FSU College of Nursing tops national rankings in federal research funding

The Florida State College of Nursing is growing its research portfolio and topping the rankings of federal research funding.

Florida State University’s College of Nursing is topping the rankings for federal funding for nursing programs in the latest data from the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research (BRIMR) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

According to the NIH funding data, the college earned the top spot nationally among public schools of nursing in combined funding from the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other agencies. The college ranked also No. 2 nationally for public schools of nursing in NIH funding and No. 4 among both public and private institutions, according to the BRIMR report.

“Securing top rankings for federal research funding confirms the FSU College of Nursing’s dedication to impactful research,” said Jing Wang, dean of the FSU College of Nursing. “While we celebrate this achievement, we’re already setting our sights higher. By attracting more NIH-funded projects, we aim to generate groundbreaking knowledge that significantly improves health care.”

This ranking is a result of federal awards for several high-profile projects related to HIV prevention and intervention, mental health and chronic disease management and more.

Associate Dean for Research Lisa Hightow-Weidman underscored the college’s dedication to pioneering health care advancements through transformative research endeavors and highlighted the pivotal role of collaborative initiatives in leveraging significant NIH funding.

“With a focus on initiatives such as our Institute on Digital Health and Innovation, or IDHI , the NIH Florida FIRST Health Science Brigades and the Intervention Research and Implementation, or the IRIS Hub, we’re dedicated to pushing forward new and advanced solutions for health care,” she said. “These projects are closely connected to large grants from the NIH and represent our active approach to solving health care problems while ensuring our work has a national impact and supports the development of future health care leaders.”

The college’s commitment to research excellence has been bolstered by collaborations and initiatives aimed at addressing pressing health care challenges. The establishment of  IDHI, jointly led by Founding Director Hightow-Weidman and Associate Director Kathryn Muessig has paved the way for groundbreaking research endeavors. IDHI highlights the use of digital tools in health education, messaging, and treatment; inspires collaboration and innovation across the university and health care industry; and provides training for students and postdoctoral fellows through research.

Additionally, the IRIS Hub — a part of IDHI — has secured significant federal and foundation support to address public health gaps and enhance the well-being of underserved populations through socio-behavioral research and pragmatic clinical trials. Operating with a vision to engage community stakeholders throughout the scientific process, the IRIS Hub fosters collaboration and innovation to combat negative structural and individual-level barriers to health, with a special focus on stigma reduction and patient empowerment.

The NIH Florida FIRST Health Science Brigades, which aims to foster a diverse community of early-career researchers, is housed within the Center of Population Sciences for Health Equity at the college. Led by distinguished faculty members including Founding Director Frankie Wong and Co-Founder and Co-Director Eugenia Millender, alongside Pamela Keel from the FSU Department of Psychology, the Florida FIRST initiative focuses on recruiting researchers specializing in chronic disease prevention and management or mental health.

The college is further strengthened by its Brain Science and Symptom Management Center and the Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare Center for Research and Evidence-Based Practice. These centers serve as vital hubs for interdisciplinary research, facilitating collaborations and driving forward transformative solutions to complex health care challenges. In Fall 2023, the college welcomed the inaugural cohort into its online doctoral degree program in nursing, marking a significant milestone in expanding access to advanced nursing education and fostering the development of future nursing researcher leaders.

With its continued success in securing research funding and advancing health care-related research and education programming, the FSU College of Nursing maintains its position at the forefront of nursing innovation, poised to make significant contributions to the field of health care.

To learn more about the FSU College of Nursing research centers, labs and programs, visit nursing.fsu.edu/research/.