Ij

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ONLINE EXCLUSIVE
Cancer Nursing Research Short Course:
Long-Term Follow-Up of Participants, 1984­1998
Marcia Grant, RN, DNSc, FAAN, Kathleen Mooney, RN, PhD, FAAN, AOCN®,
Dana Rutledge, RN, PhD, Sarah Gerard, and Linda Eaton, RN, MN, AOCN®
Key Points . . .
Purpose/Objectives: To describe research activities of cancer nurses
following participation in the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS)/National
Cancer Institute Cancer Nursing Research Short Course from 1984­1989.
Research on prevention and control is needed to improve the
Design: Descriptive survey.
quality of life and quality of care for individuals with cancer.
Setting: National survey of course participants.
Increased numbers of clinical nursing researchers are needed
Sample: 128 cancer nurses who attended the courses presented
from 1984­1998.
to meet the challenges of conducting behavioral, psychosocial,
Methods: Mailed survey.
and supportive care research.
Main Research Variables: Demographic characteristics, current job
The Oncology Nursing Society/National Cancer Institute Can-
titles, participation in research since course attendance, sources and
cer Nursing Research Short Course is one of the few opportu-
amounts of research support, research roles, and publications.
nities available that supports a scholarly exchange between
Findings: The course provided new investigators with a unique re-
distinguished oncology nursing faculty and pre- and
search experience not available at their own institutions and helped
them launch their research careers. The participants' commitment to re-
postdoctoral nursing students.
search is illustrated in their response rate to the survey, record of stud-
Long-term follow-up of course participants provides evidence
ies, funding sources, and research roles.
of the success of this educational opportunity.
Conclusions: The short course is a valuable resource for increasing
the number of committed oncology nursing researchers and assisting
in the scientific foundation for the care of patients with cancer. Findings
clearly show the value of the course to participants' research careers.
providers, including physicians and nurses, who become cli-
Implications for Nursing: ONS has a commitment to oncology nurs-
nicians and scientists (DiBona, 1979; Goldstein & Brown,
ing research as the means to increase the scientific foundation for can-
1997; Kelly, 1985; Kelly & Randolph, 1994; Nathan, 1998;
cer nursing care. The Cancer Nursing Research Short Course provides
Rosenberg, 1999; Schrier, 1997; Thompson & Moskowitz,
a valuable resource for meeting this commitment.
1997; Williams, Wara, & Carbone, 1997; Wyngaarden, 1979,
1986). This decline is occurring simultaneously with the
growth of basic science discoveries that require translational,
lthough a small group of nurse scientists has contrib-
A
clinical study to bring direct benefit to the public. In addition,
uted to the scientific foundation of clinical cancer care
to successfully prevent disease and improve quality of life for
since the 1980s, a significant gap continues to exist in
those experiencing disease, a stronger emphasis is needed on
the research base needed for oncology nursing practice
(Mooney, 2000). This gap is related primarily to the lack of
a critical mass of clinical researchers able to conduct high-
Marcia Grant, RN, DNSc, FAAN, is a director and research scien-
quality, patient-oriented cancer studies. This article describes
tist at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, CA;
the long-term follow-up of oncology nurses who attended an
Kathleen Mooney, RN, PhD, FAAN, AOCN  ®, is a professor in the
annual Cancer Nursing Research Short Course from 1984­
College of Nursing at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City; Dana
1998. Their contribution to oncology nursing research pro-
Rutledge, RN, PhD, is a lecturer at California State University in
vides evidence of the value of this course and the need to con-
Fullerton; Sarah Gerard is a research assistant at the City of Hope
National Medical Center; and Linda Eaton, RN, MN, AOCN  ®, is a
tinue to offer it.
research associate at the Oncology Nursing Society in Pittsburgh,
PA. This study was supported by a grant (R25 CA09486) from the
Background and Significance
National Cancer Institute. (Submitted February 2003. Accepted for
publication August 12, 2003.)
