URI professor to advice Congress on nursing research

Mary Sullivan appointed to Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research

A University of Rhode Island College of Nursing professor will help advise the U.S. Congress on the importance of nursing research and funding for such research after having been appointed to a national nursing research organization.

Professor Mary Sullivan has been appointed an ambassador to the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research, an independent, non-profit organization founded in 1993 with the goal of supporting nursing research, and educating the public and congressional leaders on the impact nursing research has on the health care community.

“Nurse researchers are grounded in clinical nursing practice and focused on the physical, mental, emotional and social needs of patients,” reads the organization’s mission. “They recognize the illness and the presence of health risk factors affecting the overall well-being of individuals.”

With the leadership provided by the institute and the support of the Friends nursing group, nurse researchers will continue to contribute to the enhanced health and well-being of all Americans, especially in a time when cost-effectiveness and quality of care are championed by the public and the nation’s decision makers.

Sullivan has a history of impressive research projects, highlighted by a now 30-year study on the stress of premature birth, funded by the National Institutes of Health. Sullivan has followed a cohort of study participants from their birth into adulthood, tracking the successes and difficulties premature babies continue to face into adulthood, and comparing them to a group of full-term babies. The study has garnered more than $10 million in funding, and continues after a five-year extension granted in 2019.

Sullivan is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, and past president of the Eastern Nursing Research Society. In addition to Friends of the National Institute of Nursing, she is also a member of the American Academy of Nursing, American Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society for Nursing and the Council for Advancement in Nursing Science. Her experience and history of advocacy for nurses and nursing research make her an ideal ambassador to the Institute, according to Barbara Wolfe, dean of the College of Nursing.

“The committee received a very large pool of applications this year from a diverse group of nursing faculty, nurse administrators, and clinical practice leaders from across the United States,” Wolfe said. “I can’t think of a more worthy person than Dr. Sullivan to serve in this important role. She will be in ongoing contact with Congressional members and staff. And she will serve as a resource in supporting the institute’s mission at regional nursing research conferences and with local policy makers and media to enhance their understanding of the impact of nursing science.”