Nursing Research Informs Response to COVID-19 Pandemic
Nursing research has an important influence on evidence-based health care practice, care delivery, and policy. Two editorials in the journal Research in Nursing & Health, by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing), explore how nursing research has been paramount in dealing with the emerging coronavirus pandemic.
Nursing practice is saving lives in the pandemic and wide-ranging nursing research plays a critical role. Nurse researchers are working to understand the experiences of nurses practicing in under‐resourced hospitals and nursing homes in order to advance more supportive work environments that save patient lives and promote recovery. They are investigating how individuals sheltering at home are managing diets that affect their chronic conditions and how in-home nursing care is able to stabilize those conditions. And they are uncovering lessons from the past that have significant policy implications for today’s coronavirus crisis.
“So much of nursing’s research is coronavirus research. We applaud the search for reliable epidemiological data, effective treatments, and vaccines. We, though, must articulate nursing research’s fundamental frame. We focus on the lived experiences of clinicians, patients, families, and communities,” write the authors: Patricia D’Antonio, PhD, Director of the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing; Mary D. Naylor, PhD, Director of the NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health; and Linda H. Aiken, PhD, Director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research.
In the weeks as the COVID-19 health crisis unfolded, several challenges to responding effectively became evident: restricted access to health care, surging demand for health care personnel, and the moral distress that health care providers face. Nursing research in policy response and institutional preparedness were key in helping institutions better meet the demands of the pandemic.
“Nursing research provides answers during crises. In a time of profound upheaval, risk, and strain, it is reassuring to have evidence‐based solutions to the challenges confronting our health care system and its clinicians,” writes Eileen T. Lake, PhD, Associate Director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research, and Editor in Chief of the journal Research in Nursing & Health.