For many years, publications about the United States re-
search enterprise have noted a declining number of healthcare
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1188/04.ONF.E32-E38
ONCOLOGY NURSING FORUM ­ VOL 31, NO 2, 2004
E32
the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Web site identified
behavioral, psychosocial, and supportive care research. The
only 53 programs with at least one research grant funded by
decline in the number of clinical researchers must be reversed,
NIH in 1999. In seeking a research-intensive environment for
and the quality and quantity of research that are needed for
doctoral study, schools would be expected to have several
clinical practice must be improved.
grants; however, only 33 of the 53 schools had more than two
The cancer arena needs more clinical scientists (Mooney,
NIH-funded research grants in 1999. Based on the member-
2000). The Institute of Medicine's National Cancer Policy
ship of the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Advanced Nurs-
Board identified quality of life, preventive services, psychoso-
ing Research Special Interest Group and other nurses known
cial support, and symptom management as important compo-
to publish research findings regularly in cancer journals, only
nents of quality cancer care that require further attention if out-
21 schools could be identified as research intensive and em-
comes of care are to be improved (Institute of Medicine National
ploying at least one doctorally prepared cancer nursing re-
Research Council, 1999). To prepare high-quality clinical inves-
search faculty member. Thus, a limited number of nursing
tigators, research training opportunities are needed.
schools is available to nurses seeking research training at the
Oncology nurses are a prime healthcare professional group
doctoral level and to doctoral students and new doctoral
to combine the skills of clinicians and scientists and address
graduates seeking research mentorship from a cancer nurse
the gaps in clinical knowledge. Nurses have the clinical expe-
scientist. Given the scarcity of oncology nurse researchers in
rience to conduct pertinent clinical studies that can provide the
academic settings, supplemental programs are needed to as-
knowledge base needed to improve cancer care. To design
sist doctoral students and new postdoctoral faculty who are
high-quality studies, nurses, just as other clinicians who wish
developing research programs. The National Cancer Institute
to conduct research, need research training at the doctoral and
(NCI)/ONS Cancer Nursing Research Short Course was de-
postdoctoral levels.
veloped in the early 1980s to provide this supplemental sup-
Doctoral education in nursing has grown since the 1960s.
port to new cancer researchers. This article describes the long-
Although the first nursing doctorate, an EdD, was offered at
term follow-up of prior course participants and provides
Teacher's College, Columbia University, in 1933, only four
evidence of the success of this approach.
programs were available by 1960 (McEwen & Bechtel, 2000).
Since then, a rapid increase in doctoral programs has occurred
with more than 85 institutions offering doctoral education for
Course Description
nurses (Ketefian, Neves, & Gutierrez, 2001). These programs
The overall objective of the NCI/ONS Cancer Nursing Re-
generally are distributed equally across the regions of the
search Short Course is to expand the scientific foundation for
United States; however, fewer programs are located in the
nursing care of individuals with cancer. Since 1984, the
western states. In addition, 13 states (Alaska, Delaware, Idaho,
course has been implemented each spring prior to the annual
Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota,
ONS Congress (with the exception of 1990 when the course
Oklahoma, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyo-
was not held). The objectives of the course are to (a) conduct
ming) have no nursing doctoral programs.
a national forum for exchange between distinguished oncol-
With the rapid growth of doctoral programs in nursing, the
ogy nursing faculty and competitively selected pre- and
issue of quality arose. In 1993, the American Association of
postdoctoral nurses from different institutions and (b) use the
Colleges of Nursing (AACN) published a consensus docu-
critique process as an innovative approach to strengthen the
ment identifying quality indicators for doctoral programs. The
scientific nature of competitively selected research proposals.
recommendations emphasized the essential commitment to a
The idea of sponsoring an ONS pre-Congress short course
research mission on the part of the parent institution and the
to encourage and enhance student interest in conducting can-
nursing unit, the importance of faculty with programs of re-
cer nursing research was developed at the 1982 fall ONS Re-
search that can engage and develop students, and the acquisi-
search Committee meeting. Four of the committee members
tion of adequate resources to support research activities. Fur-
developed and submitted a one-year proposal to NCI. Fund-
ther, AACN recommended that students be selected from a
ing was received, the first course was held, and the results
highly qualified pool of applicants where students' research
were encouraging. The investigators sought additional fund-
goals are consistent with faculty expertise.
