Skip to content
Skip to content
Open navigation

Since 1955, more than 1,100 beginning and experienced nurse researchers have received over $5 million for research addressing important issues of practice of care and the profession. The American Nurses Foundation is taking the Nursing Research Grants program in a new direction in 2021. We are using a targeted call for research to address pertinent nursing issues and facilitate more extensive grant funding. You can read more about our adapted approach below.

For current research grant opportunities, please see details at the bottom of this page.


June, 1 2021

On April 1, 2020, the American Nurses Foundation suspended the Nursing Research Grants program, due to uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 global health crisis. As the pandemic worsened and persisted, it became increasingly clear that it would not be possible to proceed in any normal fashion in 2020. Our existing researchers were, almost without exception, unable to carry out work planned or already in progress. Most academic institutions were closed or severely curtailed. Clinical settings were under duress, coping with the demands of the crisis. Foundation staff were redeployed, focused on creating and managing the Coronavirus Response Fund for Nurses and a new suite of programs to support nursing in the pandemic. Our own endowments were experiencing valuation changes with market fluctuations, and our funding partners were confronted by similar situations, as well as operational budget shortfalls in a contracting economy.

At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic also highlighted inequities in the health care system. Social determinants of health, implicit and explicit biases, racism and more have been featured in the media during this pandemic playing a role in these inequities. The ANA Enterprise, and the Foundation board, have given attention to these issues, the impact on the profession of nursing, and the implications for our work as an institution, industry leader, and employer. 

For all these reasons, we determined that it is neither prudent nor feasible to carry out a typical RFP process for grant awards in 2020 and 2021. However, that does not mean that there will be no research awards. In keeping with both the terms of the fund endowments that we steward with great care, and the spirit of innovation we have used to respond to these unprecedented circumstances, Foundation staff have devised an alternative means of supporting critical research on important topics at this critical juncture.

Resources contributed by our partners are held for future use under shared agreement. 

Research Grants in 2021

In 2021, rather than a singular annual RFP, the Foundation will issue separate targeted call for proposals, and make some commissioned research grants. These grants, though fewer in number than previous years, will be larger in size, and more strategically targeted to address topics that are essentially pertinent at this time, and consistent with the ANAE strategic plan, Foundation core interests, and the purposes of endowed funds. 

The Foundation will support new, innovative research studying:

  • Nursing leadership's role in the impact and response to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Nursing leadership's role in addressing health care inequities

As conditions continue to evolve, and as we gain experience in this new mode of research endeavors and partnerships, we will continue to assess the best strategies for engaging nurse researchers in transforming nursing. 

AWARDED: In partnership with the AONL Foundation for Nursing Leadership Research and Education, two $10,000 grant awards were made for research on nursing leaderships' impact on and response to the coronavirus pandemic and nursing leadership's role in advancing health equity and eliminating disparities.

  • From the Joyce J. Fitzpatrick Leadership Research Endowment, to Jessica Peterson, PhD, RN, and her team at the Center for Evidence-Based Practice and Nursing Research at Ochsner Clinic Foundation, New Orleans, for "Nurses' Experiences During the Covid-19 Pandemic: Examining Nurse Leader Impact and Staff Redeployment".
  • From the Foundation's Nursing Research Grant Program Fund, to Alyson Keen, MSN, RN, at Indiana University Health, Indianapolis, for "Building Human Connection During the Merger of Two Global Pandemics."

AWARDED: With guidance from the American Nurses Credentialling Center (ANCC), and support from the Credentialing Research Endowment for Nursing and the Margaretta Madden Styles Credentialing Research Endowment, the American Nurses Foundation awarded $223,864 over three years to Olga Yakusheva, PhD and Ronda G. Hughes, PhD, MHS, RN, FAAN at University of Michigan for "The Impact of Specialty Registered Nurse Certification on Patient Outcomes and Costs in Acute Care."

CLOSED, PENDING AWARD: Collaborative Care Grants for Nurses and Pharmacists 
Created in partnership by the American Nurses Foundation and the ASHP Foundation, this grant program aims to stimulate patient-centered interprofessionals health services research that demonstrates meaningful outcomes. You can read more about the Foundation's partnership with ASHP here. The award will be made in August 2021.

Current Research Grant Opportunities

As additional research grant opportunities open, notice will be posted to this webpage.

If you would like to receive direct notice of new grant opportunities, please send an email to with the subject line "NRG notifications" and include your name, organization, and email address. You will be added to the email distribution list to receive updates when new grant opportunities are posted.

For more information contact Karen Schofield-Leca, Director of Development, at or 301-628-5095.

Nursing Research Grants Policies

Click below to learn more about the Nursing Research Grants Policies.

