Source:

Nursing2015

August 2012, Volume 42 Number 8 , p 11 - 12 [FREE]

Authors

  • Sophia Mikos-Schild EdD, MSN, RN, CNOR
  • Aida Avelino BS, RN-C
  • Marilou Calvario MSN, RN, CPAN
  • Annette Mata MSN, RN

Abstract

EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE is the basis for excellent nursing care. Researching the evidence informs nurses about best practices and improves patient outcomes.1 But nurses who find research difficult to understand may feel unprepared to perform it. (See Why do nurses findresearch challenging?)This article describes how we used a research day at our hospital, Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center in Chicago, Ill., to generate interest in the topic among nurses. Our research day included speakers, posters about original nursing research in our multihospital system, and presentations of some of this research. We outline the steps we took, which can be adapted to plan a research day in your healthcare setting.Planning any big event can be daunting. How do you find participants and target attendees? Whom should you use for keynote speakers? How much will it cost? The good news is that questions like these establish a framework for planning a research day.We began to prepare our nurses more than 12 months in advance. We educated staff about nursing research during a 1-day course, "Demystifying Research," created to decrease any fears and instill excitement about doing research. At several of our hospitals, an educator and a librarian covered evidence-based research and explained how to search an online library. The course was offered monthly, and attendees were awarded 1 contact hour for participating.Because other hospitals in our system had already had a research day, we drew on their experience. One of our educators took the lead and had oversight for the program. We recruited a project planning team from all levels of the organization and gained the support of direct care nurses, managers, directors, security, and environmental services.Because of our urban location, we knew some of our major issues would be space, parking, and transportation from remote parking areas. We decided to provide parking at our sister hospital 0.25 mile (0.4 kilometer) away, and use the hospital

 

EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE is the basis for excellent nursing care. Researching the evidence informs nurses about best practices and improves patient outcomes.1 But nurses who find research difficult to understand may feel unprepared to perform it. (See Why do nurses findresearch challenging?)

 

This article describes how we used a research day at our hospital, Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center in Chicago, Ill., to generate interest in the topic among nurses. Our research day included speakers, posters about original nursing research in our multihospital system, and presentations of some of this research. We outline the steps we took, which can be adapted to plan a research day in your healthcare setting.

 

Planning any big event can be daunting. How do you find participants and target attendees? Whom should you use for keynote speakers? How much will it cost? The good news is that questions like these establish a framework for planning a research day.

 

We began to prepare our nurses more than 12 months in advance. We educated staff about nursing research during a 1-day course, "Demystifying Research," created to decrease any fears and instill excitement about doing research. At several of our hospitals, an educator and a librarian covered evidence-based research and explained how to search an online library. The course was offered monthly, and attendees were awarded 1 contact hour for participating.

 

Because other hospitals in our system had already had a research day, we drew on their experience. One of our educators took the lead and had oversight for the program. We recruited a project planning team from all levels of the organization and gained the support of direct care nurses, managers, directors, security, and environmental services.

 

Because of our urban location, we knew some of our major issues would be space, parking, and transportation from remote parking areas. We decided to provide parking at our sister hospital 0.25 mile (0.4 kilometer) away, and use the hospital van to transport our outside attendees. Knowing that meeting space was at a premium, we reserved our largest conference rooms during our first month of planning. We opted to hold the program from 0800 to 1200 hours to encourage nurses working the night shift to attend.

 

Evaluating costs and planning the budget were the next important tasks with our CNO, who was involved in funding the costs of the program. First, we decided how much to spend for an outside speaker, the biggest single expense in our budget. Some speakers are glad to speak for free, and others expect an honorarium of $250 to $500. (Contact local facilities to identify current rates for speakers in your area.)

 

Next, we reviewed current research projects in our hospital system to identify a theme for the day and choose three appropriate speakers, one from outside and two from in-house. We awarded nurses 1 contact hour for the longer presentation and 0.5 hour for each of the shorter presentations. We also provided continuing education hours for nonnursing and ancillary personnel. Each research poster presenter would give a 15-minute talk, and nurses who attended four presentations of their own choice would receive 1 contact hour. Once the program agenda was set, we printed materials in the education department well in advance to save on costs.

 

Because we believe that food plays an important part in drawing nurses to programs, we set aside a large portion of our budget for a continental breakfast. This meal was especially important for nurses coming off the night shift. The food service department helped us plan this meal as well as a break with more food and drinks.

 

Research was new to many on the staff, and research day was new to our facility. Because attendance was critical to our program's success, we needed a strategy to attract the nursing staff from our facility and throughout the system.

 

Our director of professional development initiated this project by calling a meeting with the nursing council. Our nurse educator/contact-hour planner was tapped to be a resource person for our presenters and staff at the other hospitals.

 

We believe that leaders' or management's endorsement has the greatest influence and can make the most impact because they can provide time for nurses to attend research day, coverage while they're attending, and possibly a more favorable review for attendance. Managers encouraged staff to attend and explained what the research day would entail. They explained how the evidence-based research could be used in nurses' day-to-day activities.