ing, and the course has been funded since 1984 through com-
Herein lies the difficulty with preparing nurses with strong
petitive renewals submitted to NCI (see Table 1).
research skills in cancer prevention and control research. First,
Course application information is disseminated through
very few doctorally prepared cancer nurse scientists exist.
multiple marketing efforts. Information is sent to ONS mem-
This is compounded by a significant shortage in doctorally
bers with advanced degrees, nurse executives from NCI-des-
prepared faculty overall in schools of nursing throughout the
ignated cancer centers, and schools of nursing with graduate
nation (Berlin & Sechrist, 2002). Second, nurses seeking doc-
oncology programs. Also, the course is advertised on the ONS
toral education and development in cancer research often have
Web site and in ONS publications (i.e., Oncology Nursing
difficulty accessing programs that have faculty with experi-
Forum, Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, and ONS
ence in cancer research. As the AACN (1993) consensus
News). Applications are invited from doctoral students,
document on quality indicators suggests, a high-quality pro-
postdoctoral individuals, and recent master's program gradu-
gram in cancer prevention and control requires a cadre of se-
ates who are interested in conducting research. Five-page
nior cancer faculty to guide students, faculty with active pro-
abstracts are submitted for proposed studies or studies in
grams of cancer prevention and control research, and a good
progress. Completed research is not accepted.
fit between student interest and faculty expertise.
At least four oncology nursing senior faculty are asked to
When this criterion was applied to the 73 doctoral programs
participate as faculty for the short course. Faculty must be
in nursing available in 2000, less than a third were likely to
doctorally prepared and hold senior status as oncology faculty
meet AACN's (1993) recommendations. Of the 73 programs,
ONCOLOGY NURSING FORUM ­ VOL 31, NO 2, 2004
E33
Table 1. Investigators and Codirectors
The NCI R25 grant provides financial support to the partici-
pants, faculty, and codirectors for travel and per diem. Faculty
Dates
Investigators and Codirectors
and codirectors also receive a small honorarium. The cost of
the meeting room and refreshments is funded by the grant, as
1982­1996
Marilyn Frank-Stromborg, RN, EdD, JD, ANP, FAAN
well as part-time secretarial support throughout the year for
Professor
advertising, distribution of proposals for review, assisting with
Northern Illinois University
the agenda, etc. Participants' registration fees for the ONS
Marcia Grant, RN, DNSc, FAAN
Congress immediately following the course also are provided
Director and research scientist
by the NCI grant.
City of Hope National Medical Center
Ada Lindsey, RN, PhD, FAANa
Dean, College of Nursing
Methods
University of Nebraska
Ruth McCorkle, PhD, FAAN
The questionnaire used for long-term follow-up included
Director and professor
background information about the participant, current status
Yale University School of Nursing
of the proposal presented during the short course, progress
Marcia Grant, RN, DNSc, FAANa
1997­2002
made in relation to publications, information on research
Director and research scientist
funded and completed following the course, current research
City of Hope National Medical Center
funding, and general comments. Questionnaires were mailed
Mel Haberman, RN, PhD
to participants who attended courses held from 1984­1998.
Director, Research (until 1998)
The 1998 cutoff was selected to give time for participants to
Oncology Nursing Society
Gail Mallory, PhD, RN, CNAA
finish their schooling and move on with their careers. Future
Director, Research (1998­present)
follow-up surveys will continue to track participants from
Oncology Nursing Society
1998. Addresses were obtained from ONS rosters, augmented
Kathleen Mooney, RN, PhD, FAAN, AOCN®
with information from a variety of active ONS members, pre-
Professor
vious faculty of the course, and the codirectors.
