Research Priorities for Emergency Nursing



The Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) regularly identifies research priorities for the field of emergency nursing to provide a focus for nurse researchers’ efforts in conducting research on questions of significance to emergency nursing practice as well as to emergency care consumers. Identification of research priorities is a function of the Institute for Emergency Nursing Research (IENR), which represents the collective research expertise of ENA. Currently, the IENR is analyzing the data from a short survey of 2,225 emergency nurses.


In 2009, the IENR Committee developed the priorities through a committee consensus process. The identified priorities reflect broad areas of research needs that are of the greatest significance to emergency nursing and emergency care consumers. The research priorities serve to guide: 1) the future research activities and initiatives of emergency nursing professionals; and 2) the funding priorities of the ENA Foundation’s research grant programs. By defining research priorities for emergency nursing, ENA expects to maximize effective use of resources and encourage collaboration among researchers and practitioners. Additionally, the priorities offer to external stakeholders ENA’s value on emergency nursing research. Future efforts will focus on further validating the priorities and developing specific research topics/questions through systematic inquiries. The research priorities include investigations that address generation, dissemination, and translation of research related to:

  • ENA’s Practice Priorities (refer to ENA Strategic Framework)
    • Crowding/Boarding
    • Psychiatric Emergency Patient Care
    • Workplace Violence
  • Emergency Nursing Professional Practice Issues: Examples of research areas include nurse orientation, continuing education, and assurance of competence of emergency nursing practices as well as emergency department staffing patterns and the impact of the staffing on patient outcomes.


  • The Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Goals: Examples of research areas include improving the accuracy of patient identification, the effectiveness of communication among caregivers, the safety of using medications, and recognition and response to changes in a patient’s condition; as well as reducing the risk of health care-associated infections, patient harm resulting from falls, influenza and pneumococcal disease; and health care associated pressure ulcers. 

For additional information, please contact the IENR at 800/900-9659, ext. 4119, or via e-mail at