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Research Projects

The Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania merits the greatest support possible.  It is an unparalleled resource to the profession and discipline of nursing, and an invaluable source of innovation to healthcare in the USA and abroad. 

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities is one of the 27 Institutes and Centers of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the nation’s premiere medical research agency. NIMHD’s work touches the lives of millions of Americans burdened by disparities in health status and health care delivery.

  • The Impact of Nursing on Racial Disparities in Surgical Outcomes 
    Co-PI: Dr. Matthew D. McHugh

We will separately determine the effects of patient, surgeon, nursing, and hospital characteristics on racial disparities, closely examine the relationship between nursing and disparities in specific procedure and patient groups, and learn whether changes in nursing resources over time have had consequences for racial disparities in surgery outcomes.

  • Disparities in the Outcomes and Processes of Care for In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest: The Role of Differences in the Organization and Delivery of Nursing 
    PI: Dr. J. Margo Brooks Carthon

The aim of the grant is to examine the relationship between the organization and delivery of nursing care and in-hospital cardiac arrest (ICHA) outcomes among Black patients.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is a U.S. government agency that functions as a part of the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to support research to help improve the quality of health care.

  • NICU Performance: Missed Nursing Care and Infant Outcomes
    Co-PI: Dr. Eileen T. Lake

This project addresses missed nursing care, for critically ill infants. The overarching goal is to improve NICU patient outcomes and parental satisfaction for VLBW infants by developing evidence about the association of missed care to infant outcomes and parental satisfaction, and the nurse workload and NICU factors associated with care being missed.

  • Electronic Health Record Use, Work Environments & Patient Outcomes
    PI: Dr. Ann Kutney Lee

This two-year study aims to understand the organizational conditions under which electronic health records function best in hospitals and has the potential to improve the outcomes of surgical patients —one of the largest patient populations in hospitals. 

American Nurses Foundation (ANF) is the charitable and philanthropic arm of the American Nurses Association. The foundation accomplishes its mission to improve healthcare and support the 3.6 million nurses across the US by raising funds and developing and managing grants to support advances in research, education, and clinical practice.

  • Predicting Likely Candidates for Successful Magnet Applications Among Hospitals in Europe
    PI: Dr. Linda H.  Aiken

The purpose of the one year study funded is to distinguish hospitals in Europe that are Magnet-like and near-Magnets in order to inform strategies for improving Magnet Journey success in Europe

  • Examination of Burdensome Transitions at End-Of-Life among Older Adults with Cancer
    PI: Dr. Jessica Rearden

The Maura C. Ryan Gerontological Nursing Research Scholarship will illuminate multi-level predictors of burdensome transitions and identify disparities, as well as current and optimal uses of hospice care to reduce. burdensome transitions.

  • Job Dissatisfaction, Burn out and Intent to Leave among Black Nurses: The Role of the Work Environment
    PI: Dr.  J. Margo Brooks Carthon

Our proposal examines the relationship between clinical work environments and job outcome differences between Black and White nurses.

  • Effects of Nurse Education, Skill Mix, Staffing Ratios and Work Environments on Rural Hospital Patient Outcomes
    PI: Jessica Smith

This study will help explicate the importance of well-prepared nurses and high quality nurse work environments for rural hospital patient outcomes.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) previously known as the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), is a federal agency within the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that administers the Medicare program and works in partnership with state governments to administer Medicaid, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), and health insurance portability standards. 

  • Graduate Nurse Education Demonstration
    Center Investigator: Dr. Linda H. Aiken, Executive Committee for the Graduate Nurse Network of Greater Philadelphia

Under the Graduate Nurse Education (GNE) Demonstration the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provides reimbursement to HUP, one of five hospitals selected from the entire country, for the  reasonable cost of providing clinical training to advanced practice registered nursing (APRN) students added as a result of the demonstration. 

National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) is an independent, not-for-profit organization through which boards of nursing act and counsel together on matters of common interest and concern affecting public health, safety and welfare, including the development of nursing licensure examinations. 
  • Contributions of Foreign Educated Nurses to Quality Care in the US
    Matthew D. McHugh, PhD, JD, MPH, RN, CRNP, FAAN (PI) 

This three year study describes recent trends in nurse immigration and the non-US educated nurse workforce in the US.  It will then determine the degree to which employment of non-US educated nurses in US hospitals adversely affects nurse and patient outcomes.

Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) The Honor Society of Nursing is the second-largest nursing organization in the world with approximately 135,000 active members.  In 1936 it became the first organization in the United States to fund nursing research. Since then, STTI has underwritten more than 250 small or “seed” grants, which often begin a whole body of research.

  • Healthcare Workforce and Quality Outcomes in Chile
    Linda H. Aiken, PhD, RN, FAAN (PI)

This two year project with our Chilean colleagues, led by Universidad de los Andes, will enable CHOPR to design, implement, and execute a research program that builds the Chilean research infrastructure.

University of Pennsylvania Institutional Support


Dr. Karen Lasater, Assistant Professor of Nursing, Principal Investigator. The knowledge we gain from this study will add to the growing business case for financial and human resource investments in hospital nursing, particularly in regards to Magnet recognition. 

Postdoctoral Fellow and National Clinician Scholar, Dr. Jordan Harrison, studies the quality and cost of inpatient nurse practitioner-led care.  The project will determine whether there is an outcome, cost, and value advantage for patients cared for under an NP-led service versus usual house staff care.

Dr. Margo Brooks Carthon, Associate Professor of Nursing, will study the influence of nurse practitioner restrictions on racial/ethnic disparities in diabetes care. This study will examine whether disparities in diabetes outcomes are linked to the inability of nurse practitioners to provide all necessary care.

Brooks Carthon is also working on improving outcomes among medically complex populations in a safety net setting. The research team will identify metrics of social risk and medical complexity in the electronic record.




Matthew D. McHugh, Principal Investigator. Patients with Alzheimer’s disease are frequently hospitalized and their care is often complicated and more complex by virtue of Alzheimer’s disease, putting them at increased risk for poor outcomes. This study will examine whether being cared for in hospitals with better nursing resources improves the quality of care and outcomes for hospitalized patients with Alzheimer’s disease.


Leveraging an EU Study of Health Care Workforce RN4CAST-EU Partners, CHOPR and the Population Studies Center work collaboratively to extend a global study of the effects of the healthcare workforce on healthcare performance and outcomes, and the cost and efficiency of organizational adjustments and inputs relative to other healthcare components. 


Center Directors with CHOP Chief Nursing Officers examine whether associations between workforce policies and practices on adult patient outcomes also pertains to the outcomes of hospitalized children.