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OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to describe program requirements and scholarly outcomes for registered nurse (RN)-led research in US hospitals.
BACKGROUND: Magnet(R) recognition emphasis on evidence-based practice and research has stimulated the growth of hospital-based nursing research programs. Hospital policies stipulating whether RNs can lead studies as principal investigators (PIs) varied among members of a regional nursing research consortium.
METHODS: Members of the consortium conducted a national survey of hospitals regarding their requirements for RN-led research and associated scholarly outcomes.
RESULTS: Most (87.1%) of the hospitals (N = 160) reported no minimum educational requirements for nurses to be PIs. Mentoring, training, and peer review/approval requirements differed between Magnet and non-Magnet hospitals. On average, hospitals reported an annual total of 4 studies initiated, 4 disseminated via podium or poster presentation, 1 published, and 2 funded.
CONCLUSIONS: Findings from this study provide a prototype and benchmark information for nursing administrators planning to establish, evaluate, and/or expand nursing research programs.
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