Aligning Mission and Position in a Critical Policy Leadership Tool: SNRS Nursing Research White Paper Message From the President

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White papers, frequently referred to as position papers, are a policy leadership tool used by professional organizations. White papers are authoritative and informative documents created to provide structural and contextual guidance for policy issues or problems. They are considered an advocacy tool to influence leaders on a specific position or to communicate a specific course of action or solution to a particular issue or problem. The SNRS Board of Directors has chosen to write a white paper as a policy tool to promote the achievement of the following goals: organizational mission alignment, guide future organizational policy issues, and framework from which to develop the annual conference agenda and activities.
The focal areas of the SNRS Nursing Research White Paper include:
The Southern Nursing Research Society's mission is advancing nursing research through dissemination and utilization of research findings, facilitating the career development of nurses and nursing students as researchers, and promoting the image of nursing as a scientific discipline. This is our only mission. SNRS is the only organization in our region that is established for research‐focused nurse scientists. We may participate in our specialty organizations in order to build and maintain professional specialty knowledge, but SNRS is where we go to build and maintain our research skills and knowledge.
As we head into an uncertain healthcare future, it is important that we remain the leaders in developing nursing science today, develop nurse researchers for the future, and maintain our community of researchers to support the continued development of health care and policy. The theme of our recent 31st Annual Conference, “Grounded in Research: Academic and Clinical Partnerships Transforming Health,” is a testament to the commitment of SNRS to keep pace with evolving nursing science and meet the needs of nurse researchers in a complex and changing healthcare environment (Coerver & Byers, 2011).
Given the complexity nurses face, when choosing a form of doctoral preparation and when differentiating evidence‐based practice and nursing's research while developing science, it is appropriate for professional organizations to lead policy initiatives that address these quandaries in a time of change. SNRS is entrusted with the responsibility and accountability for promoting nursing research in the southern region of the United States, representing the interest of our constituents, and ensuring that our activities protect the nursing profession and the public. As its Board of Directors, we are responsible for providing the professional organization's leadership that influences issues pertinent to our mission. In our pursuit of mission relevance, the Board ensures that the SNRS governance and policy structure increases functionality, there is appropriate empowerment of organizational leaders to strive for mission fulfillment, our membership constituents are clearly defined, programs and services are rationally aligned to our mission, and technological advancements support mission achievement (Coerver & Byers, 2011).
Although it is informed by diverse bodies of knowledge, nursing research now has reached the maturity to provide the scientific basis for our professional practice. Some of us were exposed during our doctoral study to nurse scientists and other faculty who received their education and training from other disciplines, such as sociology, psychology, physiology, education, and statistics. In the years, when PhD programs in nursing were rare, early nurse scientists grounded in nursing practice were educated in other disciplines but nonetheless integrated a nursing perspective into their research. These pioneers built a knowledge base that has become a foundation of nursing science. They also trained future nurse scientists to become researchers who then further generated and developed new knowledge and methods that have advanced health, practice, policy, and nursing theories.
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