University of Utah
One hundred thirty-eight positions were available for the
Dana Rutledge, RN, PhD
course from 1984­1998. During two courses, only nine stu-
Lecturer
dents attended because participants withdrew too late to substi-
California State University in Fullerton
tute an alternate; in addition, no course was held in 1990. Six
a
attendees were not located for follow-up, and another four indi-
Principal investigator
viduals attended two different courses. Therefore, surveys were
mailed to a total of 128 individuals, and 122 responded (95%
response rate). Multiple mailings, phone calls, e-mails, and per-
in well-established and funded research programs. Abstracts
sonal contacts were needed for a small portion of the respon-
are reviewed blindly by the panel of faculty and codirectors.
dents. Analysis subsequently was conducted on 122 individuals;
The top 10 abstracts, plus two alternates, are selected, and in-
those who attended two courses were counted only once.
dividuals are notified of their selection. One month before the
course, the participants can submit updated papers of no more
Results
than 15 pages of the proposed study to be presented at the
course. Two faculty are assigned to review each proposal at
The average age of participants at the time of the course and
the course. At least two weeks prior to the course, a confer-
follow-up survey was 39 and 47 years, respectively (see Table
ence call provides for discussion among faculty and co-
2). The number of years in nursing and oncology illustrates
directors about each proposal and allows the two reviewers
the extensive experience of participants. The vast majority
assigned to each presentation to share their ideas. This discus-
(89%) resides in the United States, 10 reside in Canada, and
sion helps to clarify the major problem areas and recom-
one participant each resides in Ireland, Nepal, and Taiwan.
mended changes. It also helps to prevent redundancy in the
Those currently residing in foreign countries were usually
faculty critiques.
enrolled in U.S. schools at the time of the course. The geo-
On the day of the course, the schedule is very tight. Appli-
graphic distribution of the responders shown in Table 2 indi-
cants whose abstracts have been accepted present their pro-
cates where they came from at the time of the course and
posals after which two of the distinguished faculty review,
where they currently reside. They are fairly evenly distributed
critique, and discuss the work. The purpose of these critiques
across the United States with the smallest group in the South-
is to strengthen the proposals, increasing the likelihood of en-
west and the largest group in the Northeast.
hancing the scientific foundation of oncology nursing re-
Participants were primarily Caucasian (94%). At the time of
search. During or immediately following the course, each fac-
the course and the survey, the majority was employed full-
ulty member submits a one- to two-page summary of the
time. Ninety-four percent were employed in nursing, and 75%
critique that is given to the participant. The written critique is
were employed in urban areas.
especially valuable for predoctoral students to share with their
Education status, current job titles, and research activities
committee members if their dissertation research is reviewed
were analyzed by dividing the participants into three groups
at end of the short course. Participants evaluate the program
to reflect time since course attendance. Group 1 attended
at its end with a standard evaluation tool. Six- and 12-month
courses from 1984­1988 and consisted of 41 participants.
follow-up evaluations are mailed to participants to document
Group 2, with 43 participants, attended courses from 1989­
their progress on implementation of the research proposals.
1994. The 38 participants in group 3 attended courses from
These evaluations have been consistently positive.
ONCOLOGY NURSING FORUM ­ VOL 31, NO 2, 2004
E34
Table 2. Participant Demographics
100
190
--
Median
Characteristic
Range
X
180
170
Age (years)
160
39
38
Time of course
27­53
150
47
47
Time of survey
31­64
140
Nursing experience (years)
130
25
24
In nursing
9­40
120
17
11
In oncology nursing
2­38
110
110
Characteristic
n
%
Course
Survey
Country of residence
1984­1988
1989 ­1994
1995 ­1998
United States
109
89
N = 41
N = 43
N = 38
Canada
110
18
Ireland
111
11
Nepal
111
11
Figure 1. Percentage of Doctorally Prepared Participants
Taiwan
111
11
at the Time of the Course and the Survey
Residence at time of course
West
123
19
since the course occupy a large proportion of professor and
Midwest
123
19
Southwest
113
11
associate professor positions, whereas those who recently at-
136
29
Northeast
tended the course were primarily at the assistant professor
121
17
Southeast
level or in research and education positions.
