Outcomes and effectiveness research: capacity building for nurse researchers at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.Outcomes Manag. 2002 Oct-Dec; 6(4):146-51.OM
Several of AHRQ's priority areas including disease prevention, health promotion, primary care, quality of care, service delivery, and patient safety are particularly relevant to nurse researchers. With much national attention focused on nursing-related issues such as staff shortages, training, mandatory overtime, working conditions, and autonomy, it is mandatory that nursing research be conducted to inform healthcare delivery and policy. Nurses also need to contribute to the health services literature so that an even balance of discipline perspective is represented. AHRQ's mandate is represented by the slogan "quality research for quality health care." Although our understanding has expanded of contributors to and determinants of evidence-based practice and the relationship between clinical care and improved outcomes, we have much to learn. Appreciating how and which components of nursing care influence patient outcomes represents an essential area of research in need of development. While clarifying nursing contributions to improved outcomes is not the sole purview of nurse researchers, it is plausible to assume that a clinical background in nursing combined with strong methodological skills can help policy makers and health system leaders understand how nurses can most effectively contribute to outcomes and quality improvement. AHRQ is clearly interested in capacity building of researchers from all relevant disciplines. Nurses, the largest provider of healthcare, need to build capacity and develop a much stronger presence in the health services research community of scholars.