Research Priorities in Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nursing


The mission of AWHONN is to empower and support nurses caring for women, newborns and their families through research, education and advocacy. To achieve this mission, AWHONN supports and conducts research that spans and integrates the behavioral and biological sciences, and that supports the scientific basis for clinical practice. Since 1993, AWHONN has awarded more than $680,000 in research grants aimed at promoting the health of women, newborns, and families. AWHONN is committed to incorporating research and evidence‐based practice (EBP) as a foundation for women’s health, obstetric and neonatal nursing to provide quality patient care.

AWHONN believes that:

  • Research builds the scientific foundation for clinical practice.
  • Evidence‐based practice integrates the best available evidence to guide nursing care and improve patient outcomes.
  • Quality improvement, the systematic, continuous, contextualized, and interdisciplinary effort to improve health services, is critical to advancing the quality of care and ultimately improves patient outcomes.

The following AWHONN Research Priorities for 2019‐2024 serve as a pathway for the advancement of women’s health, obstetric and neonatal nursing care through research and translation to evidence‐based practices that improve patient care. The ultimate goal of these priorities is to promote and improve the health and quality of life of women, newborns, and families.

Build the science of women’s health, obstetric and neonatal nursing practice through the discovery and translation of evidence‐based strategies in practice settings.

This priority addresses clinical practices that relate to areas of greatest need for women, newborns, and families, and for which we believe AWHONN‐supported research can have the largest impact:

  • Improving maternal and newborn outcomes by supporting normal physiologic birth
  • Addressing psychosocial issues that affect the health of women, newborns and families
  • Supporting efforts to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality
  • Addressing the impact of social determinants of health on health equities
  • Promoting optimal neonatal adaptation
  • Promoting optimal sexual and reproductive health

Maintain a strong commitment to train the next generation of nurse leaders and scientists to address existing and impending health care challenges facing women and newborns.

This priority addresses activities that provide support for the development of the 21st
Century Nurse Leader and Scientist including:

  • EBP Training Program
  • Emerging Leaders Program
  • Research mentoring
  • Promotion of no‐cost continuing educational opportunities specific to research and EBP methodology using online learning platforms such as Open University, Coursera, National Institute of Nursing Research, World Health
  • Organization, Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative, and the Office of Research Integrity

Use the best available evidence to support the creation, provision and utilization of
AWHONN products and services.

This priority addresses activities that inform the ongoing development, revision, and/or retirement of AWHONN resources including:

  • Position Statements
  • Practice Briefs
  • Evidence‐Based Guidelines
  • Textbooks
  • Webinars
  • Other educational products, programs, and services

Promote clinical scholarship through dissemination of the latest research, evidence‐based practice, policies, opinions, and trends in the care of women, childbearing families, and newborns.

This priority addresses dissemination of clinical scholarship through varied mediums including:

  • AWHONN Scholarly Publications (JOGNN, Nursing for Women’s Health)
  • AWHONN website
  • National, Regional and Section conferences
  • Newsletters (e.g., AWHONN Express)
  • Social Media
  • Podcasts
Research Advisory Panel

Since 2003, AWHONN has created advisory panels to serve as “think tanks” in a consultant-client model to the Board of Directors. The Research Advisory Panel (RAP) members are appointed by the President of AWHONN through the Executive Office every year.

Learn more about our Research Advisory Panel. 

Research Grants

AWHONN’s commitment to nursing research and scholarship is reflected in our 27-year history of funding nursing research and promoting evidence-based nursing care. Our program is designed primarily for researchers whose efforts are on the beginning stages of a program of research.  Awards are granted to researchers whose proposals investigate variables relevant to AWHONN’s 2019-2024 Research Priorities.  Studies that are clinically focused and outcomes-based are a priority. Projects that focus on the nurse’s role in delivering cost-effective care in these subspecialties are encouraged and will also be considered.

Learn more about our grants and how to apply.