Center for Clinical Research and Scholarship

The Center for Clinical Research and Scholarship was established in 2007 as a joint venture between the Rush University College of Nursing and Rush University Medical Center to promote clinical nursing research that improves clinical practice and patient outcomes. The center supports clinical research and scholarship activities to promote best practices in patient care and improvements in health care delivery. The purpose of the center is to create a formal venue for:

  • Transforming clinical practice
  • Enhancing clinical education
  • Positioning RUMC as a national leader in clinical and translational nursing research

Fundamental to the success of the Center is the integration of practice, research and education through collaboration between college-based faculty and hospital-based clinicians. As part of its emphasis on clinical inquiry, the Center works with Rush’s nursing leadership to stress the importance of integrating research and evidence based practice in the clinical setting. The Center is the formal evolution of a link between practice and research that has been in place for nearly four decades, evolving from the teacher-practitioner role at Rush University Medical Center.

The Center provides pilot seed funding for research and evidence based practice projects at Rush University Medical Center. Clinical nursing staff and College of Nursing students serve as Clinical Scholars on the projects to gain experience in working with clinical teams addressing a variety of patient and clinical care topics and College of Nursing faculty serve as mentors for the clinical teams and to assist with publication of the project. The Center also hosts clinical grand rounds; provides consultation for abstract and poster presentations; manuscript preparation; and mentorship support for clinical evidence based practice and research projects at Rush University Medical Center.

Examples of Funded Projects

Early Mobility During Hospitalization
The purpose of this clinical project is to implement an evidence based mobility protocol for patients hospitalized on medical-surgical floors to promote active mobility during hospitalization. This project is an extension of the ICU Mobility project which was implemented and completed in the adult ICU’s over the last 2 years.

Development of a Linking Education and Performance (LEAP) Online Module Targeting Screening of Military Veterans for Physical and Mental Health Issues Associated With Military Service
To complement the Road Home Project’s veteran and family service center, this clinical project will provide an online educational resource tool for clinicians for screening for health related issues related to military service including occupational and environmental exposures, mental health status, coping mechanisms, and to provide resources including evidenced-based communication techniques, assessment questions and strategies, interventions to aid veterans, and referral information specific to military service.

Evaluation of the Rapid Response Team (RRT) to Identify Opportunities for Improvement
The purpose of this clinical project is to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the RRT to assess the current use of the team, number of calls received and reasons for calls. Additional data will be collected to assess potential barriers identified by clinical staff on utilizing the RRT as well as from RRT team members.

Randomized Control Trial of a Music Therapy Intervention During Surgery
The purpose of this clinical research study is to examine the effect of perioperative music on patient reports of anxiety, pain, and satisfaction levels.

Sedation Practices and Delirium Assessment in the ICU
Rush University Medical Center was accepted to participate in the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s ICU Collaborative targeting implementation of the ABCDEF bundle, focusing on improving care practices for patients in the ICU related to pain and sedation, delirium recognition and treatment, daily mobility and family centered care.

Use of Simulation Training for Anesthesia Crisis Resource Management
This project will assess the effectiveness of an educational intervention that includes the principles of anesthesia crisis resource management and closed-loop communication in a malignant hyperthermia scenario.

Impact of Digital Pain and Analgesic Diary In Reducing Medication Error in a Hospice Setting
The purpose of this study is to develop and test the feasibility of a digital application to be used by caregivers to record patient pain and administration of analgesics and used by nurse case managers to monitor caregiver administration of analgesics.

Central Line Maintenance
The purpose of this project is to develop evidence-based standardized procedures for central line flushing in order to decrease occlusion rates and cathflo usage.

Nasal Pressure Ulcers
This project examines the use of hydrocolloid at the nare junction to prevent the rubbing and friction and prevent nasal ulcers in surgical patients with NGT.

Recent Selected Publications

Killeen KM, Ruby D, Delaney KR, Kleinpell R, Hinch B, Barginere C. Academic/Service Integration Advanced APRN Practice. Nurse Leader, 2015 57- 62

Kleinpell RM, Faut-Callahan M, Carlson E, Llewellyn J, Dreher M. Evolving the Practitioner -Teacher Role to Enhance Practice - Academic Partnerships. Journal of Clinical Nursing 2015.

Coke L, Otten K, Staffileno BA, Nowisewski CM, Minarich L. The Impact of an Oral Hygiene Education Module on Oncology Patient Practices and Nursing Documentation. CJON. 2015;19(1):75-80. doi:10.1188/15.CJON.75-80.

Fosler L, Staffileno BA, Fogg L, OMahony S. Cultural differences in discussion of DNR and hospice. JHPN. 2015; 17(2):128-132.

Kleinpell RM, Start R, McIntosh E, Worobec S, Llewellyn J. Philanthropy as a Source of Funding for Nursing Initiatives. Nurs Admin Q 2014;Vol. 38, No. 4, pp. E1–E10.

Kleinpell R, Lateef O, Patel G, Start R. Caring for ICU Providers in Scales DC & Rubenfeld G. (Eds). The Organization of Critical Care. 2014, Vol 18: pp. 137-151, Springer Publishing.

Friedrichs J, Staffileno BA, Fogg L, Jegier B, Saunders JK, Portugal D, Hunter R, Penner J, Peashey JM. Axillary temperatures in the full term infant: using evidence to guide safe and effective practice. Adv Neonatal Care. 2013; Oct; 13(5):361-8. doi: 10.1097/ANC.0b013e3182a14f5a

Funding for the Center for Clinical Research and Scholarship from the Golden Lamp Society of the Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Nurses Alumni Association is gratefully acknowledged. For further information, contact Mary Heitschmidt, PhD, RN, APN, CCRN, Co-Director of the Center for Clinical Research and Scholarship.