Nurse Credentialing Research Frameworks and Perspectives for Assessing a Research Agenda

TitleNurse Credentialing Research Frameworks and Perspectives for Assessing a Research Agenda
Publication TypeDiscussion Paper
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsNeedleman, J, Dittus, RS, Pittman, P, Spetz, J, Newhouse, R
PublisherInstitute of Medicine
KeywordsHealth Care Workforce

Improving health care delivery and individual and population health and controlling health care costs requires, among other things, an effective and efficient health care system. A significant and essential component of the health care system is the clinical professional workforce. Assuring appropriate and up-to-date education and training of this workforce is partly a role of the clinical professional credentialing process. Nursing is the largest clinical profession and one for which credentialing has challenges. Credentialing in nursing has both individual components and institutional components, with the adoption of such programs as the Magnet Recognition Program®, which assesses and credentials the nursing environment in hospitals as a whole.

Advancing the field of credentialing of nurses and the organizations in which they work will require evidence generated through interdisciplinary and interprofessional research. This research agenda will reach across many clinical professions including, but not limited to, nursing (in the era of team care); management science; social sciences (e.g., psychology, sociology, anthropology, and economics); information science; epidemiology; biostatistics; health behavior; and health education.

This paper describes a framework that can guide the future of research in nurse credentialing and outline research needs that can enhance credentialing’s impact on the improvement of health care delivery.


The views expressed in discussion papers are those of the authors and not necessarily of the authors’ organizations or of the IOM. Discussion papers are intended to help inform and stimulate discussion. They have not been subjected to the review procedures of the IOM and are not reports of the IOM or of the National Research Council.