2014 Research Grant Recipients

AACN Impact Research Grant

Ruth Kleinpell, RN, PhD, FAAN, FCCM, Director-Center for clinical Research and Scholarship, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois

National Survey to Identify ACNP Models of Care

Nurse practitioners are an increasingly important component of the nation’s acute care workforce, yet there is limited information on the specific care models across the diverse practice settings. Therefore, the specific aims of the study are to 1) describe the types of acute care NP care models currently in use in hospital and emergency department settings; 2) assess the impact of key system-level and regional-level factors on acute care NP care models; and 3) determine the relationship of state regulation of advanced practice registered nurse practice and the implementation of differing acute care NP care models.

Norma A. Metheny, RN, PhD, FAAN, Professor and Dorothy A. Votsmier Endowed Chair, Associate Dean of Research, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri

Testing Feeding Tube Placement in Infants

Dr. Metheny will work with Kathleen L. Meert, MD, professor of pediatrics at Wayne State University, Detroit, to evaluate the pH method’s effectiveness in determining feeding tube placement (gastric versus pulmonary) in a population of critically ill children less than 1 year of age. Data collection will take place at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

A total of 200 gastric aspirates will be obtained near the time a radiograph is performed; pH comparisons will be made according to the use (or non-use) of gastric acid inhibitors and the use (or non-use) of recent gastric feedings. In addition, pH testing will be performed on 50 tracheal aspirates obtained during routine suctioning. Another purpose of the study is to determine the effectiveness of a rapid pepsin assay in distinguishing between tracheal secretions and high-pH gastric secretions.

Carol Pavlish, RN, PhD, FAAN, Associate Professor, University of California, Los Angeles

CO-ADVOCATE: A Program to Prevent Ethical Conflict and Moral Distress in the ICU

The research team from the University of California Los Angeles, Mayo Clinic and the Massachusetts General Hospital will test effectiveness of a proactive education program and screening protocol to support ethics deliberation and interdisciplinary communication about the care of complex critically ill patients and their families. Researchers will measure the impact of promptly identifying and collaboratively addressing ethically difficult situations. 

AACN-Sigma Theta Tau Critical Care Grant

Leanne Boehm, RN, MSN, ACNS-BD, Research Nurse Specialist, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee

ABCDE Bundle Efficacy and Factors Influencing Adherence: Pilot Study

Boehm’s study aims to explore the culture around interdisciplinary protocol use in the ICU and the influence of organizational factors. The primary goal is to study organizational structure and process variables that may contribute to ABCDE interdisciplinary bundle adherence. In addition, the study will evaluate the effectiveness of the ABCDE bundle in improving cognitive and physical outcomes for ICU survivors. The study will identify system and clinician issues that could subsequently be targeted to improve adherence to interdisciplinary protocols.

AACN-Philips Healthcare Clinical Outcomes Grant

Susan Fetzer, RN, PhD, CNL, Nurse Researcher, Southern New Hampshire Medical Center and Professor, University of New Hampshire

Noise Assessment and the Effect of Two Noise Reduction Protocols

Alarm reduction strategies for critical care units have been promulgated but noise reduction and nurse stress on progressive care units have not been examined. A prospective, quasi-experimental, repeated measures design will be used to determine the effect of protocols to reduce noise pollution and nurse stress in a progressive care unit central nurses’ station of a 30-bed progressive care unit. A similar configured and sized non-monitored medical-surgical unit will serve as the control unit for the outcome variables.

Susan Finn, RN, MN, CNL, CCRN, CNRN, Quality Clinician, Billings Clinic, Billings, Montana

VALIDATE-Variable Analysis for Infection Discovery and Treatment: Exploratory Study

VALIDATE (Variable AnaLysis for Infection Discovery and Treatment): An Exploratory Study, is a critical care nurse-led project to determine the feasibility of using a compact monitoring device (Biopatch™) to capture physiologic data on patients admitted to the hospital with a primary diagnosis of infection. The data collected will be then sent to a lab for analysis to determine usability as a predictor of morbidity and mortality in sepsis. If proven feasible, use of these monitors would highly impact nurses’ ability to assess, care for and assist the team in determining the appropriate disposition of such patients.


Karen Mellott, RN, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, Texas

Learning Transfer from Simulation to Bedside in Nurses Using Technology to Interpret Patient Ventilator Asynchrony 

Mellott’s long-term aim is to determine how nurses can use ventilator technology and graphics to recognize patient ventilator asynchrony occurrence for integration into patient care decision making and management. This study will determine whether those nurses who participate in lecture and simulation teaching interventions demonstrate better transfer of learning to interpret patient ventilator asynchrony using ventilator technology at the bedside as compared with a control group that participates in a lecture-only teaching intervention.

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