1. Hill, Karen S. DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE, FAAN

Article Content

Many of you have heard me say that I am the target audience for the Journal of Nursing Administration (JONA). As the chief operating officer/chief nursing officer (COO/CNO) of a 4-time Magnet(R)-designated organization, I value the articles in JONA as well as the time and effort it takes for writing teams to submit manuscripts. I use the studies to help inspire my staff to think outside the norm by considering new approaches to issues and to learn from others. Contacting corresponding authors is a form of networking that is often overlooked. My hospital, Baptist Health Lexington, received our 4th designation in 2019, and for both this submission and the survey for Magnet in 2015, we received exemplars for nurse-led research. The success in this area is because we have strategically embedded an emphasis on research into our culture.1 During the 1st Magnet designation in 2005, I recognized that expanding research from our initial studies was an area for development. Tactics including access to library resources and literature at all levels 24/7, the establishment of a Nursing and now Nursing and Allied Health Research Council, hiring of a nurse scientist with an education background who loves to teach and mentor, development of a strategy to help investigators publish to disseminate their work,2 and the personal involvement of the CNO have been key. The emphasis on publications has been strategic for multiple reasons. When teams of investigators produce outcomes, I feel a commitment to acknowledge that work and implement findings in our practices or to further build on their outcomes in future research. This organization-wide affirmation of the importance of findings has not only improved our practices at Baptist Health Lexington; it has also validated the conduct of research as a professional development opportunity for staff. By expanding the Nursing Research Council to include our Allied Health colleagues, we have realized collaborative projects with physical therapy, pharmacy, radiology, and human resources. As a result, from September 2018 to January 2020, authors from Baptist Health Lexington have published 18 articles in 13 different journals. The goal is to publish not only to accomplish more but also in times of constrained meeting and travel resources; this is a way for our teams to disseminate their work without extensive travel. Authors still submit abstracts to present at meetings, but the number of studies and investigators would overwhelm resources that we can dedicate to travel. Below are some suggestions for embedding research into culture across settings from a seasoned COO/CNO and Editor in Chief.1

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a. Recognize the initiative of investigators: Clinical ladder points for participation, emails from administration and particularly the CNO, announcing research projects at staff meetings and newsletters, and implementation of findings are some ways to promote recognition.


b. Develop systems to support clinical staff to be successful as investigators. Having the support of a PhD nurse scientist, either as an employee or on contract, is imperative. Our culture has supported the belief that clinical staff can serve as principal investigators with the right support. This affirmation has led to many nurses returning to school for advanced degrees, seeking further opportunities to participate in projects, and helping to implement findings.


c. Develop an education plan for nurse leaders and educators. With diverse backgrounds, varied years of experience, and comfort with research, these nurses are key in supporting and encouraging research interest. Increasing comfort levels will reap benefits culturally.


d. Leaders must personally encourage others to be bold and confident and to participate in studies. Oftentimes, that nudge of support from someone in authority is the tipping point for moving forward.


e. Ensure access to a user-friendly institutional review board (IRB). The IRB at Baptist Health Lexington has adopted a supportive role in collaboration with the Nursing and Allied Health Research Office to teach new investigators how to complete an IRB application and the principles of human subject protection. Investigators complete mandatory training required by the IRB before submitting proposals.


f. Recognize that clinical staff have great insight and ideas. Our bedside clinicians know their practice areas. Many are recognized experts through certification. Helping connect them with the literature to explore a clinical or leadership question and then moving to project development if indicated is affirmation of their expertise and perspective. This contributes to staff retention and development.


g. Leaders must be personally involved. The CNO cannot delegate responsibility for a research-friendly environment.



This annual research edition of JONA is a chance to highlight varied research studies with different approaches and topics. Each edition of JONA contains research, but by highlighting an annual dedicated edition, I hope to remind our readers of the importance of scholarship which must be led, inspired, and supported by nurse leaders.




1. Brockopp DY, Hill KS, Bugajski AA, Lengerich AJ. Establishing a Research-Friendly Environment: A Hospital-Based Approach. Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning; 2018. [Context Link]


2. Brockopp DY, Hill KS, Moe K, Wright L. Transforming practice through publication. JONA. 2016;46(10):554-558. [Context Link]