Nursing Research Grants Policies


Past researcher profiles

Ann Kutney-Lee, PhD, RN
Shaping care practices through nursing research - 2013

With support from the American Nurses Foundation, Ann Kutney-Lee, PhD, RN, studied emerging Magnet® hospitals to find out how this recognition influences outcomes. “These results will provide some of the first longitudinal evidence of the relationship between Magnet credentialing and the outcomes of nurses and the patients they care for,” she explained.

Emily Tuthill, BSN, RN
Shaping care practices through nursing research - 2013

In 2013, 20 projects in total were funded, including one submitted by Emily Tuthill, BSN, RN, who studies health behavior change among breastfeeding HIV-positive mothers in South Africa. “Through applying behavioral change theory we aim to provide a practical and innovative approach to increase the practice of exclusive breastfeeding, which is the cornerstone to public health measures focused on child survival and improved overall infant health.”

Amanda Brown, MSN, RN, CPN, CNL
Pediatric nurses’ assessment of procedural pain in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder - 2012

Ever since Amanda Brown began studying for her PhD at the University of Florida, she knew she wanted to study autism in children. “It’s important to assess pain in anyone,” says Brown. “Pain that is un-assessed or unrecognized goes untreated, and increased suffering can extend healing time in patients of all ages.” This is especially critical for children who are developmentally delayed. Brown’s research focused on the work of pediatric acute care nurses at Wolfson Children’s Hospital, but hopes the study will lead to an improvement in the whole inpatient experience for children with autism.

Bronwyn Long, DNP, MBA, RN, ACHPN, AOCNS
Improving quality of life in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease by integrating palliative approaches to dyspnea, anxiety, and depression - 2012

As the Lung Cancer Center program coordinator at National Jewish Health, the leading respiratory hospital in the nation, Bronwyn Long was regularly seeing patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a term for respiratory disorders such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. “Over time COPD patients lose the ability to be active,” says Long. “It’s a source of real frustration.” Using palliative care — customized medicine that focuses on bringing comfort to a patient — Long is looking to ease the physical, social, intellectual, and existential distresses that accompany the disease. “The goal is to make life more tolerable on a day-to-day basis.”

Tanyka Smith, MS, FNP-Certified, RN
Sexual protective strategies and condom use among older African American women - 2010

The Foundation’s work with nurse scholars like Smith helps to advance the understanding of HIV prevention. “I am focused on understanding and addressing health disparities among ethnic minorities — with a specific focus on HIV prevention in African-American women. The Foundation's funding was vital in providing me with the foundation for gaining ‘hands on’ experience as a novice nurse scientist that is essential for my ultimate development into an independent researcher.”

Linda Finch, PhD, RN
Uncovering the science behind the value of caring - 2004

When Dr. Finch made her first attempt to garner a Foundation grant, she was not successful. But because reviewers' took the time to offer their advice, she was able to resubmit a stronger research proposal, which led to her becoming a 2004 Foundation scholar. "I wanted to understand how caring is perceived by nurses and patients, what they viewed as caring behaviors, and what it is that moves patients positively toward better outcomes," Finch says.

Barbara Medoff-Cooper, PhD, RN, CRNP, FAAN
Bolstering the science of infant development - 1983

In 1983, Barbara Medoff-Cooper, PhD, CRNP, RN, FAAN, used her Foundation grant to study what was close to her heart—infant development. "I was seeing a number of preemies in the office," says Medoff Cooper, a Pennsylvania State Nurses Association member. "Their parents were having problems taking care of them, because the babies were so crabby, so difficult." So for her dissertation, she and a colleague went to the parents' homes and collected a range of data about the babies. The goal of her research project was to see how those factors typically influenced the babies' temperament and development at six months of age.

Jean McSweeney, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN
Women and heart health - 1983

Jean McSweeney has always been interested in the human heart. She worked for many years as a critical care nurse, where she routinely provided care to cardiac patients in the ICU. “I soon realized that we didn’t know enough about women and cardiovascular disease,” says McSweeney, an Arkansas Nurses Association member.

For her first post-dissertation research in 1993, she decided to focus on women. Through that study, she learned that some women attributed their Myocardial Infarctions (MIs) to smoking, being overweight, or a lifestyle that was either too stressful or too sedentary. One of her key findings was that women were willing to change whatever they viewed as the primary cause of their heart attack, such as quitting smoking

You are now leaving the American Nurses Foundation

The American Nurses Foundation is a separate charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation does not engage in political campaign activities or communications.

The Foundation expressly disclaims any political views or communications published on or accessible from this website.

Continue Cancel

Item(s) added to cart

Go to cart Continue Shopping