 

We sent flyers electronically to the system's nurse educators, unit managers, and directors to distribute. Staff at other facilities also learned about the research day from their educators. Some managers commissioned a direct care nurse as a champion to help disseminate the information.

 

We advertised our event to nurses with e-mails and at meetings. We posted simple flyers in bright colors in the units and the cafeteria, near elevators and clocks, and on bathroom doors. We added more flyers the week before the program.

 

Educators also reminded nurses of the research day weekly and then daily, sometimes during shift report. In the postanesthesia care unit, the team leader and manager took steps to ensure nurses could attend the program, even if only for an hour. On the day of the presentations, an announcement over the public address system reminded the staff to attend.

 

After many months of preparation, our research day was finally here, with the promise of an education-filled experience. The auditorium provided ample space for the 87 attendees, with two additional rooms for the posters and presenters. Early in the day, staff had set up the room, arranged the posters on easels, made sure that the speakers' electronic presentations were compatible with the computer system, and confirmed that the projector, laser pointer, and microphone were in good working condition. Signage and hospital personnel directed attendees to the auditorium. Several nursing and nonnursing personnel served as greeters, registrars, and program distributors.

 

To kick off the day, the hospital's vice president of nursing and the research council gave the welcome speech, and the director of professional development presented an overview of the research day. Our three main speakers explored these topics, which were relevant to the hospital's endeavor to achieve Magnet(R) status:

 

* nursing science and implementation

 

* the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Magnet recognition program and evidence-based practice

 

* sources of evidence.

 

 

After presenting their topics, the speakers held question-and-answer sessions.

 

Poster presentations (with handouts), which came from all of our facilities, followed these presentations. (See Posters spark interest.)

 

Our research day was successful because of many months of careful planning and the involvement of several hospital departments. Having several nursing staff at registration tables eliminated long wait lines. Because we'd planned on 100 attendees, we had enough programs of events and handouts.

 

Comments from the evaluations reflected the effectiveness of the objectives and speakers. Positive evaluation feedback and attendee comments showed us our research day had been productive.

 

Going forward, we plan to hold a research day each year. We'll consider adding outside partners and network opportunities with other local hospitals.

 

Careful planning and teamwork set the stage for a successful research day full of learning as well as opportunities to meet colleagues and network with other healthcare professionals

 

Exposing nurses to research can be challenging because some nurses:

 

* don't have a research component in their current roles

 

* are unfamiliar with research because they weren't exposed to it during their education

 

* lack research skills

 

* receive little organizational support

 

* don't feel able to change practice.2

 

 

Some nurses may also feel intimidated by graphs, tables, statistics, and unfamiliar language found in articles about nursing research. Research based on the experiences and input of the direct care nurse may be more attractive to nurses.3

 

Our poster presentations covered topics such as these:

 

* how journal clubs expose nurses to research

 

* parents' perceptions of nursing interventions in the pediatric clinic

 

* using case study methodology to interpret meaning in a Hmong-American healing ceremony

 

* resilience in adolescents with asthma who need glycemic control

 

* comparing early and late tracheostomy in the areas of costs, patient outcomes, and ICU length of stay.

 

EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE is the basis for excellent nursing care. Researching the evidence informs nurses about best practices and improves patient outcomes.1 But nurses who find research difficult to understand may feel unprepared to perform it. (See Why do nurses findresearch challenging?)

This article describes how we used a research day at our hospital, Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center in Chicago, Ill., to generate interest in the topic among nurses. Our research day included speakers, posters about original nursing research in our multihospital system, and presentations of some of this research. We outline the steps we took, which can be adapted to plan a research day in your healthcare setting.

Starting out

Planning any big event can be daunting. How do you find participants and target attendees? Whom should you use for keynote speakers? How much will it cost? The good news is that questions like these establish a framework for planning a research day.

We began to prepare our nurses more than 12 months in advance. We educated staff about nursing research during a 1-day course, "Demystifying Research," created to decrease any fears and instill excitement about doing research. At several of our hospitals, an educator and a librarian covered evidence-based research and explained how to search an online library. The course was offered monthly, and attendees were awarded 1 contact hour for participating.

Because other hospitals in our system had already had a research day, we drew on their experience. One of our educators took the lead and had oversight for the program. We recruited a project planning team from all levels of the organization and gained the support of direct care nurses, managers, directors, security, and environmental services.

Getting down to brass tacks

Because of our urban location, we knew some of our major issues would be space, parking, and transportation from remote parking areas. We decided to provide parking at our sister hospital 0.25 mile (0.4 kilometer) away, and use the hospital van to transport our outside attendees. Knowing that meeting space was at a premium, we reserved our largest conference rooms during our first month of planning. We opted to hold the program from 0800 to 1200 hours to encourage nurses working the night shift to attend.

Evaluating costs and planning the budget were the next important tasks with our CNO, who was involved in funding the costs of the program. First, we decided how much to spend for an outside speaker, the biggest single expense in our budget. Some speakers are glad to speak for free, and others expect an honorarium of $250 to $500. (Contact local facilities to identify current rates for speakers in your area.)

