Implementing a Collaborative Research Partnership between Academia and Practice

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Kenn M. Kirksey, RN, PhD, ACNS-BC1
Heather Becker, PhD2
Linda H. Yoder, RN, MBA, PhD, AOCN, FAAN3
Eduardo C. Chavez, BSN, BS, RN1
1Center for Nursing Research, Seton Family of Hospitals, Austin, TX
2School of Nursing, The University of Texas, Austin, TX
3Nursing Aministration and Healthcare Systems Management, University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing, Austin, TX

Learning Objective 1: identify strategies for implementing a collaborative research partnership model between academia and practice.

Learning Objective 2: delineate the importance of incorporating synergistic models of care in the promotion of global health.

The Seton Family of Hospitals has four Magnet-designated facilities and three others that have achieved Pathway to Excellence status. In our continuing quest to ensure that nurses are supported in research and evidence-based practice activities, Seton hired a research director and launched a collaborative partnership with The University of Texas School of Nursing at Austin (UTSON). The primary aim is to develop clinically-based nurse researchers. Following the course, participants are prepared to: 1) Describe the research process and its importance to practice; 2) Develop a researchable question/hypothesis; 3) Critique literature and theoretical frameworks; 4) Articulate research designs and data collection methods; 5) Identify basic statistical analyses; 6) Submit a proposal for human subjects review; 7) Implement a nursing research project; and 8) Delineate dissemination strategies. Up to 15 nurses are accepted for the 3-month fellowship cohort. A variety of teaching methods are used, including lectures, seminars, and group activities. In this unique collaborative partnership, researchers from both institutions are involved in providing instruction and consultation. UTSON faculty presents the didactic content, while the Director of Nursing Research leads participants in the articulation and implementation of research projects. Seven fellow-led studies have received IRB endorsement, 3 are completed and 9 are in development. Self-reported confidence in the research process dramatically increased between pre and post-assessments. Although successful, the implementation of the projects is dependent upon having a doctorally-prepared research director in the organization to actively coach participants through the IRB process and data collection, and to champion research within the institution. Both Magnet and Sigma Theta Tau International are dedicated to promoting global health through the promotion of scientific inquiry and utilization of evidence-based data. Institutions may benefit by incorporating this type of innovative collaborative nursing research program into their models of care.