From the researchers who are discovering new knowledge, to the clinicians who are finding ways to use that research evidence at the patient bedside, it is nurse’s focus on the patient that makes their work unique among health professions. The latest issue of Johns Hopkins Nursing takes a look at the expanding role of nursing research in improving patient care.
“Nurses see the breadth of experiences and are aware of the need to look comprehensivelyat the broader determinants of health,” says Dean Martha N. Hill in “A Curious Mind.” This article explores nursing’s niche in the wider world of healthcare research and includes an interview with Patricia Grady, PhD, RN, director of the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) who agrees that nurses are at the interface of mind and body, of biology and behavior.
That focus on the whole patient is illustrated in “Discover a Better Way to Care,” which examines the ways that nursing research touches patients’ lives. The Pain-O-Meter, for example, was developed by professor Fannie Gaston-Johansson, PhD, RN, FAAN, to help healthcare providers better understand and monitor patient pain. Another nurse-led innovation is the Danger Assessment Tool, developed by professor Jacquelyn Campbell, PhD, RN, FAAN, to measure the level of risk to a victim of intimate partner violence.
But developing these theoretical tools or making and publishing research discoveries is not enough — nurses must put their knowledge into practice in a timely manner, rooted solidly in scientific evidence. “We have a responsibility to provide care that is current, safe, and has been demonstrated to be the best possible option,” says Brett Morgan, a 2009 graduate of the doctorate of nursing practice program. The article “Making Research Relevant” also highlights how Hopkins nurses have developed and published Johns Hopkins Nursing Evidence-Based Practice Model, a clear and concise approach to research translation that any nurse can use.
Worldwide, Hopkins nurses are making an impactthrough research, translation, and in clinical practice, even responding to disasters like Haiti’s January earthquake. In Hopkins Nurses Helping Haiti, read about the nurses who traveled to Haiti to provide direct care, the students raising funds to help earthquake victims, and the Hopkins-managed online community that provides knowledge and support to nurses in Haiti and throughout the developing world.