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Nursing Research Opportunities at Children's National

Children’s National celebrates nursing research, quality, and evidence-based practice.   Our program is developing into a nationally recognized setting for pediatric nursing and inter-professional scholarly research. Our goal is to involve nurses in research, quality, and evidence based practice in order to improve patient and family care outcomes. We define excellence in nursing practice as a mindset of continually evaluating care challenges and improvements that result in enhanced outcomes for the patient, the family, and the organization. This includes disseminating findings in ways that benefit the children and families of the world.

We seek to continually:
  1. Facilitate the conduct of independent, extramurally-funded studies that generate new knowledge
  2. Engage nurses in the systematic examination of their clinical hypotheses
  3. Provide research mentorship
  4. Promote inter-professional research
  5. Establish evidence based nursing practice
  6. Involve nurses at all levels in the quality improvement processes
  7. Demonstrate improved patient outcomes through the quality indicators program 
Our program and its offerings include:
  1. Department of Nursing Research and Quality Outcomes
  2. The Clinical Improvement and Nursing Research Council (CINRC)
  3. Nursing Research Advisory Committee (NRAC)
  4. Nursing members of the Clinical and Community Research Center at Children’s National
  5. Nursing Research and Activities Development Committee (NRAD)
  6. Doctoral Support Group
  7. Open Office Hours
  8. Walking Quality Rounds
  9. Individual consultations on research, evidence-based practice , and quality
  10. Quality indicators measurement
Our outcomes include:
  1. Extramural funding from the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease, National Institute of Nursing Research), health care product companies and private foundations
  2. Intramural research funding for studies from the Children’s Research Institute
  3. Research studies with RNs as principal investigators
  4. National paper and poster presentations
  5. Peer reviewed publications

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Research at Children's
Children’s National is committed to nursing research. We encourage nurses to be actively engaged in nursing research and evidence-based nursing practice to achieve excellence in patient and family outcomes. We offer many avenues for nurses to become involved in nursing research and evidence based practice projects.

Clinical Improvement and Nursing Research Council (CINRC)
This council originated in 2006 with the goal of improving patient and family outcomes through nurse sensitive performance improvement initiatives and fostering the conduct and translation of nursing and other health care research at all levels of practice. Meeting each month, the council reviews nursing sensitive quality improvement projects from all clinical units, discusses new research studies and provides a forum for updates and educational sessions on research topics.

Nurses on the council from each clinical area continually examine and implement performance improvement activities for nursing sensitive indicators relevant to their practice area. Nurses identify system and care challenges, implement improvements and evaluate results to directly improve patient, family and system outcomes.

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Nursing Research Advisory Council (NRAC)
A subcommittee of the CINRC, the NRAC reviews and provides oversight for all nursing research protocols to ensure scientific merit, feasibility, and protection of human subjects in research and makes recommendations to advance nursing research at Children’s National Medical Center. The NRAC also provides expert consultation and scientific review to novice researchers to help them develop their research ideas into feasible and fundable protocols. The co-chairs, Drs. Suzanne Feetham and Pamela Hinds, are internationally known nursing research experts.

In addition to her work on the NRAC, Dr. Feetham also provides support to nurses who are either interested in or currently enrolled in doctoral education. The Doctoral Nurses Interest Group and the Doctoral Nurses Support Groups meet quarterly to provide support to nurses interested in or currently pursuing graduate education.

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Children’s Clinical Research Center (CRC) –The CRC nurses provide skilled support directly to clinical investigators to plan and conduct both medical and nursing research studies. Nurses work with patients and families to ensure informed and safe participation in research protocols. These nurses adhere to federal regulations for the protection of human subjects {21CFR50} and work to ensure that all research is conducted according to Good Clinical Practice (GCP). They also conduct nursing research independently or in conjunction with medical clinical trials and serve as research experts to all Children’s National staff.

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Children’s Research Institute (CRI)
Ranked ninth in the United States for National Institutes of Health (NIH) pediatric research funding, CRI brings research discoveries from the lab to the clinics of the hospital and to the community. It is comprised of research centers that work together towards cures and better care for childhood diseases. The Director of Nursing Research, Dr. Pamela Hinds holds an appointment in the CRI and provides critical input into nursing contributions to and collaborations within the CRI.

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Children’s Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Children’s Institutional Review Board reviews, evaluates, approves, and monitors all proposed biomedical and behavioral research involving human subjects. It ensures that appropriate steps are taken, based on mandated federal guidelines, to protect the rights and welfare of people participating as subjects in research studies. Nursing representatives serve on Children’s IRB.

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Washington Regional Nursing Research Consortium

In December of 2006 Nellie Robinson, CNO, initiated and led the re-establishment of the Washington Regional Nursing Research Consortium (WRNRC). Nurse researchers, Deans, and CNOs from the Washington DC metropolitan academic medical centers and Colleges of Nursing are members of the consortium. The meeting locations are rotated in the Washington DC region, and are held at least annually at Children’s National. The meetings focus on strengthening the ties between academia and practice to advance nursing research in the region.

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