Nursing research poster contest promotes critical thinking

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Nursing research poster contest promotes critical thinking

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the nursing research poster contest at Christiana Care Health System — a learning initiative designed to hone valuable research skills among nurses. In the initiative, “Critiquing a Research Article: Tell It in a Poster,” participating nurses select and critique significant research articles, and create a visual presentation of their findings. The program includes educational workshops and a mentoring component.

“The nursing research poster contest opens doors to critical thinking,” said Wendy Wintersgill, MSN, RN, CRRN, ACNS-BC, rehabilitation educator and lead coordinator of the program since its inception. “It encourages our nurses to challenge the status quo for the purpose of improving patient care, the patient experience and their own practice environment.”

“In nursing school, we learn the basic principles of research, and we must continue to nurture those skills in the clinical setting,” said Lynn Bayne, PhD, NNP-BC, one of two nursing research facilitators at Christiana Care. “The poster contest and the workshops leading up to it support our nurses in the practice of clinical inquiry and the ability to make informed decisions.”

Sharon Botts-DiMucci, BSN, RN, with her second-place winning poster “Robot-Assisted Laparoscopic Hysterectomy in Obese and Morbidly Obese Women: Surgical Technique and Comparison with Open Surgery.”
Sharon Botts-DiMucci, BSN, RN, with her second-place winning poster “Robot-Assisted Laparoscopic Hysterectomy in Obese and Morbidly Obese Women: Surgical Technique and Comparison with Open Surgery.”

The initiative begins each year in February, when participating nurses attend intensive workshop sessions to learn about methods for both qualitative and quantitative research, and how to effectively evaluate the elements of a research study. Nurses can compete in the poster contest as individuals or in teams of two, with each assigned a mentor to guide them through the process.

The program culminates in May in conjunction with National Nurses Week, when the poster submissions are exhibited at Christiana Hospital for viewing by physicians, nurses, clinicians, staff, patients and visitors. This year, 27 nurses participated in the contest, submitting 15 posters.

“This initiative provides a great opportunity to learn more about critiquing the evidence we read,” said Stephanie Daneshgar, BSN, RN, CNOR, who was awarded first place this year along with her research partner Sarah Larocco, BSN, RN. “When our nursing practice is based on evidence, we know it is truly the best for the patient, the caregiver and the hospital.”

“The ability to understand and evaluate research is so important in nursing,” said Lorie Meck, BSN, RN-BC, who took second-place honors with her research partner Sharon Botts-DiMucci, BSN, RN. “We need to stay abreast of innovative advances and best practices to better serve our patients.”

The poster contest is one of several major initiatives developed by Christiana Care’s Nursing Research Council to encourage vital research projects that improve patient care outcomes, and influence the quality and scope of nursing practice.

“As a Magnet organization, evidence-based practice is an expectation,” said Nursing Research Facilitator Ruth Mooney, PhD, MN, RN. “It is what we do every day to facilitate the best outcomes for our patients. Ultimately, it is our obligation to understand best practices and the evidence on which our practice is founded. The nursing research poster contest provides an ideal forum for sharpening these skill sets.”

2014 Nursing Research Poster Contest winners

1st Place

“Intraoperatively Acquired Pressure Ulcers and Perioperative Normothermia: A Look at Relationships”
By Stephanie Daneshgar, BSN, RN, CNOR, and Sarah Larocco, BSN, RN

2nd Place

“Robot-Assisted Laparoscopic Hysterectomy in Obese and Morbidly Obese Women: Surgical Technique and Comparison with Open Surgery”
By Lorie Meck, BSN, RN-BC, and Sharon Botts-DiMucci, BSN, RN

3rd Place

“The Effect of Complementary Music Therapy on the Patient’s Postoperative State of Anxiety, Pain Control and Environmental Noise Satisfaction”
By Anna Marie Flick, RN-BC, and Tracey Stawickey, RN-BC

Chief Nursing Officer’s Choice

“Hourly Rounding, a Replication Study”
By Eva Smith, BSN, RN, and Stacie Holdinsky, BSN, RN-BC

Associate Chief Nursing Officer’s Choice

“Staff Nurse Perceptions of the Magnet Journey”
By Denise Lottero, BSN, RN and Erin Day-Lewis, BSN, RN, CNOR

Honorable Mentions

“Mixed Methods Evaluation of an Interdisciplinary Sexuality Education Program for Staff Working with People Who Have an Acquired Physical Disability”
By Stacy Miller, BSN, RN, CRRN

“Nursing Research across a Large Health Care System, Sparking Nurses’ Clinical Inquiry”
By Elizabeth Haley, BSN, RN, and Jane Tester, BSN, RN

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