Sunday, November 4, 2007

This presentation is part of : The Clinical Scholar Model: Building the Capacity for Research and EBP
The Clinical Scholar Model: Building Capacity in a Tertiary Care Facility
Alyce A. Schultz, PhD, RN, FAAN, College of Nursing and Healthcare Innovation, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ, USA

Aim:  To build a community of Clinical Scholars to serve as mentors in the evidence-based practice process in a large tertiary care facility.
Approach:  The Clinical Scholar model was developed by the nurse researcher from her work with a cadre of staff nurse innovators.  Early initiatives included teaching nurses how to collect reliable outcome data and evaluate and synthesize the evidence.  Several funded and unfunded projects developed and were presented at local, regional, national, and international conferences.  The first innovators have been honored with multiple research writing and presentation awards by several professional societies, including the Innovation in Clinical Excellence award sponsored by STTI and Nursing Spectrum.   
Outcomes:     The innovative nurses who participated in these early studies became the first cadre of Clinical Scholars and mentors for other bedside nurses.  With the support of nursing management, they developed and conducted the first series of Clinical Scholar workshops based on the components of the Clinical Scholar Model; Observation, Analysis, Synthesis, Application/Evaluation, and Dissemination.  Ninety percent of participants in the first Clinical Scholar series completed the program (45/50).  Fourteen projects and studies were developed and eight were presented locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.  All of the original Clinical Scholar facilitators have either just completed their master’s degree or are currently enrolled in a graduate program.

Conclusions and Implications for Practice and Research:  To sustain excellence, clinicians must be actively involved in the selection and collection of quality improvement data and the critique and synthesis of evidence.  Collaboration among multiple disciplines is paramount to the decision-making necessary for clinical research and evidence-based practice.  Involvement in the Clinical Scholar program has renewed the spirit of nursing.  A translational research study is planned to evaluate the outcomes of the Clinical Scholar Model as compared to the usual methods for promoting the spirit of inquiry.