Research Champions: An initiative to improve use of research evidence in nursing practice

Sunday, 17 November 2013: 2:45 PM

M. Cynthia Logsdon, PhD, WHNP-BC, FAAN1
Gary Spalding, BSN1
Reetta Stikes, MSN, RNC-NIC, CLC2
Susan Rothbauer, BSN1
Regina Doan, BSN1
(1)Nursing, University of Louisville Hospital, Louisville, KY
(2)Nursing Education and Research, University of Louisville Hospital, Louisville, KY

Learning Objective 1: 1. The learner will be able to discus use of Diffusion of Innovation Theory to change the culture of health care organization to embrace EBP.

Learning Objective 2: 2. The learner will be able to discuss three strategies for leading change by direct care nurses.

The purpose of this presentation is to describe and evaluate an initiative (Research Champions) to increase the research skills of nurses so that they are better prepared to evaluate research evidence and implement evidence based practice in a university hospital. Based upon Diffusion of Innovation Theory (Rogers, 1962) and self efficacy theory (Bandura, 1977), nurse leaders from each hospital unit were invited to nominate candidates for two cohorts (2010, 2012) of the Research Champion (RC) program. Individuals could also self nominate. The expectation was for the RC’s to be opinion leaders across different care settings. The RC program consisted of a year of interactive skill building sessions on research knowledge and change strategies and the opportunity to practice skills needed to integrate evidence based practice into professional nursing culture. The sessions were provided by nurse scientists and other nurse leaders. The RC application included signatures from nurse leaders indicating their support of time and expected outcomes from RC’s (journal clubs on unit, research critique in nursing newsletter, completion of quality improvement /research project on unit with abstract submitted to nursing research day). Twenty four nurses started each cohort with 50% completing classes and outcomes. Based upon self efficacy theory, data from program evaluations at completion of course and at 12 month follow up indicated that RC’s had improved confidence (self efficacy) in their abilities to critique research manuscripts and to attend to ethics of research. Use of RC’s (opinion leaders) are an effective strategy to communicate innovation and change the culture to embrace research evidence as a foundation of professional nursing practice.