Inquiry is Key

Inquiry is Key

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Research Tip - Inquiry is Key

Research Tip: Inquiry Is Key

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

Registered nurses working in Magnet® organizations are required to advance the body of knowledge of nursing science through nursing research, translation of evidence-based findings into practice, and dissemination of nursing research findings. All too often institutional barriers limit the ability of nurses to move their best-practice question forward from study idea inception to dissemination of research findings. Understanding needed structures and processes to overcome the barriers is a key step to support ideas through dissemination. Needed also is a spirit of inquiry within the organization that empowers nurses to strive for an evidence-informed practice.

In his TEDMED talk, "Exploring the Arc of Innovation," Thomas Goetz addressed the importance of having a rule base and a process. He noted that science is first about the rules and processes that we use to explore ideas, and then it is about the rules and the processes that we use to disseminate those ideas. This applicability of a process to explore ideas and to disseminate those ideas is equally important in nursing.

A helpful tip to build the spirit of inquiry and to move research forward in your organization is to hold a best-practice question contest. Be sure to document what you’ve done. For example:

  • Track the top five ideas generated by nurses on the nursing research council agenda. These ideas can be listed on the monthly nursing research council agenda as "Studies Under Consideration."
  • Facilitate literature review for each of the ideas until it is determined that research is warranted. If so, develop the research study protocol and supporting study documents. Then, once submitted to the Institutional Review Board (IRB), track the study on the research council agenda under "Ongoing Studies". Be sure to include a timeline for each step of the process from IRB submission through dissemination of findings.
  • Support the team of nurses conducting the research by evaluating monthly what resources are needed to meet the study timeline.

Once the study is completed, track outcomes on a research outcomes tracking table, similar to the table required in the 2014 Magnet® Application Manual (Chapter 4, Organizational Overview section, number 20). Add additional columns on the table to track these outcomes for each study

  • Nursing or hospital policy/procedure in place prior to initiating research;
  • Change to policy/procedure as a result of the research;
  • Change to nursing practice or work environment; and
  • Dissemination of findings: MAP it out with manuscripts, abstracts/posters and podium presentations.
    • Be sure to include a full listing of each finding (e.g., full citation for manuscripts; for abstracts/poster and podium presentations, cite authors, title, conference, date presented, and location presented).

Consultation is available to support the development of your research infrastructure. Please contact us if you need assistance.

Happy researching!

This article was originally published in June 2015.

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