News | January 25, 2007

Penn Nursing Professor Receives Robert Wood Johnson Investigator Award in Health Policy Research

Jan. 26, 2007 - Julie A. Fairman, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, the Class of 1940 Bicentennial Term Associate Professor of Nursing and Director of the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing, was awarded the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Award in Health Policy Research in December 2006. This award provides support for writing a book that documents the history of American nursing from 1975 to the present. She is one of only two nurses to receive this award.

The project traces the reorganization of nursing practice through specialization into advanced practice nursing (APN), the changing nature of nursing’s responsibility to the public, and the implications of those changes on healthcare. Specifically, the project will focus on the construction of APN practice and education through federal and philanthropic funded programs, the broadening of responsibilities in practice and cultural authority of APN, and the greater effects on American healthcare. This is the first study of its kind to address this time period using American nursing as a lens to analyze health care policy.

“We are very proud of Dr. Fairman’s achievement in receiving this prestigious honor,” said Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Penn Nursing Afaf I. Meleis, PhD, DrPS(hon), FAAN. “This award represents the importance of the history of nursing and the impact it has had on health policy research.

The Investigator Award in Health Policy Research is very competitive. Only about four percent of all applicants earn funding. The purpose of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research is to support researchers whose creative ideas show promise in contributing meaningfully to improving health and health care policy that has national relevance.

Historically, Dr. Fairman is only the second nursing scholar to receive this award. The first was fellow Penn Nursing Professor Linda H. Aiken, PhD, RN, FAAN, FRCN, the Claire M. Fagin Leadership Professor in Nursing, Professor of Sociology, and Director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research. She received the award in 1998.

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