The Rehabilitation Nursing Research Agenda
Second Edition, 2005
The agenda, developed by the Rehabilitation Nursing Foundation (RNF), addresses four areas and includes brief descriptions of the high-priority research issues for each area:
1. Nursing and nursing-led interdisciplinary interventions to promote function in people of all ages with disability and/or chronic health problems
1.1. Interventions to promote management of physiologic processes including, but not limited to, bowel, bladder, and skin care
2. Experience of disability and/or chronic health problems for individuals and families across the lifespan
3. Rehabilitation in the changing healthcare system
4. The rehabilitation nursing profession
The mission of ARN is to promote and advance professional rehabilitation nursing practice through education, advocacy, collaboration, and research to enhance the quality of life for those affected by disability and chronic illness.
Rehabilitation nursing is a philosophy of care, not a work setting or a phase of treatment. Rehabilitation nurses work in a range of practice settings including freestanding rehabilitation facilities, hospitals, long-term care and skilled nursing facilities, community and government agencies, and schools and universities.
Rehabilitation Nursing Foundation
The Association of Rehabilitation Nurses established the Rehabilitation Nursing Foundation (RNF) to advance rehabilitation nursing practice by promoting, supporting, conducting, and disseminating research to improve the quality of healthcare for individuals with disability and/or chronic health problems. RNF published the first edition of the Rehabilitation Nursing Research Agenda in 1995 to identify the gaps in rehabilitation nursing knowledge and to encourage research in these areas. In 2005, the RNF research agenda and grant program were reviewed and priority areas for research important to rehabilitation nursing practice were established.
The process of revising the agenda included evaluating the effectiveness of the original agenda and placing it within the context of the healthcare system in the first decade of the 21st century. Proposed revisions were appraised by a representative sample of nurses practicing rehabilitation nursing. The revised agenda is consistent with the research goals of the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Nursing Research, as well as the national health objectives identified in the Healthy People initiative.
RNF accomplishes its mission by supporting grants to individual researchers to establish a scientific basis for the care of individuals with disabilities and/or chronic health problems. In evaluating applications for its research grants, RNF gives preference to those that reflect the priorities identified in the agenda. RNF offers funding of over $30,000 annually for rehabilitation nursing research. These funds are awarded in the form of multiple grants, including the New Investigator Awards and the RNF Research Fellow grants.
ARN and RNF are committed to periodic evaluation and revision of the research agenda. As rehabilitation nursing evolves, so too will the research agenda.
For more information about the rehabilitation nursing research agenda and the research grants available, contact RNF at:
Rehabilitation Nursing Foundation