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Clinical Nurse Specialists Driving Research and Practice Through Research Roundtables

HARNE-BRITNER, SARAH MSN, RN, CCRN; SCHAFER, DEBORAH J. MSN, RNC-OB

doi: 10.1097/NUR.0b013e3181bc30c9
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Providing patient care based on the best evidence is a priority for healthcare institutions across the country to improve practice and patient outcomes. Creating a culture of evidence-based practice (EBP) within an organization can be a challenging task. Literature has identified numerous barriers to EBP including negative attitudes and perceptions among nurses and lack of organizational support, time, resources, and confidence with these skills. Creating programs that help nurses appreciate the value and importance of nursing research for practice can be an effective approach in changing the culture. Research Roundtable is a collaborative partnership between a healthcare system and a baccalaureate nursing program to promote EBP and research skills in nurses and nursing students. Initial goals of the program focused on increasing the nurses' knowledge base of the research process and applying research to actual clinical problems. Over the course of 3 years, Roundtable evolved from development and implementation of research projects to concentrating on the identification of clinical problems that could be analyzed and solved through the use of EBP processes. The program has resulted in the completion of research studies, implementation of practice changes based on evidence uncovered in group work, and the approval of research projects in data collection phases. The positive impacts of Roundtable have been identified at the level of the staff nurse and the organization as a whole. This article describes the role of the clinical nurse specialist in the development and implementation of the Research Roundtable.

Author Affiliations: PinnacleHealth System, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Corresponding author: Sarah Harne-Britner, MSN, RN, CCRN, PinnacleHealth System, 101 South Front Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101 (sharne-britner@pinnaclehealth.org).

No financial support was received for this program.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.