From the desk of Adrianne Avillion, DEd, RN

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, April 16, 2010

Editor's note: Welcome to our new feature written by staff development expert Adrianne Avillion. Each week, Adrianne will write about an important issue in the area of staff development or answer reader questions. If you have a question for Adrianne, e-mail her at

Q: I am the manager of a staff development department in a 500-bed community hospital. Our executive team wants me to initiate some nursing research activities. I am currently working on a doctorate in adult education, but am not prepared to spearhead a research department. Any suggestions?

There are a number of resources that will help you in your work. First, what kinds of research are currently going on in your organization? For example, if medical research is being conducted, seek out the persons involved. They will, hopefully, be helpful resources. If your organization is conducting any kind of research, there must be an institutional or research review board that reviews and approves research projects. Seek membership on the board as it will likely be reviewing nursing research projects and approving them.

Talk to colleagues who are involved in research at other facilities. You can find out who they are by using your contacts from professional nursing associations. They will be a good source as you develop policies and procedures (as will your research review board).

Most importantly, seek out members of your closest chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International (STT), The International Honor Society of Nursing ( Local chapters often affiliate with area hospitals and health systems to facilitate nursing research.

Finally, I recommend seeking out affiliations with organizations that promote nursing research at the staff level. Where I live, in south central Pennsylvania, the Eta Eta Chapter collaborates with York College of Pennsylvania Nursing Department, WellSpan Health Nursing, Memorial Hospital Nursing, and Hanover Hospital Nursing to present a day-long event that highlights nursing research conducted at the staff nurse level. It is a truly inspirational day.

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