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Keywords

clinical nurse specialist, research role, clinical nursing research, collaborative research teams

 

Authors

  1. FITZGERALD, MAURA MS, RN, CNS
  2. MILBERGER, PAMELA MS, RN
  3. TOMLINSON, PATRICIA SHORT PhD, RN
  4. PEDEN-MCALPINE, CYNTHIA PhD, RN, APRN,BC
  5. MEIERS, SONJA J. PhD, MS, RN
  6. SHERMAN, SUZANNE MS, RN

Abstract

Clinical nurse specialists are expected to contribute to the development of new nursing knowledge through research activities. Competing demands require constant juggling of time and priorities, and activities, such as research, often do not receive the attention they deserve. Research requires specific skills and knowledge and significant time expenditure. Collaborative research is an appropriate way for the clinical nurse specialist to both contribute to research and improve his or her research skills. This article discusses two pediatric critical care clinical nurse specialists' participation in a collaborative research team led by university faculty. The study was designed to reduce family uncertainty and stress and to increase staff nurse competency in providing family care. The ability of the clinical nurse specialists to contribute to the research team was enhanced by knowledge of the research process, good communication skills, and clinical expertise in the specific population of interest. Challenges for the clinical nurse specialists included limited experience in conducting clinical research and balancing clinical and research priorities. Both clinical nurse specialists and the university faculty benefited from this collaboration. The clinical nurse specialist, with expertise in a clinical specialty, is able to bridge the gap between the academic and clinical sites, making clinical research more likely. At the same time, working with expert researchers allows the clinical nurse specialist to increase his or her research skills.