Rosalynn Carter continues to lead multiple efforts to improve the
circumstances and care of people with mental illness, which she detailed in a
recent address to nurse researchers. And when she talks about the special role
of nurses throughout medicine, her voice fills with warmth.
"Sometimes the most important part of the healing process is knowing
that someone cares, and nurses truly care," said Carter in a speech in
Washington, D.C., in October.
Carter, a former first lady and the chair of the Carter Center's Mental
Health Task Force, presented the keynote address at a fundraiser held by the
Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research (FNINR).
She described the unique role nurses frequently undertake in tracking the
care of those who are too young or sick to advocate for themselves.
Strengthening the role of nurses in providing mental health care is among
the leading priorities of psychiatrist Mary Jane England, M.D., a former APA
president who is president of the FNINR.
Among the priorities of the nonprofit FNINR is ensuring that the research
conducted on nursing's role in mental health care and other areas of medicine
makes its way into clinical settings. The organization also provides federal
advocacy for nursing research and explains the role of the National Institute
of Nursing Research (NINR) to the media.
The institute has been a leader in end-of-life care, the self-management of
chronic illnesses, and depression related to nonmental health conditions.
"The nurses tend to be very translational in moving the science and
evidence-based practice into the community settings," England told
Psychiatric News. "So they are very patient focused."
As part of the FNINR's psychiatric nursing focus, the organization is
creating a short film featuring psychiatric nurse researchers that will
provide nursing students insight into the "depth and strength" of
the research the mental health nurses conduct on delivery of patient care. The
film is part of the FNINR's effort to boost the number of nurse researchers,
an effort that also includes providing financial assistance to doctoral
A psychiatric nurse researcher was among the nurse researchers honored for
their achievements at the FNINR awards banquet. Deborah Gross, D.N.Sc., R.N.,
a professor of mental health and psychiatric nursing at Johns Hopkins
University School of Nursing, has focused her research on the mental health
and well-being of young children living in low-income urban areas. Funding
from the NINR has helped her develop and test a cost-effective program to
strengthen parenting competence and confidence among families from diverse
Gross's program used video vignettes of challenging parental situations to
educate parents of young children about techniques that succeed in correcting
child misbehavior and prevent the development of behavior disorders in their