Saturday, July 14, 2007
This presentation is part of : Leading Toward EBN
Mentoring: A Key Element in Culturally-Sensitive Research Development Toward Evidence-Based Practice
Margaret Shandor Miles, PhD, RN, FAAN, School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA and Lenora Campbell, DNS, RN, Department of Nursing, Winston Salem State University of N.C, Winston Salem, NC, USA.
Learning Objective #1: list three strategies for mentoring faculty and nursing staff in designing culturally-sensitive research for evidence-based practice
Learning Objective #2: develop a program for helping nursing faculty or staff to design, implement, and conduct research


To enhance evidence-based practice, there is a need for culturally sensitive research focused on health disparities among minority populations.   To develop this body of research, we need to mentor nurses and especially facilitate the development and involvement of minority nurses in research. To that end, the National Institute of Nursing Research at NIH funded centers involving partnerships between research intensive schools and schools with historically underserved students. Our Center for Innovations in Health Disparities Research involved a partnership between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and two historically Black Universities: Winston Salem State and North Carolina Central.  This paper describes key processes involved in mentoring faculty as they developed and conducted health disparities research and begin to launch their research careers. Our mentoring activities encompass two major processes: research skill development and professional goal development.  Research skill development included (1) mentoring individual faculty to focus on a topic of interest, search the research literature, and write proposals that were funded by the center; and (2) ongoing individual consultation and monthly group meetings to facilitate progress in carrying out a pilot study including navigating the IRB; preparing for data collection, recruitment and retention; data management and analysis; preparing abstracts for presentation; and writing papers. Of importance were strategies to help investigators conceptualize and conduct research using approaches culturally sensitive to the populations of interest such as using appropriate conceptual models, innovative design, appropriate data collection methods, and sensitive recruitment strategies.  Professional goal development encompassed helping faculty make transitions beyond their primary identity as teachers to encompass an identity as a researcher, confirming and giving positive feedback on progress, and socializing into the research role through participation in research meetings. Mentoring faculty in health-disparities research is essential in developing a sound body of knowledge for evidence based practice with minorities.