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  1. Bolton, Linda Burnes DrPH, RN, FAAN
  2. Shihady, Ida R. MPH
  3. Bennett, Crystal DNSc, RN
  4. Broussard, Paula RN, RDMS
  5. Fridman, Moshe PhD
  6. Fink, Arlene PhD
  7. Fridman, Rachel MS
  8. Aydin, Carolyn PhD
  9. Korst, Lisa M. MD, PhD
  10. Gregory, Kimberly D. MD, MPH


Objective: To describe effective methods to engage nurse leaders in structured interview research.


Background: The American Organization of Nurse Executives has identified the support of nurse leader participation in research as a key strategy to achieving its education and research objectives, particularly with regard to identifying and documenting nursing sensitive outcomes. Previous studies have delineated several methods to increase participation.


Methods: Nurse leaders of California labor and delivery units reporting more than 50 deliveries during 2002 were asked to participate in a structured interview about staffing and clinical policies on their unit. Recruitment methodology involved 3 levels of intervention, including introductory letters, follow-up contacts, and personal encouragement from senior regional leaders and nurse executives.


Results: Of the 268 eligible hospitals, 225 (84%) participated in the study. Fifty-four percent (n = 114) of the structured interviews were scheduled upon initial and second contacts by the research coordinator, and 73% (n = 161) were completed at the first scheduled appointment. Unit managers or directors personally completed 91% (n = 205) of the interviews, with only 20 (8.9%) designated to a staff nurse.


Conclusions: Nurse leader participation is essential to the success of research dependent on collecting information regarding nurse practices and clinical processes. Using a multilevel approach to engage nurse leaders in research, such as endorsements and "detailing" by opinion leaders, phone calls, electronic mail, and incentives, is an effective strategy.