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Duke University School of Nursing (DUSON) has received $4.3 million in annual funds from the National Institutes of Health, making it one of the top 10 nursing schools engaged in NIH-funded research in the past year.

During the same period the previous year, the school was ranked 15th in NIH funding; in 2010, it was 22nd. The school's rise in ranking is the largest this year among any nursing schools receiving NIH funds.

"This is a major accomplishment for our school and contributes to DUSON's growing reputation as an institution dedicated to intellectually strenuous inquiry that directly impacts patient care," said Catherine L. Gillis, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the Duke University School of Nursing, Helene Fuld Health Trust Professor of Nursing, and vice chancellor for Nursing Affairs.

"DUSON's robust research program is an essential part of Duke's overall excellence in nursing education," Gillis said. "Our innovative faculty is committed to training nurses and furthering the profession through our research."

Current NIH-funded research at DUSON includes a variety of studies by faculty and students, including research aimed at:

Improving how parents make medical decisions for critically-ill infants;
Reducing stigma for HIV-infected women living in rural North Carolina;
Helping adult caregivers cope with the fatigue of caring for elderly parents; and
Finding ways to improve the recovery of children undergoing leukemia treatment.
In addition to funding research, the NIH awarded DUSON a grant to create the Bridges to Doctorate Program, a partnership between DUSON and Winston-Salem State University to create the next generation of African-American nursing leaders.

This ranking comes on the heels of a recent $2.5 million, five-year grant from the NIH that funds the Center for Adaptive Leadership for Cognitive/Affective Symptom Science. Through this center, DUSON researchers will study the experiences and management of cognitive and affective symptoms associated with chronic health conditions to develop tailored interventions. The investigators study the care of elderly dementia patients, children with traumatic brain injuries, stroke survivors, and people recovering from surgery.

This year's $4.3 million in research funding was awarded by the National Institutes of Health from Oct. 1, 2011, through Sept. 30, 2012. Many NIH grants are allocated over multiple years. For example, the $2.5 million grant for cognitive research will be distributed over the course of five years at about $500,000 per year.

The demand for highly trained nurses has increased in recent years to fill needs in patient care. This summer, Duke University Hospital and Health System was selected as one of five hospitals in the country to participate in a four-year, $200 million initiative by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to dramatically increase the number of advanced practice nurses providing primary care in underserved areas.

Other schools of nursing that are listed in the top 10 are Johns Hopkins University; the University of California, San Francisco; the University of Washington; the University of Pittsburgh; New York University; the University of Pennsylvania; the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor; the University of California, Los Angeles; and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

About DUSON

Duke University School of Nursing (DUSON), as a diverse community of scholars and clinicians, educates the next generation of transformational leaders in nursing, advances nursing science in issues of global import, and fosters the scholarly practice of nursing. In 2011, U.S. News and World Report ranked Duke among the top seven graduate schools of nursing in the nation. The school offers the masters, PhD, and doctor of nursing practice degrees, as well as an accelerated bachelor of science in nursing degree to students who have previously graduated from college. More than 800 students enrolled for spring 2012 classes, the largest number in the school's 80-year history.