The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is funding numerous healthcare studies in Wisconsin. Their topics range from increasing the number of nurses with baccalaureate degrees and new careers in nursing to new types of brain research. It is important to build the scientific foundation for clinical practice, which helps prevent diseases and re-admissions to hospitals, and which is highly dependent upon well-educated nurses.
The Wisconsin Action Coalition is also working with the Wisconsin Center of Nursing and the Rural Wisconsin health Cooperative to meet Wisconsin’s specific healthcare challenges by building an adequate nursing workforce. They seek to remove barriers to practice, as our country has a shortage of primary care providers, and they foster inter-professional collaboration between all healthcare workers to build a cohesive team.
This may be an excellent time for you to return to college to seek your graduate degree in research, which may enhance your career, as well as healthcare in your state.
Wisconsin has several universities that offer nursing graduate and PhD degrees. There is also a great amount of healthcare research being conducted at universities by way of nursing faculty.
Wisconsin has more than 80 faculty that are members of the National Institute of Health-funded Clinical and Translational Science Institute of Southeastern Wisconsin, which gives research nurses some excellent opportunities to pursue their profession. There are both Master’s and PhD programs for nursing research that provide nurses with a foundation that will advance the scientific basis of nursing.
The application requirements at most graduate research programs include:
- Bachelor’s degree
- Official College Transcripts
- Three letters of Reference
- GRE scores
- Current RN license from Wisconsin
- TOEFL exam score if English is not your first language
The curriculum of a nursing research program may include some or all of the following courses:
- Theoretical Foundations of Nursing
- Ethics, Policy and Health Care Advocacy
- Organizational and Systems Leadership
- Research & Evidence as a Foundation for Nursing
- Quality & Patient Safety in Health Care
- Quality Improvement Science in Health Care
- Health Care Finance
- Health Care Policy
- Health Care Program Development
- Health Care Systems Leadership I
- Health Care Systems Leadership II (credit practicum)
- Health Care Systems Leadership-Practicum
There are also post-master’s degree programs that include translational research, epidemiology and informatics in their curriculum. This type of program prepares you to become an advanced practice nurse, and you make take the research credential test offered by the Society of Clinical Research Associates. The fee is $395 for members, and it is $450 for non-members.
If you need financial support, Wisconsin has several state grants available. They range from funding for students with handicaps to minority retention grants. Nurse Corps in another excellent loan repayment program. Nurse Corps will pay off 60 percent of your unpaid student loans for two years of work in a Critical Shortage Facility, if you meet their criteria.
In 2014, Wisconsin Clinical Research Coordinators earned an annual income of $120,050. While the salary of a nurse researcher may be enticing, keep in mind that the impact you can have on healthcare could result in significant savings and improvements as well.
Nursing research continually develops new knowledge to build a stronger clinical practice foundation through sound research. You have multiple types of research from which to choose as your career will be largely guided by your personal research priorities as a leader in nursing research.
Contact the schools in Wisconsin that offer the research programs that interest you to learn more about your options.