Emerging areas of science: Recommendations for Nursing Science Education from the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science Idea Festival

Susan J. Henly, Donna O. McCarthy, Jean F. Wyman, Margaret M. Heitkemper, Nancy S. Redeker, Marita G. Titler, Ann Marie McCarthy, Patricia W. Stone, Shirley M. Moore, Anna C. Alt-White, Yvette P. Conley, Jacqueline Dunbar-Jacob

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science aims to "facilitate and recognize life-long nursing science career development" as an important part of its mission. In light of fast-paced advances in science and technology that are inspiring new questions and methods of investigation in the health sciences, the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science convened the Idea Festival for Nursing Science Education and appointed the Idea Festival Advisory Committee (IFAC) to stimulate dialogue about linking PhD education with a renewed vision for preparation of the next generation of nursing scientists. Building on the 2005 National Research Council report Advancing The Nation's Health Needs and the 2010 American Association of Colleges of Nursing Position Statement on the Research-Focused Doctorate Pathways to Excellence, the IFAC specifically addressed the capacity of PhD programs to prepare nursing scientists to conduct cutting-edge research in the following key emerging and priority areas of health sciences research: omics and the microbiome; health behavior, behavior change, and biobehavioral science; patient-reported outcomes; big data, e-science, and informatics; quantitative sciences; translation science; and health economics. The purpose of this article is to (a) describe IFAC activities, (b) summarize 2014 discussions hosted as part of the Idea Festival, and (c) present IFAC recommendations for incorporating these emerging areas of science and technology into research-focused doctoral programs committed to preparing graduates for lifelong, competitive careers in nursing science. The recommendations address clearer articulation of program focus areas; inclusion of foundational knowledge in emerging areas of science in core courses on nursing science and research methods; faculty composition; prerequisite student knowledge and skills; and in-depth, interdisciplinary training in supporting area of science content and methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)398-407
Number of pages10
JournalNursing outlook
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
PhD programs preparing graduates in an emerging area of nursing science should provide faculty appointments for scientists educated in the relevant fields (such as omics, informatics and analytics, biologically based psychology/neuroscience, or health economics) who are committed to advancing the health of individuals, families, and communities. Identified areas of program specialization can be used for recruitment of promising new investigators to provide a mix of faculty with related expertise or breadth of expertise in the field such as informatics, where expertise can range from machine learning to integration of biomedical data. Collaborative or interdisciplinary models of teaching and research are needed to support NIH pre- and postdoctoral training awards and awards from the NINR Centers of Excellence program. Interdisciplinary faculty models also increase training and research opportunities for PhD students and nursing scientists within research consortia funded by NIH Clinical and Translational Science Awards. Finally, scientists with research degrees in related fields may find the potential for uptake and application of findings from their work to be a significant motivator for seeking and accepting tenure track appointments in schools or colleges of nursing.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Inc.


  • Nursing research
  • Nursing science
  • Nursing scientist training
  • Research-focused doctorate
  • Research-focused doctorate

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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