1. Alexander, Mary MA, RN, CRNI(R), CAE, FAAN

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Research is an essential part of the nursing profession; it drives the solutions for better patient care. Note that evidence-based practice and research have been included in the Infusion Therapy Standards of Practice for some time (now Standard 7.1): "The clinician integrates evidence-based knowledge with clinical expertise and the patient's preferences and values in the current context when providing infusion therapy."1(p.S24) I believe that any competent clinician can accomplish this task; indeed, we all have an obligation to our profession to do so.

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INS has assembled a formal research committee to explore research priorities for infusion nursing. Its members have already conducted surveys and focus groups to solicit input about the attitudes toward research and research needs in an effort to identify priorities. As they continue this work, they will conduct focus groups at the upcoming INS 2016 seeking information from members who work in the home care setting. The results of these surveys and focus groups will help direct INS' research agenda to foster clinical practice and positive patient outcomes.


We know that in order to conduct any research, funding is necessary. There are numerous research grants available for nursing research; one of them is offered by INS, the Gardner Foundation Research Grant, sponsored by Smiths Medical. We established the Gardner Foundation to provide scholarships for INS members wishing to pursue careers in infusion therapy and to promote infusion nursing research and education programs.2 INS also supports a research grant through the American Nurses Foundation Nursing Research Grant Program. This grant supports research that's related to the science and practice of infusion nursing.3 For those already involved in research, consider submitting a proposal. Note the deadline for ANF research applications is May 1, 2016. A quick Google search will help you find other sources.


While I encourage you to conduct research, I understand that you all will not be able to participate at the same levels; your knowledge of and experience in research, as well as your work load, may determine that. Nevertheless, there are many ways to be involved. You might want to start a journal club, which can stimulate conversations about current research and perhaps generate ideas for new research. Offer your input by completing surveys that are sent to you or by joining a focus group. Consider being part of a research team with your colleagues.


If you do complete your research, the next step, of course, is to disseminate it widely. Submit a manuscript to a journal for publication, or present your findings at a professional meeting. There are numerous other platforms now available for distributing your work, including podcasts, videos, and webinars. Then translate that research into your practice and share your knowledge with other clinicians, and apply the evidence to your organization's quality improvement projects.


Once you feel comfortable in the realm of nursing research, consider joining the INS Research Committee. Their work not only assists scholars doing research, but for those with less experience, it also provides a better understanding of the research process and a framework to guide future action.


Be part of a research effort. It's not just limited to conducting trials, gathering data, and publishing scholarly papers. Responding to surveys, reviewing proposals, and joining focus groups add to the body of research. Your voice is important as we shape our research agenda.




1. Gorski L, Hadaway L, Hagle ME, McGoldrick M, Orr M, Doellman D. Infusion therapy standards of practice. J Infus Nurs. 2016;39(suppl 1):S24. [Context Link]


2. Infusion Nurses Society Web site. Accessed January 28, 2016. [Context Link]


3. American Nurses Foundation Web site. Accessed January 28, 2016. [Context Link]