Outside United States
116
15
One of the desired outcomes of the short course was for par-
Residence at time of survey
ticipants to develop a peer-reviewed funding base for their re-
117
14
West
search program. Focusing on activities that occurred after
122
18
Midwest
completion of the course, research support for the three
114
12
Southwest
groups was examined in several ways (i.e., the number of
131
25
Northeast
participants who had funded research that was either com-
Southeast
125
20
pleted or current and the number of grants to the whole group
Outside United States
113
11
Ethnicity
limiting each participant to a maximum of five grants for com-
African American
113
12
pleted research and five grants for current research). These
Asian
112
12
activities were described in terms of sources for funding, av-
Caucasian
115
94
erage amount of funding, and principal investigator (PI) role.
Other
111
11
Publication history provided additional information.
Missing
111
11
The percentage of individual participants across groups that
Employment
reported funded research either current or completed is found
Full-time
102
83
in Table 3. For completed studies, 76% of group 1, 74% of
Part-time
117
14
group 2, and 61% of group 3 received funding. For current
Not employed
112
12
studies, 56%, 58%, and 63%, respectively, were funded.
Missing
111
11
Current employment
In nursing
114
94
Not in nursing
115
14
Both
112
12
50
Missing
111
11
45
Employment location
40
Urban
192
75
35
Suburban
115
12
30
Rural
117
16
25
Other
116
15
20
Missing
112
12
15
10
N = 122
15
10
Note. Because of rounding, not all percentages total 100.
1995­1998. The investigators expected that these findings
would illustrate completion of doctoral preparation, higher-
level faculty positions, and more research activity and fund-
ing as time since the course increased.
1984­1988
1989 ­1994
1995 ­1998
Data on education level at the time of the course and the
N = 41
N = 43
N = 38
survey revealed a large increase in doctoral degree completion
following the course (see Figure 1). Reported positions are il-
Figure 2. Current Job Title
lustrated in Figure 2. Those from group 1 who had more time
ONCOLOGY NURSING FORUM ­ VOL 31, NO 2, 2004
E35
Table 3. Mean Funding Amount Per Group
Group 3
Group 1
Group 2
1995 ­1998
1984 ­1988
1989 ­1994
N = 38
Studies
N = 41
N = 43
Completed
23
31
32
Number funded
61
Percent funded
76
74
$36,578
Mean amount
$254,513
$121,077
$494­$159,000
$250­$923,000
$4,217­$1,244,658
Range
Current
24
Number funded
23
25
63
Percent funded
56
58
$98,279
Mean amount
$957,498
$453,759
$7,500­$634,162
Range
$3,500­$3,296,381
$7,000­$2,361,713
completion of the course compared to more recent partici-
The average amount of support received by participants
pants. In addition to being a PI on one's own studies, partici-
who were successful in receiving funding also was examined
pation with other researchers also can occur. This is illustrated
to illustrate patterns among the three groups. For completed
in the percentage that participated in research but not as PIs.
studies and current research, the participants with more expe-
Other roles in research are more common for recent short
rience following the short course had higher mean levels of
course participants.
funding than those with less experience. In addition, the in-
Publication of research is another method of fulfilling the
creased amount of funding is evident for the three groups in
research role expectations. Approximately half of the earlier
current studies versus completed studies. This was expected
participants published all or part of the studies resulting from
because researchers often move from intramural and founda-
the proposals presented at the short course (see Figure 5).
tion support for pilot studies to small grants at the national
Fewer participants from the later courses published their find-
level and then to RO1 level NIH multiyear grants of $200,000
ings from the course proposal submitted to the short course.
and more per year.
