Creating a Culture of Clinical Inquiry: The Role of the Scholar in Residence

Sunday, 8 November 2015: 11:20 AM

Ruth A. Bryant, MS, BSN, RN, CWOCN
College of Nursing, Washington State University, Spokane WA, WA, USA
Martin Schiavenato, PhD, MS, BSN, BS, RN
College of Nursing, Washington State University, Spokane, WA, USA

Integration of research and EBP into clinical practice are deemed a core competency by the IOM and required for Magnet Recognition by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Education and support of the nursing staff, administrative support mechanisms and infrastructure are critical to build and sustain EBP.  The Scholar in Residence (SIR) illustrates a viable approach for healthcare institutions to partner with PhD prepared nursing faculty to facilitate clinical inquiry and EBP utilization.  

This presentation highlights the experience of two individuals serving as Scholar in Residence over a two year period at a major non-profit hospital system in a joint academic/clinical appointment.  That personal experience reveals unique issues pertinent to promoting a culture of inquiry as well as essential supportive infrastructure.  Methods of communicating with direct care providers will be discussed.  Significant positive outcomes include building interdisciplinary relationships in a clinical setting, establishing rapport and credibility and creating an ongoing reliable structure to facilitate clinical inquiry and EBP. Nurisng staff respond positively to coaching and mentoring through the EBP steps and often express insecurities in their EBP and research knowledge and skills.  Challenges include clarifying the roles of leaderhip, direct care nurses, the Scholar in Residence and employee-nursing students in structuring and conducting EBP projects.  It is also challenging to access nurses to identify individuals interested in participating in EBP or research activities and to maintain contact with project leaders.  Additionally, authority in this clincal setting is indirect so that the avenues to influence changeamong nursing leadership, staff nurses and administration will differ. From the academic perspective, challenges for the Scholar in Residence includes interpretation of this position as scholarly engagement for tenure-track faculty and adopting a generalist versus focused area of research. 

The SIR role potentially yields synergistic and mutually beneficial outcomes at both academic and healthcare institutions seeking collaborative work in EBP and research.  However, challenges implicit with the new role and predictable changes to the culture of nursing highlight a need for further professional discussion and research into this and similar roles.  Integration of the role of the Scholar in Residence into the culture and organizational structure of the clincal setting will increase the abilty to effect change through the application and utilization of EBP and research at the bedside.