Building a Nursing Research Fellowship in a Community Hospital

Marian C. Turkel, PhD, RN; Kathleen Ferket, MSN, RN, CPNP; Gloria Reidinger, MS, RNC, APN; Dale E. Beatty, MS, RN


Nurs Econ. 2008;26(1):26-34. 

In This Article


Northwest Community Hospital (NCH) is a 488-bed hospital in Arlington Heights, IL. Approximately 1,100 RNs are employed by the hospital and 43% have been educated at the baccalaureate level. In February 2006, NCH was awarded Magnet® status by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and received an exemplar from ANCC for the Nursing Research Fellow ship Program. The journey to Mag net began in 2002 when the chief nurse executive (CNE) met with the nursing leaders to dialogue about the process. NCH has a long history of having a professional practice environment where registered nurses (RNs) are engaged in participative decision making via the nursing practice councils. Additionally, the RN turnover and vacancy rates have been below the national average.

The Fourteen Forces of Magnetism were reviewed and the nursing leaders felt confident that supporting evidence was in place to substantiate written narratives in terms of dissemination, sustainability, and enculturation in all areas except those related to re search and evidence-based practice. To meet the ANCC Magnet standards for research and evidence-based practice and to develop a strong research infrastructure, numerous initiatives were implemented. For example, journal clubs were expanded to all nursing units, the Iowa Model of Evidence-Based Practice was selected to provide a consistent model for the various evidence-based practice projects, and the Nursing Research Council (NRC) was created (Turkel, Reidinger, Ferket, & Reno, 2003). The CNE was committed to raising the bar for research in the community hospital setting by having direct care RNs serve as principal investigators for clinical nursing re search studies. The process for the development and related outcomes of the Nursing Research Fellowship Program, which was established in 2005 to advance excellence related to professional nursing practice and research, is described.


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