Comments from participants echo the success of the course
Funding sources are illustrated in Figures 3 and 4 for com-
(see Figure 6). The course acted as a springboard for many by
pleted studies and current grants. Findings illustrate changes
demystifying research, desensitizing participants to the cri-
as new faculty members establish programs of research. For
tique process, and sparking enthusiasm for conducting stud-
completed studies, the most common source of funding across
ies. Other participants suggested more time, additional faculty
groups was foundation support and the most recent course
with different expertise, follow-up after the course, and in-
participants had the greatest percentages. The three groups
depth teaching about research methods. These recommenda-
received university or intramural support, and the earlier par-
tions would require additional resources and a different focus
ticipants showed the most success in obtaining this type of
from the current course format.
funding. Federal grants were obtained approximately equally
across the three groups. For current grants, differences existed
among the three groups: Federal funds were the most frequent
Discussion
source for earlier participants, and university and foundation
support were the most frequent sources for the most recent
Determining the success of the short course is important in
participants.
identifying its value to the continued development of cancer
Participants' responsibilities can be examined by their re-
nursing research. This course has provided new investigators
search title and role. Figure 5 reveals that the earlier partici-
with resources not available at their institutions and has been
pants more frequently reported having a PI role following
successful in assisting them in launching research programs.
Providing new researchers with access to faculty who can cri-
tique, advise, and help design appropriate studies will con-
tinue to be needed, especially in light of the anticipated short-
160
age of nursing faculty (Berlin & Sechrist, 2002).
150
The participants of the ONS/NCI Cancer Nursing Research
140
130
Short Course are mature, experienced in nursing and the spe-
120
cialty of oncology, and 94% Caucasian. Participants' average
110
age when attending the course was 39. This is an older popu-
110
lation than that reported by the National Center for Education
Statistics (2000) where the average age of those enrolled in
1999 ­2000 in master's programs across all college programs
was 32.6 and across doctoral programs was 33.6.
1984­1988
1989 ­1994
1995 ­1998
This survey's findings demonstrate participants' commit-
N = 205 (41 x 5)
N = 215 (43 x 5)
N = 190 (38 x 5)
ment to research in a number of ways. The response rate was
outstanding. Participants described the course as a turning
Figure 3. Funding Sources for Completed Studies
point in their research development. They valued the exposure
ONCOLOGY NURSING FORUM ­ VOL 31, NO 2, 2004
E36
the three groups, and support from foundations, although
170
fairly consistent among the three groups, showed the highest
160
percentage for the most recent course participants. The re-
150
search funding available through the ONS Foundation has in-
140
creased remarkably in recent years and may help to explain
130
the increase in foundation support for more recent course par-
120
ticipants.
110
When examining the funding sources for current studies,
110
University
Federal
Foundation
State
the importance of the federal government for experienced
faculty and the use of foundations for the less-experienced
1984­1988
1989 ­1994
1995 ­1998
participants are evident. Even more dramatic is the informa-
N = 205 (41 x 5)
N = 215 (43 x 5)
N = 190 (38 x 5)
tion about mean amounts of research funding across the three
groups. For completed and current studies, the mean amounts
Figure 4. Funding Sources for Current Studies
increased as participants gained more experience and the time
since the short course increased.
Research involves a variety of roles, with the PI being the
to the spirit of collegiality, esteemed researchers, funding in-
independent researcher and leader of the research team. Other
formation, and valuable feedback. Some participants re-
roles in the research team may include coinvestigator, data col-
mained in contact with other participants, faculty, and co-
lector, project director, or nurse interventionists (when the study
directors after the course.
is testing nursing interventions). As expected, participants who
Course participants' employment revealed a pattern of
are early in their research careers held more alternative research
moving toward full and tenured professorship positions as
roles, and those with more time and experience were PIs.
time since the course increased. Most schools require partici-
A researcher's professional responsibility is to contribute to
pation in scholarly activities, including research and publica-
scientific literature and publish results of studies. This com-
tion, for advancement to full professorship level. For those
mitment was demonstrated in the survey participants, with a
participants who attended courses from 1995­1998, none was
greater percentage of experienced researchers having pub-
a full professor, 3% held associate professor positions, and
lished the results of the study presented at the short course.
