INSPIRING CHANGE: Plan for a successful research day!
Sophia Mikos-Schild EdD, MSN, RN, CNOR
Aida Avelino BS, RN-C
Marilou Calvario MSN, RN, CPAN
Annette Mata MSN, RN

August 2012 
Volume 42  Number 8
Pages 11 - 12
  PDF Version Available!

EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE is the basis for excellent nursing care. Researching the evidence informs nurses about best practices and improves patient outcomes.1 But nurses who find research difficult to understand may feel unprepared to perform it. (See Why do nurses findresearch challenging?)This article describes how we used a research day at our hospital, Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center in Chicago, Ill., to generate interest in the topic among nurses. Our research day included speakers, posters about original nursing research in our multihospital system, and presentations of some of this research. We outline the steps we took, which can be adapted to plan a research day in your healthcare setting.Planning any big event can be daunting. How do you find participants and target attendees? Whom should you use for keynote speakers? How much will it cost? The good news is that questions like these establish a framework for planning a research day.We began to prepare our nurses more than 12 months in advance. We educated staff about nursing research during a 1-day course, "Demystifying Research," created to decrease any fears and instill excitement about doing research. At several of our hospitals, an educator and a librarian covered evidence-based research and explained how to search an online library. The course was offered monthly, and attendees were awarded 1 contact hour for participating.Because other hospitals in our system had already had a research day, we drew on their experience. One of our educators took the lead and had oversight for the program. We recruited a project planning team from all levels of the organization and gained the support of direct care nurses, managers, directors, security, and environmental services.Because of our urban location, we knew some of our major issues would be space, parking, and transportation from remote parking areas. We decided to provide parking at our sister hospital 0.25 mile (0.4 kilometer) away, and use the hospital

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