Four Tips to Improve Your Research Program

Four Tips to Improve Your Research Program

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Research Tip

Four Tips to Improve Your Research Program

By Karen Gabel Speroni, PhD, BSN, MHSA, RN, C-FOM
Certificate Holder in Fundamentals of Magnet®
NKC Consultant and Educator

Tip 1: Standardize research terminology

Whether your research program is well established or brand new, consistent terminology puts everyone on the same page.

Tip 2: Identify an experienced mentor

Research mentors guide the nursing research process and support and advise nurses as they conduct studies. Mentors are a proven factor in hospital nursing research success.1

Tip 3: Inspire nurse involvement

QuERY can help:

Qu = Quality Improvement
= Evidence-Based Practice
= Research
= You

Hold a QuERY best idea contest. Here’s how it works:

  • Ask clinical nurses for ideas to improve standards of care, community outreach, or the work environment.
  • Form teams on each unit to identify the unit’s best QI activity, EBP project, or research study. If there aren’t any, select one from the literature.
  • Enlist a panel of nurses to judge the improvement ideas and unit-based projects. To facilitate understanding, be sure to share research terminology definitions.
  • Select winners from each category, and reward and recognize the nurses involved. Prizes could include journal subscriptions, conference attendance, preferred parking, spa gift cards, etc. Please check your organization’s rules.

Tip 4: Recognize research achievements

Share your success! Disseminate findings through poster presentations, podium presentations, or published manuscripts.


McLaughlin, M., Speroni, K.G., Kelly, K.P., Guzzetta, C., and Desale, S. (2013). National survey of hospital nursing research, Part 1. Research Requirements and Outcomes. Journal of Nursing Administration, 43(1), 10-17. Reprinted 2013, 43(10), S28-S35.

Kelly, K.P., Turner, A., Speroni, K.G., McLaughlin, M., and Guzzetta, G. (2013). National survey of hospital nursing research, Part 2. Facilitators and Hindrances. Journal of Nursing Administration, 43(1), 18-23. Reprinted 2013, 43(10), S36-S41.

This article was originally published in December 2014.

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