AACN Research Grants Influence Nursing Practice

Oct 13, 2022

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Grants from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses fund studies addressing gaps in bedside knowledge to support clinical inquiry and drive change in acute and critical care nursing practice

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. — Oct. 13, 2022 — The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) announces the recipients of its annual research grants and invites clinicians and researchers to submit projects online by Oct. 28, 2022, for the next application cycle, with total available funding of $160,000.

This year, the association awarded three AACN Impact Research Grants up to $50,000 each and the AACN-Sigma Critical Care Grant with up to $10,000 in funding. Since launching the grants program in 2011, AACN has awarded more than $1.2 million in funding and 30 Impact Research Grants to help ensure a pipeline for evidence-based resources in support of a wide range of priorities.

AACN Impact Research Grants support clinical inquiry that drives change in acute and critical care nursing practice. The grants are designed to help ensure a vital source of clinically relevant research for creating evidence-based resources. Five priority areas guide AACN’s research activities:

  • Effective and appropriate use of technology to achieve optimal patient assessment, management and/or outcomes
  • Creation of healing, humane environments
  • Processes and systems that foster the optimal contributions of acute and critical care nurses
  • Effective approaches to symptom management
  • Prevention and management of complications

“The AACN Impact Research Grant Program continues to support nurse-driven research and evidence-based practice,” said AACN Chief Clinical Officer Connie Barden, MSN, RN, CCRN-K, CCNS. “It’s exciting to see how AACN-funded projects influence the care provided by nurses every day and help improve outcomes for patients and their families.”

This year’s funded projects and grant recipients:

  • Predictors of Medical Device-Related Pressure Injuries in Critically Ill Adults (Impact Research Grant)
    Using a retrospective case-control study, the research team will compare characteristics of critically ill adults who developed medical device-related pressure injuries (MDRPIs) from oxygen delivery devices and NG tubes to those of critically ill adults with similar devices who did not. The analysis will help them identify common risk factors, as well as unique risk factors to determine the best model for predicting MDRPIs and potentially providing new knowledge to enhance prevention protocols. Susan Solmos, MSN, RN, CWCN, a PhD student at University of Nebraska Medical Center, is the principal investigator.
  • Pressure Injury Prevention in the ICU With Modernized Risk Assessment (Impact Research Grant)
    This study seeks to externally validate and modernize a hospital-acquired pressure injury risk-prediction model that uses artificial intelligence via machine learning. Expanding on prior research supported by AACN, the research team will apply data from a nationally recognized individual database to assess the model. If validated, the model could eventually be applied to easily accessible electronic health record data and to support clinical decision-making in real time. The lead researcher is Jenny Alderden, PhD, APRN, CCRN, CCNS, associate professor at Boise State University, Boise, Idaho.
  • Identifying the Optimal Daily Timing of a Cognitive Training Intervention for Older ICU Survivors (Impact Research Grant)
    Patients who survive critical illness often experience sleep disturbances and ICU-acquired cognitive impairment. This study seeks to identify the best time of day for cognitive interventions to promote circadian realignment and cognitive function in older ICU survivors. Maya Elias, PhD, RN, a geriatric critical care nurse scientist and an assistant professor at University of Washington School of Nursing, Seattle, will lead the study. This study builds on prior research funded by the National Institutes of Health, for which she conducted a longitudinal cohort study that examined the effect of rest/activity and sleep/wake cycle disturbances on cognitive impairment in older ICU survivors.
  • The mMeditation Study: Evaluating the Effect of an mHealth Meditation Intervention Compared to Cardiovascular Education (AACN-Sigma Grant)
    This study will compare the effects of an eight-week mobile health (mHealth) meditation intervention with those of a cardiovascular education intervention on anxiety and stress levels in individuals recovering from their first myocardial infarction. Pamela Barthle, MSN, RN, APRN-CNP, professor of nursing at Augustana University in South Dakota and a PhD student at the University of Missouri - Kansas City, received the grant.

AACN will award up to three $50,000 Impact Research Grants in 2023. AACN continues to partner with the Sigma Foundation for Nursing to co-sponsor the AACN-Sigma Critical Care Grant, with up to $10,000 in funding.

Principal investigators must be current AACN members with either an earned master’s degree or completed candidacy requirements for a doctoral degree. Sigma members are also eligible to apply for the AACN-Sigma grant.

The application period for next year's funding is open. All research grant applications must be submitted online by Oct. 28, 2022. For more information, including award criteria and supporting documents, visit www.aacn.org/grants or email research@aacn.org.

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: For more than 50 years, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) has been dedicated to acute and critical care nursing excellence. The organization’s vision is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution. AACN is the world’s largest specialty nursing organization, with approximately 130,000 members and over 200 chapters in the United States.

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, 27071 Aliso Creek Road, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656; 949-362-2000; www.aacn.org; facebook.com/aacnface; twitter.com/aacnme