Implementation of Faculty Clinical Research Mentorship to Improve Academic Clinical Partnerships and Nurse Led Projects

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Mary G. Heitschmidt, PhD
Department of Womens, Children, and Family, Rush Unversity, Chicago, IL, USA
Beth A. Staffileno, PhD
Adult Health, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, USA
Ruth M. Kleinpell, PhD
Rush University Medical Center and Rush University College of Nursing, Chicago, IL, USA

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing supports partnership opportunities between academic nursing and academic health centers yet information to operationalize a systematic approach connecting bedside clinical nurses interested in conducting evidence based practice projects and research, to nursing faculty, is sparsely found in the literature. Health care systems are expected to have clinical nurses participate and lead research and evidence-based practice (EBP) projects in order to achieve and maintain Magnet® status, the highest recognition for nursing excellence.

The purpose of this presentation is to describe a unique academic nursing faculty mentoring project which provides faculty with the resource tools needed to work with clinical nursing staff and multidisciplinary project teams who want to engage in clinical evidence based practice and research projects. The Center for Clinical Research and Scholarship (CCRS) was established in 2007 as a joint venture between a medical health care system that includes a college of nursing (CON), located in the Midwestern region of the United States. One of the objectives of the CCRS is to promote clinical nursing research that improves clinical practice and patient outcomes. The CCRS also supports clinical research and scholarship activities within the health care system to promote best practices in patient care and improvements in health care delivery.

Guidelines established by the members of the CCRS are provided to nursing faculty who are interested scholarship opportunities that include working with clinical nurses on EBP and research work. Projects that connect faculty to clinical nurses address a variety of patient and clinical care topics. Faculty can identify their areas of interest to be matched to a clinical project.

Referrals from health care system clinical nurses or nursing leaders requesting faculty project involvement are matched with CON faculty who have expertise and are interest in the work. The CON faculty mentor may also provide consultation and assistance to the project team with project development, IRB submission, oversight of project implementation and with dissemination (abstract development; poster presentation; manuscript preparation) of the project. Participating as a faculty mentor enables the CON faculty member to have active involvement in scholarship as well as authorship on projects related presentations and publications.

This distinctive partnership between CON faculty and clinical nurses is an example of how to systematically elevate clinical scholarship in an academic medical center with the intent of providing improved patient care outcomes from the results of EBP or research projects, opportunities for faculty to participate in scholarship as clinical mentors, and positive leadership experiences for both clinical nurses and CON faculty.