Nursing research is growing in leaps and bounds at Seton. Even more opportunities are on the horizon as Seton rolls out its partnership with The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, one of the nation’s preeminent medical schools.
Nurses throughout Seton are involved in nursing research at many levels. Some are publishing their work in national, peer-reviewed journals and presenting at prestigious regional, national and international conferences, while others are learning the ropes of research at workshops offered by Seton’s Center for Nursing Research (CNR). In collaboration with the Magnet and education departments, the CNR offers quarterly classes to nursing associates with didactic and practical information regarding acquisition and appraisal of data-driven information, research methodology and human subjects protection.
Center for Nursing Research
The Center for Nursing Research (CNR) was created in spring 2008 with the strategic vision to guide nursing research and evidence-based practice initiatives through 2012. Seton endeavors to be one of the nation’s top healthcare systems through the creation and dissemination of nursing research, utilize evidence-based practice to guide and promote excellence in nursing care, and commit to educating the next generation of nurse scientists.
Research, scholarship and creativity are core components of the CNR. Strategies that guide our work include:
- Providing superior educational opportunities
- Enhancing health-related quality of life through development, acquisition, and application of knowledge
- Generating and using empirical data to develop informed nursing policies and practice
- Developing a dynamic nursing culture that is embraced and respected, both internally and externally
- Fostering excellence in practice and continuity of care
- Standardizing best practices throughout the Seton Family of Hospitals that lead to quality outcomes
Center for Nursing Research Staff
Cheryl Rowder, PhD, RN, CCRC, is the director of the Center for Nursing Research for the Seton Healthcare Family. Prior to joining Seton, Dr. Rowder was an associate professor at Texas State University and previously an associate professor at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. Her research expertise comes from serving as the first clinical research director at North Texas Neurosurgical Associates, PA, where she established a clinical research department that gained national and international recognition. She previously initiated the top enrolling site for a national research study at the Veterans Affairs North Texas Healthcare System and was granted permission to analyze the data for her dissertation. Her areas of interest in research span topics in infection and pain control. Dr. Rowder is active in the Society of Healthcare Epidemiologist of America, the Association of Clinical Research Professionals, the Southern Nursing Research Society and Sigma Theta Tau International.
Kenn M. Kirksey, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, is research specialist with Seton’s Center for Nursing Research. In this role, he mentors individual nurses and groups in research methodology and evidence-based practice. Kenn has been a tenured professor of nursing, served as graduate and research coordinator at several universities in Texas and California, and taught acute/critical care and research for two decades. Dr. Kirksey’s own program of research is in the area of symptom management for persons living with HIV disease. His particular focus has been with persons experiencing lipodystrophy (body fat changes often associated with antiretroviral therapy). Kenn’s work, conducted in partnership with nurse scientists from Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America (under the auspices of the International Nursing Network for HIV/AIDS Research, based at the University of California, San Francisco) has resulted in dozens of publications in national peer-reviewed journals and scientific presentations at many world-wide conferences.
Nursing Research Fellowship
The Seton Healthcare Family Center for Nursing Research and The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing offer collaborative research classes twice each year. The initiative was formed to:
- Support Seton nurses (both direct care providers and nurse administrators) in establishing basic research competence;
- Provide consultation on research design, proposal and grant development, and the approval process for human subjects protection;
- Provide support with data management, statistical analysis and editing manuscripts/research abstracts; and
- Assist in procurement of research funding from external sources.
Faculty are available for consultation with research fellows regarding all aspects of scientific inquiry including methodology, procurement of valid and reliable instruments for data collection, preparation of institutional review board (IRB) applications, and statistical analyses. Seton Healthcare Family has three librarians available (at University Medical Center Brackenridge and Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas) to assist nursing staff in locating references and other necessary resources.
At the completion of the course, fellows have the basic research knowledge to complete the Seton IRB application, engage in data collection, and disseminate study results (e.g., podium/poster presentations and peer-reviewed journals).
Nursing Research/Evidence-Based Practice Seminars
Seminars addressing a variety of research and evidence-based practice (EBP) topics are offered monthly. Examples of topics include introduction to basic research principles, grant writing and manuscript and research proposal preparation.
Nursing Research Council
The purpose of the Nursing Research Council (NRC) is to work in close collaboration with the Center for Nursing Research (CNR) to define infrastructure needs to support nursing research, advance nursing practice and promote the implementation of evidence-based practice. The council provides support to the CNR in delineating nursing imperatives for conducting evidence-based practice projects, identifying gaps in science that inform research questions and promoting scientific inquiry. The NRC assesses nursing challenges and barriers to initiating, conducting and participating in research.
Transforming Care at Bedside (TCAB)
The Seton Healthcare Family is proud to be affiliated with a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) program that will likely transform health care delivery in hospitals across the country and throughout the world.
TCAB empowers frontline nurses and other staff to develop, test and implement changes that will dramatically improve care and work environment. It permits nurses at Seton to spend more time with their patients and improve communication among caregivers and patients as well as among families and caregivers. It also redesigns workspace to enhance efficiency and reduce waste. Many units are also participating in daily rounds with physicians and becoming more directly involved in monitoring and impacting patient care.
You’ve got leadership at its best with TCAB. It’s not about the chief nursing officer or the unit director – it’s about allowing the staff to make a lot of the decisions and try new things. – Charles J. Barnett, FACHE, president and CEO, Seton Healthcare Family
I love TCAB and I am very grateful that Seton is placing some of the power back in the hands of the people who will be carrying out the task. I think it is a wonderful program and I would support it anywhere!! I can't wait to go shopping! I'm looking forward to our quarterly meeting next week – see you then! Thanks again. – Julie Johnson, RN