photo of nursing building in Spokane
The WSU College of Nursing ranked 23rd among nursing schools nationwide in the amount of funding received from the National Institutes of Health in 2019, up from 27th the previous year. Photo by Cori Kogan. 

Research funding took another jump at the Washington State University College of Nursing last year.

The college ranked 23rd among nursing schools nationwide in the amount of funding received from the National Institutes of Health, up from 27th the previous year. The NIH is the largest public funder of biomedical research in the world. The data is for the federal fiscal year, which runs from Oct. 1, 2018 to Sept. 30, 2019.

The NIH “is a key partner in supporting research by WSU College of Nursing faculty focusing on underrepresented and vulnerable populations,” said Julie Postma, PhD, associate dean for research and an associate professor. “The NIH funds studies that aim to improve health equity and reduce health disparities among those populations – goals that are shared by WSU Health Sciences.”

Research awards from all sources, not just from the NIH, were also up for the college’s 2020 fiscal year, which is July 1, 2019 through June 30. The preliminary awards total was $8.29 million, up from $5.08 million in fiscal 2019. Faculty have received funding from multiple federal agencies including the Department of Defense, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Department of Justice.

WSU nurse researchers focus on a wide array of issues such as addiction, chronic pain, community and public health, access to health care, policy analysis and workforce development. The college’s research aligns with the focal areas outlined by the National Institute of Nursing Research, Postma said.

“Whether promoting wellness, studying symptom science, or managing chronic diseases in new and innovative ways, our research aims to improve the health of individuals, families, and communities,” she said.

NIH data is compiled annually by the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research.

— Addy Hatch