Impact Research Grants

Sep 08, 2016

Added to Collection

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses grants support nurse-driven research

AACN grants fund studies addressing gaps in bedside knowledge to support clinical inquiry and drive change in high acuity and critical care nursing practice

 — Sept. 8, 2016 — The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) announces the recipients of its annual research grants and invites clinicians and researchers to submit projects 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 Theta Tau Critical Care Grant with up to $10,000 in funding.

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

  • 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 contribution of critical care nurses
  • Effective approaches to symptom management
  • Prevention and management of complications

“AACN has invested more than $750,000 over the past five years to support nurse-driven research designed to improve high acuity and critical care nursing practice and outcomes for patients and their families,” said AACN Chief Clinical Officer Connie Barden, RN, MSN, CCRN-K, CCNS. “The evidence provided from these AACN-funded projects continues to influence the care provided by nurses every day.”

This year’s funded projects and grant recipients:

Postoperative Respiratory Failure (Impact Research Grant)

Postoperative respiratory failure is the most common and severe postoperative pulmonary complication, and this matched case-control analysis seeks to identify the impact of nursing care on potentially modifiable risk factors. Lead researcher is Jacqueline Stocking, RN, PhD(c), MSN, MBA, NEA-BC, a critical care nurse pursuing her doctoral degree at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at the University of California at Davis.

Arrhythmia Monitoring and Alarm Fatigue (Impact Research Grant)

Arrhythmia alarms alert nurses to changes in a patient’s heart rhythm, but the sheer number of alarms contributes to alarm fatigue, a known patient safety issue. Michele Pelter, RN, PhD, assistant professor and director of the ECG Monitoring Research Lab at the University of California at San Francisco, will lead a research team to analyze a large dataset of annotated arrhythmia alarms to learn whether these arrhythmias have clinical significance or are associated with serious outcomes. Results will provide guidance to manufacturers to better define their alarms requiring action and to hospitals as they create policies and procedures to address alarm management requirements mandated by The Joint Commission.

Moral Distress Consultations (Impact Research Grant)

Most moral distress interventions focus on distinct groups of healthcare providers or specific ethically challenging situations, but the Moral Distress Consult Service of the University of Virginia (UVA) Health System is one of the few programs that are multidisciplinary and institution-wide in scope. A team from the UVA School of Nursing and Center for Biomedical Ethics and Humanities, led by Elizabeth Epstein, RN, PhD, and Mary Faith Marshall, PhD, BSN, FCCM, will formally evaluate the consult service and its effects on moral distress and elements of a healthy work environment.

AACN will award up to three $50,000 Impact Research Grants in 2017. The association developed the program in 2011 to ensure a pipeline for evidence-based resources to guide practice.

AACN continues to offer annually the AACN-Sigma Theta Tau 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 Theta Tau International (STTI) members are also eligible to apply for the AACN-STTI grant.

The application period for next year’s funding is now open. All research grant applications must be submitted online by Oct. 13. For more information, including award criteria and supporting documents, visit, or email

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses: Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, California, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. AACN represents the interests of more than half a million acute and critical care nurses and includes more than 225 chapters worldwide. 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.