Use of Active Learning Strategies to Promote Nursing Research in Acute Care

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Patricia A. Adler, PhD, RN
Nursing Research and Innovation, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to define active learning strategy.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to identify 3 active learning strategies used to promote nursing research in a hospital setting.

Purpose: The purpose of this presentation is to describe active learning strategies that have been used to promote nursing research in a hospital setting. Background: Evidence-based nursing practice is a mandate from society and a responsibility of today’s nurse. Yet, there are gaps in our knowledge-base that need to be addressed for nurses to provide best evidence-based practice and quality patient care. Some nurses have been turned-off by their past nursing research experience, while others have expressed a desire to learn more about research but say they do not have the time. The good news is that there are active learning strategies that can be used to facilitate the research process in acute care. Problem: Although nursing research is needed to support evidence-based practice, it can be a tremendous challenge for acute care nurses. Description of Initiative: Active learning strategies are a tool kit of teaching-learning options that will provide opportunities for nurses to participate in the research process. Active learning strategies are diverse and can vary from an organized interactive workshop provided at lunchtime, to a group unit-based conference call to discuss an idea for a study, or text message initiated by a nurse with a question before s/he goes on duty. Computer access makes a number of active learning strategies possible, including PC-ping-pong using the edit function on a Word document, self-directed literature searches, collaborative IRB submissions using Webkit, and email to a colleague who has published on a research topic of interest. Evaluation: The response of nurses has been very favorable as evidence by nurses’ success in developing proposals, conducting research, and disseminating results. Anecdotal observations suggest that active learning strategies are preferred by most nurses. Further evaluation of active learning strategies is planned to determine those that are the most useful to acute care nurses.