Nursing at Children’s Hospital encompasses far more than taking care of a patient’s moment-to-moment needs, monitoring the response to therapies, and providing comfort and support to patients and families. Nursing is more than tradition in practice; it is an active, engaging endeavor at the center of patient care that simultaneously leads to countless research questions.
The Hospital’s Center for Pediatric Nursing Research and Evidence Based Practice aims to fully integrate collaborative nursing research into practice to improve the outcomes for patients and families. The effort involves an evidence-based approach, ensuring there are adequate data and reliable sources to support the best practices in pediatric nursing.
Led by nurse researchers Sharon Barton, PhD, RN, P-CNS; Katherine Finn Davis, PhD, RN, CPNP; and Beth Ely, PhD, RN, the center stimulates scientific inquiry among nurses in all practice areas. The nurse researchers serve as leaders, mentors, and consultants to Hospital nurses, supporting them in their quest to ask scientific questions and translate the results of those inquiries into improved clinical practice.
“Nursing research at Children’s Hospital has experienced a great evolution over the past several years,” says Dr. Barton. “Nurses ask clinical questions and their inquiries are guided by their peers and the support of nurse researchers. Their questions become research studies or evidence-based practice projects and quality improvement.”
Current studies in nursing research focus on pain management, skin injury, infant feeding, side effects of radiation therapy, clinician decision making about sedation, and medication reconciliation, among others. Scientific inquires by Children’s Hospital nurses have led to several improvements in clinical practice and multiple opportunities for further investigation.
One of the research projects spearheaded by nurses at Children’s Hospital involved an evaluation of skin injuries in hospitalized patients including those related to immobility, medical devices, and diaper use. A comprehensive one-day prevalence study conducted by more than 60 nurses resulted in thousands of data points that have generated new research questions into the causes of skin injuries and evidence-based approaches for prevention and treatment.
“By encouraging clinical questions at the bedside and teaching nurses the necessary skills through mentoring, we can stimulate nursing research and evidence-based practice to make a tremendous positive impact on patient care and outcomes,” says Dr. Davis.
In addition to providing logistical and resource support to ensure research studies are scientifically sound, the Center for Pediatric Nursing Research and Evidence Based Practice provides financial support. The center makes several grant awards a year for evidence-based practice and nursing research studies, which often stem from nurses’ clinical experiences, observations, and interests.
“We are helping to change the landscape of nurses’ involvement in research and evidence-based practice and how nurses think about and contribute to the collective scientific knowledge applied to nursing practice,” says Dr. Ely.Back to top