Tara Schwetz, PhD, acting director of the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), issued a statement acknowledging the role of nurses as more essential than ever to patient care during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. 

“We are grateful for the dedication of those nurses who have cared for COVID-19 infected patients, and for the commitment of all those who will in the coming weeks and months,” she said, adding that nurses are critical to educating patients and public on important medical information. 

Schwetz cited the work being done in clinics and labs to create best practices and guidelines for infection control and quality care. The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH’s) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is funding a clinical trial investigating a vaccine to protect against COVID-19. Another clinical trial funded through NIH is researching the effectiveness of remdesivir, an investigational antiviral drug, in treating hospitalized patients who are COVID-positive.  

“We recognize that many of you will have to balance clinical responsibilities related to the pandemic with your research responsibilities,” she said, and explained that NIH issued guidance for grant applicants and funding recipients to ensure that critical healthcare research continues despite limitations from the pandemic.