Recruiting Staff Nurses as Research Participants: Lessons Learned

Saturday, 28 October 2017: 2:15 PM

Karen H. Morin, PhD1
Ashley Wright, BSN1
Marshe Remynse, MSN2
Donna Moyer, PhD3
Khristina Grimm, MSN4
(1)Bronson Methodist Hospital, Kalamazoo, MI, USA
(2)Department of Women and Children, Bronson Methodist Hospital, Kalamazoo, MI, USA
(3)Pediatrics, Bronson Methodist Hospital, Kalamazoo, MI, USA
(4)Education, Bronson Methodist Hospital, Kalamazoo, MI, USA

Background: Magnet ® designated hospitals are challenged to increase staff nurse participation the conduct of research, as well as in evidence-based practice. Yet, staff nurses don’t always see the value of participating in research activities. Moreover, information about how to be successful recruiting staff nurse participants is rare. Yet, staff nurse input obtained scientifically can be critical to informing clinical practice.

Purpose: The purpose of this presentation is to describe the many efforts undertaken by a research team in a community hospital to recruit staff nurses from a Mother-Baby unit as participants in focus groups.

Method: Building on the research team’s most recent experience, and a review of literature, barriers and lessons learned will be discussed. The context for the discussion is a funded study about anticipatory rounds in a Mother-Baby Unit.

Findings: Examination of the many issues encountered indicated the following lessons. 1. The need to clarify investigator assumptions about staff interest in the focus of the study. Staff had recently embraced anticipatory rounds on a two –hour basis but this practice had not been without resistance and conflict. Hence, when a study about anticipatory rounds was launched on the unit, investigators anticipated considerable staff interest in sharing their thoughts about the practice. However, nursing staff were not responsive to multiple invitations. 2. The study was implemented approximately one year following the change in practice. It is possible that any initial concerns had been addressed prior to implementation of the study. 3. Data collection was initiated during the summer, when many nursing staff were taking vacation, limiting availability of staff to cover for participants. 4. Incentives many not have been sufficient to attract participants. A $20.00 gift certificate to a local grocery store but a more attractive incentive, such as the opportunity to win a day at a spa may have been more enticing while not being coercive. Additional lessons included verifying institutional support for the study, conducting the focus groups off-site, increasing face-to-face invitations, and clarifying the “what’s in it for me” element.

Implications: Given the dearth of information about how best to involve staff nurses as participants in research that requires their physical presence, our experiences could help future investigators design studies that would yield greater staff nurse participation. In addition, this information can help conference attendees reinforce the contributions made when part of nursing research team.