Next, we reviewed current research projects in our hospital system to identify a theme for the day and choose three appropriate speakers, one from outside and two from in-house. We awarded nurses 1 contact hour for the longer presentation and 0.5 hour for each of the shorter presentations. We also provided continuing education hours for nonnursing and ancillary personnel. Each research poster presenter would give a 15-minute talk, and nurses who attended four presentations of their own choice would receive 1 contact hour. Once the program agenda was set, we printed materials in the education department well in advance to save on costs.

Because we believe that food plays an important part in drawing nurses to programs, we set aside a large portion of our budget for a continental breakfast. This meal was especially important for nurses coming off the night shift. The food service department helped us plan this meal as well as a break with more food and drinks.

Advertising research day

Research was new to many on the staff, and research day was new to our facility. Because attendance was critical to our program's success, we needed a strategy to attract the nursing staff from our facility and throughout the system.

Our director of professional development initiated this project by calling a meeting with the nursing council. Our nurse educator/contact-hour planner was tapped to be a resource person for our presenters and staff at the other hospitals.

We believe that leaders' or management's endorsement has the greatest influence and can make the most impact because they can provide time for nurses to attend research day, coverage while they're attending, and possibly a more favorable review for attendance. Managers encouraged staff to attend and explained what the research day would entail. They explained how the evidence-based research could be used in nurses' day-to-day activities.

We sent flyers electronically to the system's nurse educators, unit managers, and directors to distribute. Staff at other facilities also learned about the research day from their educators. Some managers commissioned a direct care nurse as a champion to help disseminate the information.

We advertised our event to nurses with e-mails and at meetings. We posted simple flyers in bright colors in the units and the cafeteria, near elevators and clocks, and on bathroom doors. We added more flyers the week before the program.

Educators also reminded nurses of the research day weekly and then daily, sometimes during shift report. In the postanesthesia care unit, the team leader and manager took steps to ensure nurses could attend the program, even if only for an hour. On the day of the presentations, an announcement over the public address system reminded the staff to attend.

Our research day

After many months of preparation, our research day was finally here, with the promise of an education-filled experience. The auditorium provided ample space for the 87 attendees, with two additional rooms for the posters and presenters. Early in the day, staff had set up the room, arranged the posters on easels, made sure that the speakers' electronic presentations were compatible with the computer system, and confirmed that the projector, laser pointer, and microphone were in good working condition. Signage and hospital personnel directed attendees to the auditorium. Several nursing and nonnursing personnel served as greeters, registrars, and program distributors.

To kick off the day, the hospital's vice president of nursing and the research council gave the welcome speech, and the director of professional development presented an overview of the research day. Our three main speakers explored these topics, which were relevant to the hospital's endeavor to achieve Magnet(R) status:

* nursing science and implementation

* the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Magnet recognition program and evidence-based practice

* sources of evidence.

After presenting their topics, the speakers held question-and-answer sessions.

Poster presentations (with handouts), which came from all of our facilities, followed these presentations. (See Posters spark interest.)

Lessons learned

Our research day was successful because of many months of careful planning and the involvement of several hospital departments. Having several nursing staff at registration tables eliminated long wait lines. Because we'd planned on 100 attendees, we had enough programs of events and handouts.

Comments from the evaluations reflected the effectiveness of the objectives and speakers. Positive evaluation feedback and attendee comments showed us our research day had been productive.

Going forward, we plan to hold a research day each year. We'll consider adding outside partners and network opportunities with other local hospitals.

Careful planning and teamwork set the stage for a successful research day full of learning as well as opportunities to meet colleagues and network with other healthcare professionals

Why do nurses find research challenging?

Exposing nurses to research can be challenging because some nurses:

* don't have a research component in their current roles

* are unfamiliar with research because they weren't exposed to it during their education

* lack research skills

* receive little organizational support

* don't feel able to change practice.2

Some nurses may also feel intimidated by graphs, tables, statistics, and unfamiliar language found in articles about nursing research. Research based on the experiences and input of the direct care nurse may be more attractive to nurses.3

Posters spark interest

Our poster presentations covered topics such as these:

* how journal clubs expose nurses to research

* parents' perceptions of nursing interventions in the pediatric clinic

* using case study methodology to interpret meaning in a Hmong-American healing ceremony

* resilience in adolescents with asthma who need glycemic control

* comparing early and late tracheostomy in the areas of costs, patient outcomes, and ICU length of stay.

REFERENCES

 

1. Higgins I, Parker V, Keatinge D, et al. Doing clinical research: the challenges and benefits. Contemp Nurse. 2010;35(2):171-181. [Context Link]

 

2. Banner D, Grant LG. Getting involved in research. Can J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2011;21(1):31-39. [Context Link]

 

3. Melnyk BM, Fineout-Overholt E. Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing and Healthcare: A Guide to Best Practice. 2nd ed. Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2011. [Context Link]