45% held assistant professor positions. The remaining 52%
held a variety of research and teaching positions. In contrast
to those participants attending the courses from 1984­1988,
Positive comments
20% held full professor positions and 37% held associate pro-
"I found the course extremely beneficial. I have kept the reviewers' comments
fessor positions. This pattern of advanced positions for those
and read them from time to time when preparing new initiatives. Thank you
further out from the course is as expected.
for the opportunity to attend the course."
Respondents were divided into three groups defined by
"This was a wonderful opportunity that helped me make my `breakthrough'
time since taking the course. Participation in research by the
in funding."
three groups was similar. The investigators believe this re-
"The ONS/NCI Research Short Course was one of many invaluable opportu-
flects an increased interest in research and the building of the
nities I had during my doctoral education. Having the opportunity to interact
research foundation for the nursing discipline. Sources of
with the esteemed nurse researchers that I'd read and studied was something
funding for research provide information about the value of
I'll never forget. This socialization opportunity was almost as valuable as the
foundation support among the participants. Information from
feedback/critique."
completed studies shows that all three groups accessed intra-
"Support for my early attempts at research from ONS were most helpful. I
mural or university funding, and the earlier course participants
have found the enthusiasm for research and the spirit of collegiality at ONS
accessed this resource more often than groups 2 or 3. In con-
to be unequalled in the other professional organizations to which I belong."
trast, funding from the federal government was stable across
"This course was extremely helpful. It was a pleasure networking with expe-
rienced researchers. The professional contacts have helped me with reference
letters and subsequent grant awards. I still keep in contact with several of the
100
participants, and we have been able to support each other in our new research
190
roles."
180
"Course was excellent entry to scientific community. Helped to launch my
170
career. I love my work and am excited to be where I am now and where our
160
work will go in the future. Science is fun, rewarding, and addictive (at least
150
doing it is)."
140
Suggestions for improvement
130
"Take place over two days. Divide/group qualitative and quantitative proposals
120
separately."
110
110
"Biostatistical support would be excellent."
Principal
Other role
Published
"Include a mechanism for immediate follow-up."
investigator
research findings
"My research project was a qualitative study, and I could have benefited from
1984­1988
1989 ­1994
1995­1998
more in-depth knowledge regarding qualitative methods."
N = 41
N = 43
N = 38
Figure 6. Participant Comments
Figure 5. Research Roles and Publication History
NCI--National Cancer Institute; ONS--Oncology Nursing Society
ONCOLOGY NURSING FORUM ­ VOL 31, NO 2, 2004
E37
This also may demonstrate the length of time needed to com-
participants in their comments about the course. These 122
plete and analyze the results, write a paper, and have the pa-
individuals have begun to address the urgent need to improve
per accepted for publication.
the scientific basis for cancer nursing care. As cancer treat-
In general, the results of the survey are very positive. They
ment continues to develop through basic science discoveries
reflect what the investigators hoped for--that the ONS/NCI
and applied medical research, nursing research is needed to
Cancer Nursing Research Short Course is helping to fill the
improve the quality of life for patients with cancer. The focus
gap in the research base for cancer nursing practice by provid-
on behavioral, psychosocial, and supportive care research will
ing beginning researchers access to expert faculty and help-
require qualified oncology nursing researchers to fill this gap.
ing to increase the critical mass of researchers.
Future follow-up studies of this group of participants will fo-
cus on the analysis of proposals submitted, examining the
study questions, populations, methodology, and relationships
Conclusions
to ONS-identified research priorities. Although the course
The follow-up evaluation of the participants of the ONS/
may appear to develop only one annual group of participants,
NCI Cancer Nursing Research Short Course from 1984­1998
the course, setting, and faculty are providing the professional,
reveals the impact of the course on the career development of
scientific, and collegial milieu to produce high-quality, pro-
the participants. Research certainly is a priority in their nurs-
ductive, and valuable oncology nursing researchers.
ing roles, as illustrated by their current employment, publica-
tions, and research support. The value of the NCI/ONS Can-
Author Contact: Marcia Grant, RN, DNSc, FAAN, can be reached
cer Nursing Research Short Course is described further by the
at mgrant@coh.org, with copy to editor at rose_mary@earthlink.net.
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