Penn’s School of Nursing received $13.4 million in awards from the National Institutes of Health in 2018, the highest level of research funding among nursing schools in the United States.
This is the second consecutive year the Nursing School has occupied the top position: In 2017, the school received $9.3 million.
Part of NIH's mission involves supporting research which will "enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability." At the Nursing School, NIH awards have funded research that has looked into reducing HIV vulnerabilities, testing problem-solving skills for hospice caregivers, investigating neural responses for people who have binge eating disorder, developing a model for establishing dementia care and caregiver support programs, and examining the neural mechanisms of nausea and energy balance dysregulation.
Nursing School Dean Antonia Villarruel said in the school's press release that this achievement shows the school's expertise and commitment to advancing national health care.
“We identify problems, and we are part of creating unique, efficient, and innovative solutions,” Villarruel said.
This is not the first time that Penn Nursing has received national recognition. In 2017, behavioral health sciences professor Kathryn Bowles was inducted into the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame. Bowles' research involved identifying high-risk factors that help determine which discharged patients are likely to require continued care.
“The algorithms [we developed] have been highly successful in identifying patients who need care, and when the algorithm’s advice is followed we are able to reduce readmissions,” Bowles told The Daily Pennsylvanian. “We’ve improved processes of care and improved patient outcomes in the end.”
Penn Nursing also placed first in NIH funding in 1991 and 2010. In 2018, QS World University Rankings also ranked the Nursing School first for the third year in a row for its academic reputation, employee reputation, and research impact.