Developing and Sustaining a Career as a Transdisciplinary Nurse Scientist

J Nurs Scholarsh. 2018 Jan;50(1):20-27. doi: 10.1111/jnu.12359. Epub 2017 Nov 14.


Purpose: The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of strategies to build and sustain a career as a nurse scientist. This article examines how to integrate technologies and precision approaches into clinical practice, research, and education of the next generation of nursing scholars.

Design: This article presents information for shaping a sustainable transdisciplinary career. Programs of research that utilize self-management to improve quality of life are discussed throughout the article. The ongoing National Institute of Nursing Research-funded (R01 grant) iPhone Helping Evaluate Atrial Fibrillation Rhythm through Technology (iHEART) study is the first prospective, randomized controlled trial to evaluate whether electrocardiographic monitoring with the AliveCor™ device in the real-world setting will improve the time to detection and treatment of recurrent atrial fibrillation over a 6-month period as compared to usual cardiac care.

Methods: Opportunities to sustain a career as a nurse scientist and build programs of transdisciplinary research are identified. These opportunities are focused within the area of research and precision medicine.

Findings: Nurse scientists have the potential and ability to shape their careers and become essential members of transdisciplinary partnerships. Exposure to clinical research, expert mentorship, and diverse training opportunities in different areas are essential to ensure that contributions to nursing science are visible through publications and presentations as well as through securing grant funding to develop and maintain programs of research.

Conclusions: Transcending boundaries and different disciplines, nurses are essential members of many diverse teams.

Clinical relevance: Nurse scientists are strengthening research approaches, clinical care, and communication and improving health outcomes while also building and shaping the next generation of nurse scientists.

Keywords: Cardiovascular nursing; cardiac arrhythmias; nursing education; quality of life.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Career Choice*
  • Humans
  • Nursing Research / organization & administration*
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic