The mission of the AONE Foundation is to shape health care through research and education that advances innovative and expert nursing leadership.  Therefore, the Foundation is proud to announce this new request for research proposals focusing on the role of the nurse leader in the arena of sustainable nursing workforce development.


The AONE Foundation seeks to fund original nursing leadership research that explores sustainable nursing workforce development.  As noted in the 2016 American Hospital Association report The Imperative for Strategic Workforce Planning and Development: Challenges and Opportunities, developing a robust and engaged workforce is a critical strategy to the future success of our nation’s health care system and ensuring the delivery of high quality and safe care. Planning for the future workforce begins now, and innovative strategies are needed not just to bring more nurses into the profession but for building a resilient workforce that can respond nimbly to the constant changes in our delivery system and the ever-increasing demands of our patients, families, payers, and regulators.  Nurse leaders will be called upon to identify those innovative strategies for recruiting, educating, training, transitioning to practice and sustaining our front-line nursing workforce.

The AONE Foundation is seeking research proposals that may include, but are not limited to, the influence of nursing leadership within academic-practice partnerships, transition-to-practice programs, transition between specialties or care sites, succession planning, and/or early nurse leader identification and preparation.  The Foundation anticipates the findings of this research will guide nurse leaders in decision making to address critical health care delivery issues in a manner that promotes safe, high quality care and optimal well-being for patients, families and health professionals while safeguarding nurse health (joy and resilience) and nurse retention.  These studies may also contribute to our efforts to address work force burnout; a critical issue facing the nursing profession and an essential element of the IHI “Quadruple Aim.” 

We expect that potential outcomes from this work will lead to products, processes or solutions that contribute to the redesign of point of care delivery and will ensure fundamental improvements in recruitment and retention of nurses, early leader identification and preparation, and competency development across care sites ensuring the growth and sustainability of our nursing workforce of tomorrow.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Principal investigators must be current licensed Registered Nurses.
  • Preference will be given to principal investigators who are members of AONE.
  • Members of the board of directors, officers, and staff of the AONE Foundation, AONE, the American Hospital Association and its affiliates, The Versant Center for the Advancement of Nursing®, or Versant® are not eligible to apply.
  • Researchers currently funded by the AONE Foundation are not eligible for this award.
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Grant Details

Up to five small grants of
$5,000 - $10,000

Review Process

All submitted proposals will undergo a blind review by members of the AONE Foundation Board’s Research Review Committee.  The grant award recipient will be selected based on consideration of eligibility and merit of the research proposal.  Review criteria will include:

  • What is the overall impact of the proposed research study on the defined purpose?
  • What is the significance and innovativeness of the planned study?
  • Is the study strategy, methodology and data analysis plan rigorous and can it be accomplished in the projected timeframe?
  • Is the support (budget) requested justified to the proposed research?

Priority will be given to:

  • Research work that advances nursing leadership. 
  • Proposals that identify original research opportunities.
    • If the research opportunity proposed is a replication, large-impact studies will receive priority.

Previous research completed, and research experience will be taken into account.

Expectations of Grant Recipient

  • At the beginning of the grant period, the principal investigators will provide a jpg head shot and a narrative biography of no more than 300 words for each investigator. 
  • At the midpoint and at the conclusion of the research study the principal investigators will submit an interim and final report, respectively, on the progress of the study.
  • Upon conclusion of the study the principal investigators will be asked to:
    • Present study findings at the next AONE Annual Meeting
    • Submit manuscript for publication to at least one peer reviewed nursing research journal
    • Allow study findings to be incorporated into the AONE Foundation’s marketing and communications
    • Aid the AONE Foundation in demonstrating impact of the research

Grant Submission Webinar

Please watch this video for more information about the submitting a proposal, and for tips on how to strengthen your proposal.


Funding for these research studies is made possible by a generous gift to the AONE Foundation from the Versant Center for the Advancement of Nursing® whose mission is to provide professional and organizational development opportunities through research, education, publishing and other events where healthcare professionals can engage in a collaborative and disciplined model.


For questions about the submission or review process, please contact Dani Ward, staff liaison to the AONE Foundation’s Research Review Committee.