Powerful Partnerships Spur Positive Change in Care Delivery

Three years ago, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing released its Advancing Healthcare Transformation: A New Era for Academic Nursing report, encouraging stronger partnerships between academic nursing and academic health centers to drive health care reform.

Illustration of a blue hand intertwined with an orange hand.

In response, over the last few years, the LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing has established Research and Evidence-Based Practice Councils with three health center partners. Faculty also offer evidence-based practice trainings in collaboration with the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) at the University of Adelaide in South Australia.

Enhancing Care Through Evidence-Based Practice

The Louisiana Center for Promoting Optimal Health Outcomes: A Joanna Briggs Institute Center of Excellence, located at the School of Nursing, gives nursing students, faculty and nurses from partner institutions access to fellowships and trainings, as well as the JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports.

As of September 2019, two nurses at Children’s Hospital New Orleans have completed their second week of Clinical Fellows training after implementing evidence-based interventions. In the second week, Clinical Fellows look at their results, examine all data, make sense of what they’ve done, identify problem areas for follow-up and communicate their results. Five nurses at University Medical Center (UMC) New Orleans will soon implement evidence-based interventions.

“We also offered a three-part training series in the JBI process for 30 nurses and nurse managers at UMC. These nurses are not Clinical Fellows, but they are learning to use JBI tools,” explains Marsha Bennett, DNS, APRN, CNE, Professor and Director of the Louisiana Center. Participants seek evidence-based improvements in multidisciplinary nursing communication, standardized handoffs, professional development access, nurse autonomy and decision-making, and nurse management.

The School of Nursing/UMC Research and Evidence-Based Practice Council was established in 2017.

“We offer education and then turn nurses back to their own units to identify possible projects and start making changes, and we benefit tremendously from seeing issues from their viewpoints,” Dr. Bennett says.

The council must approve all evidence-based interventions by staff nurses and Doctor of Nursing Practice students. Approved interventions follow the JBI model.

Expanding Research and Practice Capabilities

Children’s Hospital’s council sent staff to the Johns Hopkins Nursing Center for Evidence-Based Practice to learn about its well-established model and is training an additional 25 leaders and staff members in that model this fall.

“I see a future where  Children’s Hospital New Orleans and the School of Nursing share dual-appointed clinical faculty, develop stronger transition-to-practice programs for new grads and potentially establish a center of excellence for pediatric nursing outcomes, workforce and leadership.”

Jamie Wiggins, DNS(c), RN, MS, CCRN-K, NEA-BC, FACHE

“School of Nursing faculty are a key resource in helping us disseminate evidence-based practice across the organization,” says Jamie Wiggins, DNS(c), RN, MS, CCRN-K, NEA-BC, FACHE, Chief Nursing Officer at Children’s Hospital and adjunct instructor of clinical nursing. “With School of Nursing faculty, we are also identifying potential research studies we can conduct to explore clinical questions. We’re on target to conduct two studies in 2020 after we build the infrastructure to support them.”

Children’s Hospital has been a site for School of Nursing graduate students to complete evidence-based anesthesia, neonatal nurse practitioner and administration DNP projects. The council is now looking to expand into workforce, health care delivery and pediatric outcomes-focused research.

“I see a future where Children’s Hospital New Orleans and the School of Nursing share dual-appointed clinical faculty, develop stronger transition-to-practice programs for new grads and potentially establish a center of excellence for pediatric nursing outcomes, workforce and leadership,” says Dr. Wiggins.

Encouraging Nurse-Led Interventions

Jennifer Manning, DNS, APRN, CNS, CNE, Associate Dean for the Undergraduate Nursing Program and Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing, is a nurse researcher and co-chair for the Research and Evidence-Based Practice Council at East Jefferson General Hospital.

“I mentor staff nurses, who then engage their colleagues in evidence-based practice and research,” explains Dr. Manning. With the council, she also plans an annual scholarship day featuring nationally renowned speakers and organizes two yearly showcases that encourage nurses to submit evidence-based projects from their units.

The council helps nurses understand the difference between evidence-based practice and research and walks them through the appropriate steps. For example, an academic research study may require Institutional Review Board approval. It also seeks to promote nurses’ work and ideas beyond the walls of the hospital by increasing staff publications.

“We’ve completed one study on healthy work environments, centered on giving nurses autonomy and tools for leadership and empowering them to handle difficult patient situations,” Dr. Manning says. “We conducted an educational intervention, collecting data before and after.”

East Jefferson’s council submitted those results to an international conference and are working on a submission to the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.

“We’ve also sought Institutional Review Board approval for an end-of-life care improvement study,” she continues. “Nurses learned skills and strategies from an expert speaker in September, and we will check in with them after they implement these strategies to see how their practice and outcomes have changed.”

Recommended Articles