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Implementation and Refinement of a Research Utilization Course for Oncology Nurses

Dana N. Rutledge
Kathi Mooney
Marcia Grant
Linda Eaton
ONF 2004, 31(1), 121-126 DOI: 10.1188/04.ONF.121-126

Purpose/Objectives: To describe the implementation and refinement of a yearly research utilization (RU) course for oncology nurses.

Design: Formative program evaluation.

Sample: 22 oncology nurses selected based on competitively reviewed project proposals.

Methods: The one-day RU course was held five times prior to the annual fall Oncology Nursing Society conference. The course consisted of brief didactic sessions on RU, project presentations by participants, faculty reviews, and discussions of practical issues related to project implementation.

Main Research Variables: Course content, usefulness of course components.

Findings: Based on immediate postcourse, 6-month, and 12-month feedback, refinements were made to the course. A major change (in year three) was the addition of a "preparation packet," which contained resources about RU and directed students to accomplish specific precourse goals, and access to a faculty mentor. Evaluation scores were good to outstanding for the content and usefulness of the course presentations, critiques by faculty, and discussion sessions. Interviews with participants indicated that a majority completed or were working on their projects within four years of completing the course.

Conclusions: RU and some of its components (pursuing a literature search, making a practice change) are not processes that most nurses are familiar with, but these processes can be taught to nurses with focused clinical concerns.

Implications for Nursing: An RU course with a low faculty-to-student ratio, adequate course materials, and systematic instruction can lead to research-based changes in practice.

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