University of South Florida

USF Nursing advances to top-25 ranking in NIH research funding

With strategic leadership, the college attained its ambitious five-year goal in two

Tampa, FL (Feb. 27, 2012) – The University of South Florida College of Nursing has joined the ranks of the top 25 nursing schools nationwide receiving National Institutes of Health research funding. There are more than 600 colleges of nursing nationwide.

The college attracted a record $1.99 million from NIH in 2011* — a 16-percent jump from the $1.71 million received in 2010. That increase propelled USF to a 25th place ranking on the NIH nursing school list, up from its 28th place spot last year.

“With passion for research excellence, creativity, teamwork and perseverance, the USF College of Nursing reached a major goal we strategically set out to attain – a top-25 ranking in NIH funding,” said Dianne Morrison-Beedy, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP, FAAN, dean of the College of Nursing, and senior associate vice president of USF Health. “I could not be more proud of my outstanding colleagues whose untiring efforts made this success a reality.”

USF’s nursing school has been on a fast track for national research prominence over the last several years. Just four years ago (2008), it ranked 66th in NIH funding. When Dr. Morrison-Beedy arrived at USF in April 2010 the college had started a climb upward and she set the ambitious goal of breaking into the top-25 rank for NIH funding within five years. The college did it in two years.

The impressive climb to the top has been fueled by recruitment of new faculty who joined the leading nurse scientists already at USF and a strong Nursing Center for Research where faculty members craft interdisciplinary grant proposals that have appealed strongly to NIH and allowed the college to remain competitive, even in recent fiscally challenging years.

The latest round of yearly NIH research rankings shows the USF College of Nursing continued to surpass all nursing schools in the Florida State University System. In addition, the college ranked above a significant number of high-profile schools in the American Association of Universities (AAU), comprised of the most prestigious and well known institutions in North America.

Grants and contracts from federal sources, including NIH, are considered among the most competitive and coveted funding sources.

“Breaking into the NIH top-25 is a remarkable achievement. It’s a credit to the excellence of our faculty in the college as well as the drive for research and innovation at USF Health,” said Stephen Klasko, MD, MBA, CEO of USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine. “This momentum will not be stopped. The focus of the College of Nursing and USF Health on new scientific discoveries with the potential to transform health care will continue to help lead USF forward as a nationally prominent research institution.”

USF nursing research focuses on moving scientific discoveries to patients and the community through two broad-based initiatives — chronic illness and veterans’ health. Through the college’s Center for Living with Chronic Illness, faculty and students collaborate on innovative solutions to leading healthcare issues like heart disease, Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, cancer, and symptom management for chronic illnesses. Through RESTORE LIVES: Research to Rehabilitate and Restore the Lives of Veterans, Service Members and their Families, the college is developing evidence-based therapies to help those in the military overcome psychological stress and other health problems that arise from serving in combat. The college’s Biobehavioral Laboratory, providing state-of-the-art biological data analysis, supports both initiatives.

“We have an amazing faculty, an outstanding Nursing Center for Research, and a focused leadership. All have done their part to achieve this fantastic accomplishment,” said Cindy Munro, PhD, RN, ANP-BC, FAAN, ANP, PhD, associate dean for Research and Innovation at the USF College of Nursing. “This ranking epitomizes the USF College of Nursing’s progress as a national leader in nursing research.”

For a listing of the top 78 nursing schools ranked by the NIH for 2011, visit the following webpage and scroll to bottom to find the link for Schools of Nursing:

-USF Health-

USF Health’s mission is to envision and implement the future of health. It is the partnership of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, the College of Public Health, the College of Pharmacy, the School of Biomedical Sciences and the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences; and the USF Physician’s Group. The University of South Florida is a global research university ranked 34th in federal research expenditures for public universities.

*Note: Federal fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2010 and ending Sept. 30, 2011

Media contact:
Ashlea Hudak, College of Nursing Communications, (813) 396-9642

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