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Nursing Research

At Saint Luke’s, our program is one of only a handful in the nation in which nurses at the bedside actually perform research, allowing them to make practical evidence-based changes to enhance patient outcomes and improve the quality of care.

Nursing research is a rigorous scientific process that the nurse researcher undertakes to generate new knowledge, or to validate or refine existing knowledge. 

Direct care nurses are able to participate in projects in several different ways:

  • Individually-initiated Research. Nurses can develop research projects independently with assistance from Nursing Research Council and the Nursing Research Program Director.
  • Unit-based Research Program. Nurses also have the opportunity to participate in unit-based research (UBR), in which a team of staff nurses collaborate on a research project, with the help of a team leader and a research mentor. Each research team formulates a researchable question by consensus, designs and implements the research project, and disseminates the results. This program has increased the accessibility of research to the direct care nurse.
  • Nursing Research Clinical Scholar Program. Initiated in 2012, the Nursing Research Clinical Scholar (NRCS) Program was designed for staff nurses who want to conduct investigator-initiated clinical research. The NRCS program provides multiple opportunities for a select group of nurses to engage in scholarly research activities, including development and implementation of a research project. Funds donated to Saint Luke’s Foundation specifically for nursing research provide financial support that enabled the Clinical Scholars to participate in nursing research activities. 
  • Evidence-based nursing practice and process improvement involves the nurse considering the best available evidence to help guide sound clinical decision making. At Saint Luke’s, our nurses refrain from doing something just because it’s the way it has always been done. Instead, we are continually evaluating our nursing practice to either validate or modify the practices. The ultimate goal is to provide the most effective nursing care and achieve optimal outcomes for patients.

Unique in excellence

The American Heart Association made a Saint Luke's nurse's clinical nursing guidelines the national standard. The guidelines include treatment for acute ischemic stokes, or those caused by blood clots. The guidelines appeared in the August 2009 edition of the Stroke, a journal of the American Heart Association. 

Research like this has been an active component in the professional nursing model for nearly 20 years. Nursing research helped Saint Luke's Hospital achieve Magnet accreditation by the American Nurses Association (ANA) in 2004, and reaccreditation in 2009 and 2014.

The Nursing Research Council

The Nursing Research Council (NRC) promotes nursing research and evidence-based practice across the Saint Luke's Health System. Nurses from all units are invited to participate as council members. The role of the NRC is to facilitate development of research projects at the hospital, evaluate the scientific merit of nursing research projects, and assist in dissemination and utilization of nursing research outcomes. 

Saint Luke's Nursing Research Council: 

  • Provides structure and financial support for nursing research 
  • Directs and teaches evidence-based nursing practices 
  • Identifies trends in bedside care and recommends evidence-based strategies to improve overall patient care

Interested in participating? Please download and fill out the following forms:

Contact us

For more information about Saint Luke's nursing research, call 816-502-8560.

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