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The Role of the Advanced Practice Nurse in Facilitating a Clinical Research Study: Screening for Delirium

Lacko, Lisa A. M.S.N., R.N.; Dellasega, Cheryl Ph.D., G.N.P.; Salerno, Francis A. M.D.; Singer, Heidi M.S.N., C.R.N.P.; DeLucca, Jeanine M.S.N., R.N., C.; Rothenberger, Cynthia M.S.N., R.N.

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As advanced practitioners, clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners have a leadership role in integrating and promoting nursing research in clinical settings. In this quasi-experimental study, the role of the advanced practice nurse in developing and implementing an intervention that improved delirium screening by staff nurses is described. Screening practices of the treatment group nurses were accurate in 100% of the cases. Control nurses failed to detect any cases of delirium. A discussion of study findings and their relevance to advanced practice nursing are discussed.

LISA A. LACKO is employed at Lehigh Valley Hospital, Allentown, Pennsylvania. She is a geriatric clinical nurse specialist working as the delirium research coordinator. Lisa has extensive geriatric experience in both the inpatient and the outpatient settings. She received her BSN from Cedar Crest College, Allentown, Pennsylvania, and her MSN from Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales, Pennsylvania.

CHERYL DELLASEGA is an associate professor at Penn State University, Hershey, and a geriatric nurse practitioner. She has extensive clinical and research experience in cognitive impairment and other issues related to geriatric care.

FRANCIS A. SALERNO is the chief of geriatric medicine at Lehigh Valley Hospital, Allentown, Pennsylvania. Dr. Salerno is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and has received his certification in geriatric medicine. Dr. Salerno is the originator of the ICE (Impaired Cognition in Elders) initiative at Lehigh Valley Hospital.

HEIDI SINGER is the nurse practitioner for the Division of Geriatrics at Lehigh Valley Hospital, Allentown, Pennsylvania. Her ten-year nursing career has been exclusive to the specialty of caring for older adults. She received her BSN from Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and her MSN from Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

JEANINE DELUCCA is employed at Lehigh Valley Hospital, Allentown, Pennsylvania. She is a geriatric clinical nurse specialist/education specialist in the Center for Education, Development & Support. Jeanine received her BSN from College Misericordia, Dallas, Pennsylvania, and her MSN from Villanova University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

CYNTHIA ROTHENBERGER is currently employed as a health promotion specialist at Lehigh Valley Hospital, Allentown, Pennsylvania. At the time of the study, Cindy was employed as a research coordinator. Cindy graduated from University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, with an MSN in adult health and illness-advanced cardiopulmonary clinical practice in 1991.

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