Deeper insight needed into nurse-industry relationships
Nurses’ daily responsibilities are broad, including interacting with patients, families and communities; gatekeeping between their patients and the industries and healthcare institutions that serve them; and collaborating with those industries in relation to speaking, consulting and participating in marketing research. While it is imperative that nurses interact with industry to advance knowledge, improve healthcare delivery and enhance outcomes, do these interactions create ethical concerns that could challenge or change the trusting relationship between nurse and patients?
In the editorial “Nurses and Industry: Conflict or Collaboration?” set for online first publication in the April 5th edition of Annals of Internal Medicine, Connie M. Ulrich, PhD, RN, FAAN, Associate Professor in the Department of Biobehavioral Health Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing), underscores the need for evidence-based investigation to understand in what ways nurse-industry relationships affect the ethical conduct of nurses, or what is normal and necessary interaction between nurses and industry as part of delivering healthcare. Ulrich co-authored the editorial with Christine Grady, PhD, RN, FAAN, of the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center.
“We need a better understanding of the potential benefits and harms, direct or indirect, for patients when nurses work with industry, and overall how industry relations affect public trust,” the authors wrote.
Ulrich’s research focuses on the importance of both clinical ethics and research ethics. Her current investigations include the influence of ethical issues, ethics stress and organizational variables on the everyday work life of healthcare providers; and patient-participants’ experiences of informed consent clinical research and clinical care. She is an associate director of the NewCourtland Center for Transitions and Health at Penn Nursing, an American Nurses Foundation Scholar, secondary faculty of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, director of the Hillman Program for Nursing Innovation, and a Senior Fellow of The Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania.