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CCRS Projects Making an Impact on Nursing Practice


Zentangle: A Mindfulness Exercise for Oncology Nurses (Z-MEON), RUSH University Cancer Center

Zentangle, a type of therapeutic art, is a meditative activity that utilizes drawing simple, repetitive lines and shapes to create artwork while decreasing stress. The purpose of this research study was to determine if Zentangle improved professional quality of life, and reduced stress and fatigue in oncology nurses.

  • Publication: 1
  • Presentations: 2 internal

Improving Inpatient Colonoscopy Patient outcomes, RUSH Oak Park Hospital

The purpose of this study was to determine if an educational intervention improved inpatients bowel preparation and to determine its effect on bowel preparation quality, patient’s satisfaction and understanding of bowel preparation.

  • Publication: 1
  • Presentations: 1 national, 1 regional, and 2 internal

Initiation of Manual Pronation During COVID-19, RUSH Oak Park Hospital

The purpose of this retrospective study was to describe ICU clinical, safety, and process data, such as manual pronation and other procedures taken to ensure improved outcomes and staff safety during the initial 2020 COVID-19 pandemic surge.

  • Publication: 1
  • Presentation: 1 internal


The Experience of Frontline Nurses During the COVID 19 pandemic: A Phenomenology Study, RUSH University Medical Center

The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe 23 frontline nurses experiences who worked during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results showed the importance of supportive relationships and the need to sustain mental health and well-being needs of frontline nurses during the pandemic.

  • Publication: 1
  • Presentation: 1 internal

Protecting the Largest Organ of the Smallest Patient: Preventing Skin Breakdown in the Pediatric ICU, RUSH University Medical Center

Previous skin breakdown risk assessment tools used in the PICU did not account for medical devices when calculating risk for skin breakdown. The Braden QD skin breakdown risk assessment tool was subsequently utilized eliminating the need for two age-based tools. A phased approach to nursing education was rolled out to PICU nursing staff and Pre and post implementation surveys were conducted. Case Monthly chart audits, practice evaluation, and education continue with a goal of zero HAPIs over a twelve-month period in the PICU.

  • Presentation: 1 national

External Ventricular Drain Dressings, a Gap in the Literature and Clinical Practice

RUSH University Medical Center

External ventricular drains (EVDs) are invasive catheters placed in the ventricle of the brain to drain cerebrospinal fluid and assess intracranial pressure. A lack of clinical guidelines surrounds EVD dressings. This study compares outcomes of two EVD dressing change protocols and related rates ventriculitis.

  • Publications: 1 published, 1 under review
  • Presentations: 2 internal

Development of a Comprehensive Car Seat Program, RUSH University Medical Center

Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of mortality in pediatric patients. The purpose of this EBP project was to increase provider and staff confidence in assessing appropriately secured patients in child restraint systems (CRS) through implementation of car seat training modules. Pre and post results demonstrated increased multidisciplinary confidence with CRS safety standards and importance of annual CRS training.

  • Publication: manuscript in preparation
  • Presentations: 2 internal, 1 regional and 1st place award


Favorable Outcomes Moving Nursing Orientation to a Hybrid Program During the COVID-19 Pandemic, RUSH University Medical Center

Traditional in-person general nursing orientation was converted to a hybrid program, incorporating online and modified in-person components during the COVID-19 pandemic. This hybrid program successfully onboarded 125 new nurses during the initial surge while maintaining all COVID-19 safety precautions. This innovative hybrid approach successfully onboard nurses while meeting all orientation requirements.

  • Publication: 1

Impact of Progressive Mobility in Hospitalized Elderly Adults With and Without a Pandemic, RUSH Oak Park Hospital

This project was based on the recommendations of the American Academy of Nursing (AAN) Choosing Wisely® Campaign, second initiative "Don't let older adults lie in the bed or only get up to a chair during hospital stay." This project focused on determining changes in staff attitudes toward mobilization and perception of mobility barriers pre, 3,6, 9 and 12 months post educational interventions. Ambulation of elderly patients during hospitalization improved post implementation.

  • Publication: 1
  • Presentations: 1 national, 1 internal

Assessing QI competence in frontline nurses & nurse leaders, RUSH University Medical Center, RUSH Copley, RUSH Oak Park

The purpose of this nurse-led study was to determine the knowledge, skills, and attitudes, and level of engagement in quality improvement (QI) for frontline nurses/nurse leaders in various clinical settings across one health system. Facilitators and barriers to nurse engagement in QI were examined.

  • Publication: manuscript in preparation
  • Presentation: 1 internal


A Pilot Study to Assess the Impact of Physical Activity on Compassion Fatigue and Burnout among Registered Nurses Working in an Urban Academic Ambulatory Cancer Center, Rush University Medical Center – Cancer Center

This 12-week study evaluated the impact of physical activity (PA) among ambulatory oncology registered nurses on measures of compassion fatigue and burnout.

  • Publication: 1

Senior Nursing Students’ and New Graduates’ Perceptions and Experiences with COVID-19

Rush University Medical Center

The purpose of this qualitative study is to describe the shared experiences among nursing students and recent graduates whose clinical rotations were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings from this study will help identify nursing students and recent graduates’ experiences and clinical readiness which may help future students and nurse educators.

The Impact and Efficiency of Bedside and Keyboard Charting

Rush Copley Medical Center

Nursing documentation at the bedside has the potential to improve documentation accuracy and timeliness. During Phase 1, a retrospective chart analysis of documentation practices of 136 nurses will be conducted to compare the timeliness of documentation at a nursing station computer versus documentation completed at a bedside computer. Phase two will use a survey method to examine barriers to bedside charting.


Inpatient “Against Medical Advice” Discharge Rates Pre and Post Initiation of Universal Substance Use Disorder Protocols at a Large Urban Hospital

Rush University Medical Center

This retrospective study examined whether inpatient hospital against medical advice (AMA) discharges decreased pre/post the implementation of a hospital-wide substance use disorder assessment and intervention, Study findings showed no statistically significant change in AMA discharge rates at a large urban hospital following the implementation of hospital-wide substance use screenings and interventions. While substance use disorder is frequently cited as a significant indicator of AMA discharge, it is not the sole factor.

  • Publication: manuscript in preparation

Favorable Outcomes from an In-person and Online Feasibility Mindful Moment Study

Rush Copley Medical Center

The purpose of this 8-week study was to evaluate the feasibility of short mindfulness sessions (Mindful Moment) practiced prior to a shift, available in-person and online, on nurse burnout and perceived levels of stress. Findings showed that a brief, self-care intervention resulted in lower levels of burnout and perceived stress among this population of clinicians. Mindfulness, yoga, and meditation continue to show promise as a method for nurses to practice self-care and may be particularly useful as nurses are caring for critical, complex patients, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Publication: manuscript accepted in the Journal of Holistic Nursing Practice

Loneliness, in Skilled Care Unit Elderly Patients

Rush Oak Park Hospital

Elderly patients in skilled care units receive daily physical, occupational therapies and/or speech therapy. Social interactions when patients are hospitalized for weeks and in some cases even months may decrease or be limited. Social relationships, quality of life, and sleep have not been studied in the inpatient skilled care populations. The purpose of this longitudinal study is to describe loneliness, quality of life, and sleep quality in in-patients (>65 years) admitted to a skilled unit.

  • Publication: manuscript in preparation

Cancer Health Literacy and Perceptions of Cancer Clinical Trials in Lymphoma Patients

Rush University Medical Center

This descriptive study is designed to better understand barriers to participation in clinical trials through assessing cancer health literacy level and knowledge, receptivity, and attitudes of patients with lymphoma towards participation in clinical trials. This research study involves 2 phases. Phase 1 includes lymphoma patients (n=30) who have participated in a cancer clinical trial within the last 2 years or are currently receiving therapy as part of a cancer clinical trial. Phase 2 includes lymphoma patients (n=15) who declined participation in a cancer clinical trial from January 2019 to present.

A Pilot Study of the Intervention of Art Therapy, Specifically Multimedia Painting, in Adult Ambulatory Oncology Patients Receiving Chemotherapy and/or Radiation

Rush University Medical Center

The purpose of this ongoing study is to assess the impact of art therapy on perceived stress and anxiety among patients undergoing cancer treatment. This 4-week study involves 90-minute art therapy sessions and focuses on a different theme and painting medium each week. The study is delivered virtually to adhere to social distancing precautions. Thus far, 4 participants have completed the study with favorable reductions in perceived stress and anxiety.

Oral Chemotherapy Regimen Management

Rush University Medical Center

The purpose of this study was to examine the educational needs of oncology nurses who administer oral chemotherapy drugs in the ambulatory setting. Recently completed a survey assessing educational needs and is currently preparing educational sessions.

A Nursing-Driven Mortality Case Review to Improve Early Recognition of Acute Decompensation and Reduce the Incidence of Respiratory and Cardiac Arrest

Rush University Medical Center

The purpose of this retrospective chart review was to examine the 48 hours leading up to every in hospital respiratory and cardiac arrest outside of the ICU, Operating Room and Emergency Department. This review will help to identify trends, patterns and areas for improvement.

Mindfulness and Resilience for Nurses

Rush University Medical Center

The purpose of this longitudinal study was to measure the effectiveness of a 4-hour Mindfulness and Resilience Workshop through the evaluation of nurse's burnout, perceived stress and mindfulness.

Publication: 1 manuscript in Journal of Holistic Nursing Practice

Presentation: 1 national, 3 regional


A Pilot Study to Assess the Feasibility and Impact of Exercise on Cancer-Related Fatigue and Quality of Life among Patients with High Grade Glioma

Rush University Medical Center

This 18-month pilot study assessed the feasibility to recruit and retain participants with high grade glioma (HHG) into a 10-week exercise intervention and evaluated the impact on CRF and QOL. Participants were enrolled into usual care (UC), education (EDU), or exercise (EX) based on time of enrollment and radiation treatment location. Thirty patients were screened and 19 agreed to participate, providing a 63% accrual rate. EX participants experienced less fatigue and improved QOL compared to UC and EDU, suggesting that exercise favorably impacts clinical outcomes and is feasible among patients with HGG.

  • Publication: manuscript accepted in the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing
  • Presentation: 1 national

Decreasing Nurses’ Work-related Stress in a Transplant Care Clinic

Rush University Medical Center

The purpose of this initiative was to determine the impact of mechanical chair massage among registered nurses (RNs) and advanced practice providers (APPs) on perceived stress, blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR). Data from 110 massage chair encounters revealed a significant different in nurses perceived stress and BP and a favorable change in HR. These findings suggest that providing a quiet room to relax within the clinical setting serves an opportunity to promote a healthy work environment and favorably impact BP, HR, and perceived level of stress.

  • Publication: manuscript accepted in Viewpoint, the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing Journal
  • Presentation: 1 national