Tips from TSE: Staff nurses investigate better patient care through research projects

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, July 3, 2009

Nurses at York (PA) Hospital are hard at work identifying best practices for patient care through evidence-based practice (EBP) and nursing research projects. The establishment of an EBP/nursing research council has provided nurses with the opportunities to identify, develop, and conduct nursing research.

All nursing research proposals must go through the institutional review board (IRB) for approval prior to implementing the project. During research projects, the entire council provides support and education to enhance the process. Nurses do not receive additional financial compensation for participating in research; doing so is seen as part of their professional role. Time to work on projects and attend council meetings is worked into the unit budget.

However, staff nurses who participate in EBP or research accrue points toward clinical advancement. The hospital has a three-tiered clinical ladder, and points are used to advance in practice standing.

Staff nurses may also apply for protected time to devote to research by becoming an EBP fellow, which is a 12-week program in which RNs spend about 16 hours per week working to identify best-practice solutions for delivery of care.

Editor's note: This excerpt was adapted from the July issue of The Staff Educator. Discover all the benefits of subscribing to The Staff Educator!

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