtain additional input on the future of nursing research, NINR’s strategic direction, and collaborative opportunities.
  • A working group under the auspices of the Advisory Council, comprised of 20 external subject matter experts from nursing and other disciplines, developed recommendations about the strengths, limitations, challenges, opportunities, and critical priorities in nursing research.
  • NINR leadership and extramural, intramural, management, and policy and public liaison staff provided recommendations on future research directions and implementation considerations through multiple facilitated meetings and online surveys.
Phase 2: Framework Development

As NINR collected information from the nursing research community, an internal working group of NINR leadership and staff synthesized recommendations from each activity through thematic analysis, review, and categorization of input into themes that were considered for the final strategic plan. For example, analysis of all activities uncovered themes that emphasized the holistic perspective of nursing research, the need to address social determinants of health and health equity, and the necessity of focusing on community and population health.

NINR’s internal working group then evaluated the feasibility, potential impact, and urgency of the recommendations to develop a draft research framework. The draft research framework consisted of five research lenses through which to frame future NINR research: health equity, social determinants of health, population and community health, prevention and health promotion, and systems and models of care. The draft framework also included an updated mission statement and four guiding principles for research.

Phase 3: Framework Input

NINR published a Request for Information (RFI) in the NIH Guide and Federal Register. The RFI generated over 130 public comments collected from November through December 2021. Evaluation of the comments indicated the broad support among the nursing research community, with nearly two-thirds of the comments indicating support of the draft research framework. Further, only about 2% explicitly expressed dissatisfaction with the draft framework. NINR’s internal working group completed thematic analysis and review of all comments to determine recommendations for finalizing the strategic plan. Input collected in Phases 1 and 3 are summarized in Figure 2.

Phase 4: Refinement and Dissemination

NINR’s internal working group further developed and refined the draft research framework based on comments received through the RFI and conducted literature searches to inform areas where comments suggested that further guidance would be welcomed by the nursing research community. NINR leadership sought to ensure that the final research framework aligned with nursing research areas of expertise, nursing values, and paradigms. NINR published the final 2022-2026 Strategic Plan in May 2022.